BlackBerry Quick Tip: How to Transfer Files via Bluetooth in OS 5.0's BlackBerry beat-reporter Al Sacco details the process for transferring media and other files wirelessly via Bluetooth between BlackBerry smartphones running OS 5.0.

You can transfer information and files between BlackBerry smartphones in countless ways, but one of the quickest and easiest methods is via Bluetooth.

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that allows for small- to medium-sized file transfers, and it's perfect for sending pictures, songs and small video clips between mobile devices at a range of up to about 30 feet.

Sending Files Between BlackBerry Smartphones via Bluetooth
Sending Files Between BlackBerry Smartphones via Bluetooth

I penned my first tutorial on transferring files between BlackBerry smartphones via Bluetooth more than two years ago, but since then, RIM released a major OS upgrade to BlackBerry OS v5.0, and the process for Bluetooth file transfers has become more "polished."

It's possible to transfer files using Bluetooth via a wide variety of mobile devices. However, this quick tip will focus on how to transfer files using Bluetooth from one BlackBerry to another. Keep moving for step-by-step instructions on how to activate your BlackBerry Bluetooth, pair with another device and then both send and receive files.

And if you're still seeking more expert BlackBerry tips and tricks after this walkthrough, pop on over to my BlackBerry Bible page.

Activating BlackBerry Bluetooth and Pairing Devices

First things first, you need to turn on your BlackBerry's Bluetooth. To do so, simply open your Manage Connections menu by clicking the appropriate icon on your BlackBerry home screen--it looks like a vertical bar with wireless signal on its sides, at least in default BlackBerry themes. (See image below.)

BlackBerry Manage Connections Icon
BlackBerry Manage Connections Icon

After you've opened the Manage Connections options, ensure that the box next to Bluetooth is checked.

Next you'll want to "pair" your device with the BlackBerry you wish to transfer files to. Bluetooth will have to be activated on both devices, so first repeat the above process for the second device if Bluetooth isn't already turned on.

Pair the two device so you can transfer files by once again opening your Manage Connections menu, on both devices, but this time pick one of the BlackBerrys and choose Set Up Bluetooth. The following screen, labeled Add Device, displays a few options: Search; Listen; and Cancel.

You want to search for a new device so you can pair your BlackBerrys; however, by default, new BlackBerrys have Bluetooth set to "hidden" as a security measure, so unwanted or unauthorized parties can't connect to your device without your knowledge. That means you'll have to ensure that the BlackBerry you're attempting to connect to is "discoverable."

To modify Bluetooth discovery settings, open the Manage Connections menu again, but this time, click on Bluetooth Options. Then, on the following screen, hit your BlackBerry Menu key--located directly to the left of your trackball/trackpad--and choose Options.

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On the following Bluetooth Options screen, you'll see a number of Bluetooth related settings. First, scroll all the way down to the Services section and make sure the boxes next to the following two options are all checked: Serial Port Profile; and Data Transfer.

BlackBerry Bluetooth Options Screen
BlackBerry Bluetooth Options Screen

Next, scroll back to the top of the Bluetooth Options screen and set the Discoverable field to either Yes,which will let any and all Bluetooth devices "see" your BlackBerry when in range; or 2 Minutes, which will allow other devices to see your BlackBerry for up to two minutes. Then save your changes by hitting your BlackBerry Escape--to the right of your trackball/trackpad and choose Save when prompted.

BlackBerry Bluetooth Pairing Screen
BlackBerry Bluetooth Pairing Screen

Pair the two BlackBerry smartphones by again opening your Manage Connections screen and choose Set Up Bluetooth. When you've ensured that both devices have Bluetooth activated, and both are "discoverable," click the Search and wait for your BlackBerry to serve up a list of nearby Bluetooth devices. If for some reason, the desired device does not show up in the Bluetooth devices list, repeat the above process and make sure it's still discoverable.

Finally, pick the device you're attempting to connect with from the list of nearby Bluetooth devices, then confirm that the numbers of both devices displayed on screen match. If they do, choose Yes on both devices, and you're good to go. Your BlackBerry devices are now paired.

BlackBerry Bluetooth Pairing Confirmation Screen
BlackBerry Bluetooth Pairing Confirmation Screen

How to Transfer Files Between BlackBerry Smartphones Using Bluetooth

Transferring files between paired BlackBerry smartphones is quick and simple. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'll explain how to transfer media such as images, video clips and music files.

Open the Media folder on the device that you want to receive the file. Then hit your BlackBerry Menu key, while within the Media folder and pick the option Receive Using Bluetooth. You should see a box that reads something like File Transfer/Waiting for Connection.

BlackBerry Send Using Bluetooth Menu
BlackBerry Send Using Bluetooth Menu

Next, grab the device from which you want to send media via Bluetooth, and navigate to the specific file. In this case, I'll detail how to send a song. Dig through your Media folder, into the Music section and navigate to the song you want to transfer. With the song selected, hit your BlackBerry Menu key and choose Send Using Bluetooth. And on the following screen, pick the appropriate device that will receive the file from the on-screen list.

You'll have to accept the connection request on the device that is to receive the file via Bluetooth, but after you do, your transfer will commence on its own and in a minute or so, you're file should be transferred.

For more Bluetooth-specific BlackBerry tips, read "How To Use Your BlackBerry as a Bluetooth Modem for Your PC" and "BlackBerry Bluetooth Speakerphone Review."


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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