by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Quick Tip: How to Customize Speed Dial in BlackBerry 6 OS

Jan 24, 2011
MobileSmall and Medium BusinessSmartphones's mobile watcher Al Sacco explains how to create custom speed-dial lists using RIM's BlackBerry OS 6, so BlackBerry smartphone users need only press and hold one key to call important contacts.

I have BlackBerry tips like Apple has fan bois. Which is to say I have no shortage of them. Just check out my BlackBerry Bible page if you’re not convinced.

BlackBerry 6 Speed Dial Options Screen
BlackBerry 6 Speed Dial Options Screen

Recently, a friend with a new BlackBerry smartphone running Research In Motion’s (RIM) latest mobile OS, BlackBerry 6, asked me how to create custom BlackBerry speed dial lists with individual contacts tied to keyboard keys for easy calling. And since I’ve yet to post any tips on the subjects, I thought I’d write up and share a quick step-by-step tutorial.

Keep moving for details on how to assign BlackBerry address book contacts to keys of your choice on your BlackBerry smartphone’s QWERTY keyboard for one-touch dialing.

BlackBerry 6: Customizing BlackBerry Speed Dial

By default, only a few of your BlackBerry’s keyboard keys are set to “speed dial” numbers: your “Q” key, when depressed for a couple of seconds, will toggle back and forth between the “Normal” and “Vibrate Only” profiles; your “W” key calls your voice mail service when held down; and the “A” button locks up your keypad after being pushed in for a few moments. These speed dial options, or keypad shortcuts, are fixed, meaning you cannot modify them. But you can assign new, custom speed dial options to the remaining, unassigned keys. Here’s how.

BlackBerry 6 Options Screen
BlackBerry 6 Options Screen

From your BlackBerry’s home screen, locate and click on your Options icon–it looks like some sort of wrench in many BlackBerry themes. From the BlackBerry Options menu, scroll down until you locate the Call Management section and then click to open the corresponding menu.

Next, find the Speed Dial Numbers listing and open up that menu. On the following screen, you should see a list of letters/numbers, most with blank white spaces next them. To assign BlackBerry address book contacts to letters/numbers, click the letter/number you wish to associate with a contact and then find that contact in the on-screen list. When you’ve located the appropriate contact, simply click the listing with your trackball/trackpad, pick the specific phone number you wish to tie to your keyboard keys–mobile, home, work, etc.–and click again to confirm your selection.

BlackBerry 6 Call Management Options Screen
BlackBerry 6 Call Management Options Screen

After assigning a contact to a keyboard key for speed dial, you’re brought right back to the speed dial list so you can continue to customize your BlackBerry speed dial options. And you’re good to go; just exit out of the speed dial list when you’re through adding contacts, then press and hold any speed-dial keys to call associated address book listings.

(Note: Now that you’ve tied contacts to specific keyboard keys it’s a lot easier to accidentally “pocket-call” contacts on your speed dial list, so make sure you lock your keypad before putting your BlackBerry smartphone in a pocket or purse.)

Find more, similar BlackBerry smartphone tips and tricks here.


Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at