How to back up your BlackBerry PlayBook — and why I’m glad I do!

How-To

#TeamBlackBerry, I’ve got a question for you: When was the last time you backed up your BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet? Performing a backup on your tablet is something I encourage all of my friends and family to do, because one day you might be glad you did.

I know I was relieved when I was able to recover videos of my niece’s ice skating show that I recorded a few weeks ago. What happened is that I had recorded several videos using my BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and moved them onto my USB thumb drive. Several hours later I ended up knocking my keychain with my USB thumb drive attached to it into a sink full of water. After a few minutes trying to figure out how to save my USB thumb drive (ultimately it was lost), I realized I had a backup of my tablet thanks to BlackBerry® Desktop Software, which meant my videos were safe. All I had to do was restore the backup file to my tablet and presto – the videos were back, so we could always remember her first skating show!

Learn how to start backing up your tablet automatically (or on a schedule, if desired) after the break.

Before we begin, you’ll need to download BlackBerry Desktop Software, which allows you to back up and restore your tablet. To download and install it, click on one of the links below depending on which operating system you are currently using:

An important note about restoring backup files

When you restore a backup file to your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, files that are currently stored on your tablet will be deleted when a backup file is restored. In other words, if you have files stored on your tablet that have been added to your tablet since your last backup, considering using USB or Wi-Fi® file sharing to copy them off the tablet before restoring a backup file.

Something else to keep in mind is that backup files can only be restored provided that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet you are using was set up using the same BlackBerry® ID. Attempting to restore a backup file made using one BlackBerry ID on to a tablet that was set up using a different BlackBerry ID will result in the following error (depending on which version of BlackBerry Desktop Software you are using):

  • BlackBerry Desktop Software for PC – “There was an error restoring
  • BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac – “BlackBerry Desktop Software failed to restore your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

If this error occurs, to restore the backup file you’ll need to perform a security wipe of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet followed by setting it up again using the same BlackBerry ID that was used when the backup file was created.

Backing up and restoring your tablet

Provided you have installed BlackBerry Desktop Software for PC or Mac, follow the steps below depending on which version you are using:

BlackBerry Desktop Software for PC

How to configure and perform a manual tablet backup

1. Click on the Start Menu, select “All Programs” followed by “BlackBerry Desktop Software”
2. Connect your tablet, click “Device” followed by “Back up” and select one of the following options:

  • To back up all of your tablet data, click “Full”.
  • To back up all of your tablet data except for your media files, click “Quick”.
  • To selectively choose what information on your tablet you’d like to back up, click “Custom” followed by selecting the desired data.

3. After specifying what information will backed up, customize the backup file using any of the following options

  • To change the default name for the backup file, in the “File name” field, type a new name.
  • To encrypt the back up the file, select the “Encrypt backup file” check box and type a password.
  • To save the settings so that there is no prompt to set these options again when backing the tablet in the future, select “Don’t ask for these settings again” check box.

4. To start a backup, click on “Back up”.

Enabling Automatic Backups of your tablet

After determining what information will be backed up and how the backup file will be created, to enable automatic backups of your tablet, open BlackBerry Desktop Manager, connect your tablet and click on the “Device Options”. In the following screen, check “Back up my device” and specify your desired schedule – daily, weekly or monthly. After doing this, click “Ok” and automatic backups will be performed based on the frequency you set.

Restoring a tablet backup file

In the event you need to restore a backup file, complete the steps below. Keep in mind, doing this will remove files stored on the tablet before the backup is restored.

1. Open BlackBerry Desktop Software, click “Device” followed by “Restore”
2. Select a backup file that contains the data you want to restore and do one of the following:

  • To restore all of your tablet data, click “All device data and settings”.
  • To select which tablet data you want to restore, click “Select device data and settings” followed by selecting what data you would like to restore.

3. A warning will appear that all data will be replaced with the back up file, click “Yes”
4. If the backup file is encrypted, type the password that you set to encrypt
5. Click “Restore”.

You may encounter an error that reads as the following: “There was error restoring – There could have been a problem with the device or connection during the restore. Verify that the device is turned on and connected.” This is a result of restoring a backup file on to a tablet that using a different BlackBerry ID than the one used when the backup was created.

To learn more about this error, check out the following knowledge base article KB31317 – Unable to restore a BlackBerry PlayBook backup file taken from a different BlackBerry ID.

BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac

How to configure and perform a manual tablet backup

1. On your computer, in the Applications folder, click the BlackBerry Desktop Software icon
2. Click “Back Up” in the upper right corner and do one of the following:

  • To back up all of your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet data, click “All Data”.
  • To selectively choose what information on your tablet you’d like to back up, click “Custom” followed by selecting the desired data.

3. After specifying what information will backed up, customize you backup using any of the following options:

  • To change the default name for the backup file, in the “File name” field, type a new name.
  • To encrypt the back up the file, select the “Encrypt backup file” check box.

4. Click “Back Up”
5. If you selected to encrypt the backup you will be prompted for a password. After typing the password, click “Encrypt”.

Enabling automatic backups of your tablet

To specify a schedule that will automatically back up your tablet, complete the following steps:

1. On your computer, in the Applications folder, click the BlackBerry Desktop Software icon
2. Click “Device Options” and on the Backup tab, select the “Automatically back up when device is connected” checkbox and select a interval
3. To back up all of the media files on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, select the “Include media in automatic backup” checkbox.
4. To encrypt the backup file, select the “Encrypt automatic backup file” checkbox
5. Click “OK”.

Restoring a tablet backup file

In the event you need to restore a backup file, complete the steps below. As mentioned earlier, doing this will remove files stored on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet before the backup is restored.

1. Open BlackBerry Desktop Software and click “Restore”
2. Select a backup file that contains the data you want to restore and do one of the following:

  • To restore all your device data, click “Restore all data”.
  • To select which data you want to restore, click “Restore selected data” followed by selecting what data you would like to restore.

3. A warning will appear that all data will be replaced with the back up file, click “Yes”
4. If the backup file is encrypted, type the password that you set to encrypt
5. Click “Restore”.

If you encounter the following error “BlackBerry Desktop Software failed to restore your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet”, this is a result of restoring a backup file on to a tablet that using a different BlackBerry ID than the one used when the backup was created.

To learn more about this error, check out the following knowledge base article KB31317 – Unable to restore a BlackBerry PlayBook backup file taken from a different BlackBerry ID.

If you have questions or feedback, make sure you leave a comment!

About Ty Williams

Community Content Manager & Blogger @ BlackBerry. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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