Just like a BlackBerry® smartphone, a BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet can be used as a USB mass storage device when connected to your PC or Mac Computer. This allows you to transfer files to and from the device and your computer.
Today I’ll show you how to do this using the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. If you have a BlackBerry smartphone, check out our previous blog post on using your BlackBerry smartphone as a USB mass storage device.
Before we begin, there are a few items to keep in mind. If you are not using the USB cable that was provided with the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, you’ll need to make sure that it’s a datasync cable. Check out our blog post Replacing a USB cable? Ensure it’s a datasync cable and follow the instructions for enabling file sharing with a Mac or PC using a USB connection.
The next item is a quick question: Have you connected your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to this computer before? If not, then you might not know that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet already carries the software or “drivers” required to connect to a Mac or PC computer on the device — simply plug it and follow the prompts. If you would like further guidance on this process, check out the knowledge base article How to transfer files to and from the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
Enabling File Sharing on your BlackBerry PlayBook
Provided you have installed the drivers as mentioned earlier, you will need to ensure that file sharing is enabled on your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. To do this, follow these steps:
1. On the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, tap the Gear icon on the home screen followed by “Storage and Sharing”
2. Set the File Sharing switch to “On”
- If you secure your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using a password, you will be prompted to enter it in order to enable File Sharing.
3. To ensure your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet files are secure, you will be asked to optionally set a file sharing password which will require the password to be entered on the computer before the tablet’s file system can be accessed. To enable Password Protection, simply toggle “Password Protect” to “On” and enter your desired password twice.
Using your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet as a USB mass storage device
Connecting the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet as a USB mass storage device to a PC
If auto detect is enabled on the computer, connecting the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using a USB cable will prompt the auto detect screen to appear after entering the File Sharing password (if enabled). You will then be able to access the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet file system and start copying files to and from your tablet.
If the auto detect screen doesn’t appear on your computer, navigate to “My Computer” on Windows XP or “Computer” if you are using later versions of Microsoft Windows.
In the My Computer screen, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will appear as “PlayBook [PIN:XXXXXXXX]” followed by the drive letter assigned to it, which could be displayed as “(Z:)” as per the example below.
Connecting the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet as a USB mass storage device to a Mac
After the initial connection to a Mac, the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will appear on the desktop as a share called “media”. If File Sharing Password Protection is enabled, you will need to enter this password first before being able to view the “media” share.
Double-click the media icon to open the file system of your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
Just like your computer’s file system, you can cut, copy and paste files and folders to and from the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. You can also create new or delete folders, but only from within the sub directories of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s file structure. By design, the main folders of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet are not meant to be modified, renamed or deleted.
Have a question or comment about using your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet as a USB mass storage device? Leave a comment below!