Replacing a USB Cable? Ensure it’s a Datasync Cable

DEVICES / 06.25.12 / bswanncanada

Having trouble connecting your BlackBerry® device to a computer? Able to charge but can’t sync? Here’s what may be happening.

Just last week I had a friend contact me asking for help because he was unable to get a connection between his BlackBerry smartphone and his computer to work. The device would charge when connected to the computer, but he could not get the BlackBerry® Desktop Software or his computer’s file system to recognize the device. This was stopping him from performing his weekly backup.

I quickly learned that he had lost the USB cable that came with his BlackBerry smartphone and he was using a replacement USB cable from his local electronics shop. He had been trying to figure out why it wouldn’t connect, even trying a second computer but ending up with the same result: it would charge but he could not transfer any data.

I then had to let him know that he had bought a charging cable, not a data cable. His first question was, “What’s the difference?”

When you buy a BlackBerry smartphone from an authorized dealer, in the packaging you will find a USB Datasync cable. A USB Datasync cable does two things: it allows you to charge your BlackBerry smartphone by plugging it into a USB port, but it also allows you to transfer data, such as pictures and music, between a computer and your BlackBerry smartphone.

What my friend had bought was a cable, but it was only a charging cable. This is why his computer was not recognizing his device as a BlackBerry smartphone. He went and dug the packaging for the USB cable out of the garbage and sure enough, it was a charging cable only.

Tip: Did you know that in addition to a USB Datasync cable, you can also connect your BlackBerry smartphone to a computer via Bluetooth®? To learn more, check out Ty’s post on Bluetooth Pairing your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

Once we had figured out why he could not backup his BlackBerry smartphone, his next question for me was, “How do I ensure I’m buying a Datasync cable?”

The best way to ensure you are getting the correct cable is to buy it from You can order a Micro USB BlackBerry Datasync & Charging Cable or a Mini USB BlackBerry Datasync & Charging Cable, depending on which USB connection type your BlackBerry smartphone has. A BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet requires a micro USB cable as do most BlackBerry smartphones, but not all, so check out the Getting Started Guide for your BlackBerry smartphone if you are not sure.

If you would like to buy one from a store, make sure you check the labeling on the package or speak to a staff member to ensure you are getting the correct item. Besides being called “Datasync” I’ve seen these called “Datalink” and “Data” cables.

Have a question or comment about using a Datasync USB cable? Leave a message below!

About bswanncanada