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How To: Activate / Unlock Free Vendor Themes Free

I have to start off this post by saying that these instructions probably do not work for the 8130. With that said Rcbjr (AKA Richard ) has kindly allowed us to republish the great instructions he posted on on how to unlock vendor themes. Yes these are the same instructions we referenced before but readers keep on asking us how to unlock these themes so we decided to make it more readily available. Hopefully this will bring an end to the emails asking “What theme is that in the screenshot?”

Vendor themes are essentially the themes other carriers provide as the default for their BlackBerrys. For example, I have an AT&T phone but I personally use the theme developed for Vodaphone UK. The nice part about these themes are that they are free and are very high quality. The downside is that you have to reinstall the OS on your BlackBerry to get them to work. RIM restricts these extra themes from installing on your device based on which carrier you have. You can add them by reinstalling your Operating System on your BlackBerry and removing the restrictions. Keep in mind this process is a bit lengthy because reinstalling an OS on a BlackBerry can take upwards of 20 minutes.

If you do not know what vendor themes are available then wait an hour or two until I post up some screenshots of how they look. Keep in mind they do change from device to device with newer devices sporting cooler themes.

Screenshots of the unlockable vendor themes are now available at this link

Some sample pictures of available themes


Proceed at your own risk 🙂 These instructions have worked for us and we will gladly help you along… BUT we take no responsibility if your BlackBerry ends up FUBAR.

Instructions from Rcbjr:

Since the original instructions thread is getting extremely long and hard to read. I have created a straight line list of the steps required to activate hidden Vendor themes. As I can’t test this on the 8130 and there have been reports of errors being generated when the original instructions are followed, be careful about using this one on the 8130.
Here is the legend for the “Help Me!” screen:

  • A = HandHeld VendorID
  • B = Platform Version Number
  • C = Application Version Number
  • D = Release Package Number
  • E = HandHeld Device Model Number.
  1. Determine your Vendor ID and Operating System Version
    1. On your BB, Open the Help Me Screen, (Press and Hold the ALT key while typing EACE
    2. Record the Vendor Id, and Version informaton (Items marked A, B, C, and D in Figure 1)
      Figure 1.
  2. Connect your BB to your PC, open your Desktop Manager (DM), select Backup and Restore
  3. Select Backup and complete the process.
  4. Disconnect your BB from the PC, but be sure the backup has finished.
  5. Now Open the DM Help/Device Software Screen and verify that there is an entry in the list where B and C as indicated in figure 2 below, match B and C above (figure 1) and E matches your BB Device Type.
    Figure 2.

    1. If you don’t have a listing for your current device, or the listing in figure 2 is a lower version (B and C) than the one(s) from Figure 1., Download the appropriate file from the RIM Downloads pages, BlackBerry Desktop and Device Software Download Sites and install it by executing the downloaded file.
    2. The File to download should have a filename similar to this format,
      EM_PBr4.2.2_relD_PLB_AC_AT&T.exe , where E, B, C, and D match those shown in figures 1. and 2. There may be other items in your filename, just make sure the Device type and version numbers match.
  6. Use Windows Explorer to find the folder indicated in figure 3 below, again match B, C and E, to the ones above.
  7. Edit the file named blackberry.alx using a text editor to add your vendor code to the list of numbers following the themes your want. If you use Word or other wordprocessor program, be sure to save the file in text format after editing.
    • Figure 4 illustrates how to add the number. This particular example is the O2 320×240 device Today Theme. You want to add your Vendor ID (A) followed by the “|” character to the front of the list. It is not necessary to add to the list if it is already included.
  8. Again use Windows Explorer to find the folder containing the vendor.xml file.
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\AppLoader and delete or remove the file from the folder. It should be the last file in the list if it is sorted by filename ascending.
  9. Next, Return to Desktop manager and close the Help Page.
  10. Connect your BB to your desktop, once it is connected, if you have done everything listed above, Desktop Manager should let you know that updated versions for your BlackBerry X.x Core Applications are available.
  11. Click Update Now and complete the installation.

Note: if in the second to last step, you don’t get the warning, just proceed to open Application Loader and continue with the update.

And do be patient when the Blackberry is rebooting. It can take several minutes, up to 20 or more, depending so don’t panic.

Leave a comment if you have problems using this process or read up on the original post on PinStack.

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6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Has anyone gotten these instructions to work on a Pearl 8100? I can’t even seem to complete the first step. I’m clueless. HELP!

  2. This process has just worked fine on an O2 8120

  3. Peter that is great to hear. Let me know if all is well

  4. I did it and now have too many themes. How do I get rid of what I do not want?

  5. Michele,
    Try this free app:
    When you use the remove theme option it will ask you one by one which themes you want to remove.

  6. Works very well on my Curve 8320. Thanks man! You’re a BB Genius!

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