FAQ: What Device Data & Settings are Automatically Backed Up by your BES?

One of my favorite features on a BES is the fact that all of your BlackBerrys settings are backed up automatically. Your BES administrator could turn this off but most have it on. This means that if you lose your device or break it you can easily switch over to a new device. Everything from your browser bookmarks to your theme icon positions are saved and are automatically restored when you reactivate on the BES.

I always knew that the BES was backing up quite a bit but I did not know exactly what I could count on it to backup. For example, my BES is not backing up my saved messages or SMS. Your BES administrator has the ability to backup SMS and PIN messages but companies only really enable that if they are required for compliance purposes.

RIM recently provided this useful knowledge base article detailing what is included in the automatic backup. This way you know what is safe and what is not. Keep in mind this does not include calendar, notes, & tasks which are already stored on your Exchange or Lotus Notes server.

NOTE: Many BES implementations do not repopulate your device with your previous email after you reactivate. BES administrators have the option to repopulate up to 14 days (I think) of your BES email but not all have that enabled.

Automatic wireless backup allows settings and data that are not already stored in the mail system to be backed up. The following information is backed up:

Application Settings
BlackBerry® Browser
  • Bookmarks   
  • Folders
  • Channels  
  • Browser options
BlackBerry smartphone options
  • AutoText entries   
  • Font settings
  • Help options
  • Default service selector  
  • Profiles
  • BlackBerry device agent  
  • Home screen display options
  • Firewall options   
  • Wireless Application Protocol push options
  • Attachment viewer options  
  • Searches
  • Filters    
  • Settings
  • Message list options
  • Recently called list   
  • Phone options
  • Phone call logs
Personal information Management (PIM)
  • Address book options  
  • MemoPad options
  • Calendar options   
  • Task list options
  • Categories

On BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 4.1 and later, the following information under information technology (IT) Policy settings is also backed up:

  • personal identification number (PIN) messages
  • Short Message Service (SMS) messages

The following two IT policies, found in the PIM Synchronization Policy Group, need to be set to False to enable these messages to back up:

Disable PIN Message Wireless Synchronization
Disable SMS Message Wireless Synchronization

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  1. What about Password Keeper data — that is backed up on mine

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