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Troubleshooting BlackBerry PlayBook Bridge Issues – Fix Coming

BlackBerry PlayBook Bridge

Last week I confirmed with a contact at RIM that there are some reported issues for certain users trying to pair their BlackBerry PlayBook with their BlackBerry phone. RIM has confirmed this in a knowledge base article published today along with providing a pretty comprehensive resolution or workaround option that attempts to resolve a few issues. My contact told me this may be related to certain BlackBerry smartphone OS builds so you may want to also try upgrading your OS if all else fails. RIM’s publication claims the issue is only related to OS 6.0 devices so let us know if you are experiencing issues with OS 5.0 devices.

Here is how RIM describes the issue and workaround:

When attempting to pair (manually or automatically) a BlackBerry® smartphone with the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, one of the following errors is displayed:

On the BlackBerry® tablet

"Unable to connect BlackBerry® Bridge with BlackBerry smartphone. Please ensure you have BlackBerry Bridge installed on your device and turned on"


“Unable to pair with playbook. Try again”


“Failed to pair with BlackBerry model

On the BlackBerry smartphone

“Unable to pair with PlayBook. Try again” – BlackBerry device


  • BlackBerry® smartphones running BlackBerry 6 OS
  • BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet
  • BlackBerry® Bridge


This is a previously reported issue that is being investigated by our development team. No resolution time frame is currently available.


Delete the paired device on the BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.  Attempt to pair again using BlackBerry Bridge.

Step 1: Disconnect from BlackBerry Bridge and delete the paired device from the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet:

1. Select the Options icon from the top right corner of the main screen.
2. Select the BlackBerry Bridge item from the left side.
3. Select the Disconnect button from the bottom right side.
4. Select the Bluetooth® menu item from the left side menu from within the Options.
5. Select the Pencil button.
6. Click the Trash icon beside the paired BlackBerry smartphone.

Step 2: Delete a paired Bluetooth enable device

To perform this task, you must first disconnect your BlackBerry device from the Bluetooth enabled device.

1. On the Home screen, click the connections area at the top of the screen, or click the Manage Connections icon.
2. Click Bluetooth Connections.
3. Highlight a paired Bluetooth enabled device.
4. Press the Menu key > Delete Device.

Step 3: Uncheck all Bluetooth Message Services on the BlackBerry device

1. On the BlackBerry device home screen, Click on Options > Network and Connections > Bluetooth Connections
2. Click the Menu key and select MAP Options
3. Uncheck all Email addresses under Message Services
4. Save and exit

Step 4: Remove unused Serial Port Profiles (PlayBook uses the Data Transfer Serial Port Profile)

  1. Open Bluetooth Connections from Manage Connections icon in home screen.
  2. Click the Menu key and select Options
  3. Uncheck unused Serial Port Profile entries except Data Transfer (Desktop Connectivity, SIM Access Profile, Wireless Bypass) 
  4. Save and Exit

Step 5: Restart the BlackBery smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

1.  Perform a hard reset on the BlackBerry device, KB02141
2.  Perform a hard reset on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, by holding the Power button for 10 seconds

Step 6: Connect your tablet and smartphone using BlackBerry Bridge

To connect your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to your BlackBerry smartphone, you need to install the BlackBerry Bridge app on your smartphone.  You can download it from the BlackBerry App World storefront.

1. On your tablet home screen, on the status bar, tab Options icon and select BlackBerry Bridge
2. Tap Setup > Continue
3. In the BlackBerry Bridge app on your smartphone, tap Add Device > Next
4. Point your smartphone camera at the barcode that appears on your tablet to scan the barcode

11 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. wish i had seen this article yesterday when I was helping my buddy setup his Playbook

  2. still doesn’t work for me and my torch..

    • Try unchecking map options and all the serial port from Bluetooth->options.

      Restart BB and go in Bridge APP and toggle from OFF to ON.
      Now scan.

  3. I solved the problem by following this steps:

    – Remove paired devices from your smartphone and from the PlayBook.
    – Remove all the service books.
    – And perform a hard reset on your BlackBerry device

    I hope this can help you to solve the problem

    If you speak spanish take a look at this post:

  4. I called RIM with these steps because I had opened a case with them regarding this issue. The tech rep had no reference of any such steps and I only called to tell them that I had a fix so we could close the case. I also told them that I got the fix from one of my BBM friends. We all owe big props to @PlayBookPros on Twitter for getting to the bottom of this issue.

  5. Yes thanks it worked with my wife’s bold. So now we can both use the playbook to bridge.

  6. I am having this problem with an 8900 running OS 5, updated OS to current changed nothing. In fact, I did not have this problem at all until I updated the Playbook operating system. The initial setup worked great, but now with the update, it no longer functions.

    I have used the workaround to get the two linked, but find if I shut either off, I have to repeat the exercise all over again.

  7. I’ve noticed this problem occurs if my 9700 is turned off BEFORE the playbook is turned off. Provided the playbook is turned on or off while the 9700 is kept on, the problem does not occur. When the problem does occur, the best solution, I’ve found, is a hard restart for the 9700 then pair them up again. Not very satisfactory though – having to pull the battery out the back of your phone to get the playbook to work :( !!!

    • Thank you – I’ve spent the past 3 weeks battling this annoying issue, and your simple comment resolved my problem. I’d done everything but pull the battery out of the 9700, but having tried it, it worked.
      Another note, my 9700 runs OS 5.
      Hopefully an update will correct this in time.

  8. We gave up on the 8900 pairing. I swapped with the wife’s 9700 Bold on OS6 and the problem went away. Seems to be more an issue with some devices and not all, OS5 or OS6, so our results may not be typical.

  9. Well i have a better one …

    when you are on the screen that says that you should scan the barcode to have the devices paired using the BB Bridge, there is NO BARCODE displayed there .

    when i did the manual setup, the Playbook is connecting to the BB phone, that is: the BB phones comes up under bluetooth devices,

    but when using the bridge it is not “authenticating” …

    Any suggestions anyone?

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