How do I remove a user from a BlackBerry phone so that the phone is still operable but that the personal information is no longer on the phone?

chadwillbe used Ask the Experts™
I have a client that has Exchange 2003, a Blackberry Enterprise Server Express (BESx).  We deployed the phone to a user and we confirmed that all his contacts, email, calendar sync'd with BESx/Exchange just fine.  We now need to remove the user and all of his contacts, emails, calendar, etc. from the phone and deploy that phone to an other employee that does not have a Exchange user account.  How do we allow this new user to use this device as a phone and ensure that all the previous email, contacts, etc. are not on it?

Specifically, if the the "Delete this user" option in the BESx is employed, will it only delete the user out of BESx and leave all the information on the phone and simply not receive future connections from that phone? Or, will it delete the user from BESx AND remove the existing email, contacts, etc. from the handset?  If it does the latter, will it render the phone useless as a phone or will it go back to being a normal phone?

Basically, I want to 'wipe' the phone but not 'brick it'.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
You should be able to wipe the phone using the BB wipe tool. On the BB under options, advanced options, there is a security item. There should be a wipe option in there.

Wiping removes everything (mail, contacts, notes, etc.) from the device and puts it back in a 'factory default' state. This should not affect the phone operation at all. You'll just have to re-provision the next user in BES and Ent. Activate it again.
Iain MacMillanIT Regional Manager - UK
as Tniemetz said, you just use the Wipe option on the device, the menu varies depending on what OS you have.

On 4.5 & 4.6 and above, its under Options, Security Options, General Settings, and then click the BB button and choose Wipe Handheld from menu and then confirm by typing 'blackberry' and pressing Enter.  

This will render the handset perfectly usable as a phone and nothing else.  Before you do this, remove the user from the BES user list.

If there is a password set on the device, you can also enter the password wrong 10 times, and this will completely wipe the device for you.


Since the device has been on a BES, the handheld wipe will not remove the policy.  You need to assign a Policy to the device that has the Security policy "Restore to factory defaults" enabled and use the remote wipe feature from the BES.

This is only if your not going to add it to a BES and youno longer want the IT policy applied.  If you want to keep it, the handheld wipe is fine.

You don't have to do the remote wipe method to remove the IT policy. Simply run apploader.exe from the command prompt with the following switch: /resettofactory

So if you navigated to the folder which contains apploader, you'd type:

loader.exe /resettofactory

This both wipes the device and the IT policy as if the device were straight from the factory.


The situation in which I made this question is no longer applicable.  I no longer need the answer.  I was not able to try any of these proposed solutions so I cannot say which one was the answer.  I do not know how to award points for effort without accepting any of them as solutions.

Any sysop's be able to help me here?


Since my last post I was able to use the advice given so I will go ahead and award points. The other suggestions seem valid but I wasn't able to confirm.  Thanks!

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial