Blog Post

How-To: Transfer Files Between Your Blackberry & OS X Via Bluetooth

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!


I recently switched from my iPhone to a BlackBerry. A few weeks after the transition, I have discovered my likes and dislikes between phones, and by far the most frustrating difference is the “syncing with computer” feature. An iPhone is literally plug and play, whereas a BlackBerry requires tons of configuration, even for the simplest tasks.

Below I have roughly outlined how to send files between your BlackBerry and computer via Bluetooth.

Pair BlackBerry to your computer

  1. On your BlackBerry, turn on Bluetooth.
  2. From your manage connections menu on your BlackBerry select “Set up Bluetooth.”
  3. Click the menu button and select “Options.”
  4. Next to discoverable, select “Yes.”
  5. On your Mac, launch System Preferences (Applications ? System Preferences).
  6. Under the “Hardware” section click on the “Bluetooth” icon.
  7. Make sure Bluetooth is turned on. Click the “Set up New Device” icon in the middle of the Bluetooth window. (If you already have a device set up, click the plus arrow in the device column.)
  8. The setup wizard will pop up. Click “Continue” on the first pop-up window.
  9. On the “Select Device Type” window select “Mobile Phone.”
  10. Select your phone from the next screen and click continue.
  11. Your computer will prompt you with a PIN to enter into your BlackBerry. Enter the PIN into the BlackBerry device.
  12. If you entered the PIN correctly, your devices will be paired.
  13. Uncheck the “Access the Internet with your phone’s data connection” box.
  14. Your phone is now paired with your computer.

Turn on Bluetooth file-sharing on your Mac

  1. Launch System Preferences (Applications ? System Preferences).
  2. Under the “Internet & Network” section, click on the “Sharing” icon.
  3. In the “Services” column, select the checkbox next to “Bluetooth Sharing.”
  4. Leave everything as default. (You can change the preferences if you want, but I just left as the default.)
  5. Close System Preferences.

Send a file from your BlackBerry to your Mac

  1. Browse your BlackBerry’s media and find the file that you want to transfer.
  2. With the file selected, pull up your BlackBerry menu and select “Sending Using Bluetooth” from the BlackBerry menu.
  3. A pop-up will come up on your BlackBerry asking you to select a device. Select the paired computer you want to transfer the file to.
  4. A pop-up window will appear on your computer asking what you want to do. Accept the transfer, and the file will start transferring.

Send a file from your Mac to your BlackBerry

  1. Pull up your BlackBerry media browser on your device.
  2. Open the menu and select “Receive Using Bluetooth.”
  3. On your Mac, find the file you want to transfer and right-click on it.
  4. From the pop-up menu, select “More ? Send […] to Bluetooth Device” and select your phone from the pop out menu.
  5. Make sure you BlackBerry isn’t asleep. If you make a successful connection, you will get a pop-up on your BlackBerry asking what to do with the file. Select the location you want the file to save and and click “Save.” The file will begin to transfer. NOTE: I’ve had this fail a few times, but when I hit send again from my Mac computer it works; seems like second time is the charm. Making sure your BlackBerry is not asleep is also crucial.

18 Responses to “How-To: Transfer Files Between Your Blackberry & OS X Via Bluetooth”

  1. Barrett

    Jenny: Interesting that you moved from an iPhone to a BlackBerry. I’m seriously contemplating moving from a plain-Jane phone to a BB 8830 (via Boost Mobile), and I’ve been tracking down as much info as possible. The one thing that’s come across is that, while it’s possible to *connect* a Mac with a BB via Bluetooth, attempting to sync the two (iCal/Mail/Entourage/etc.) is another story, as RIM doesn’t yet “officially” support BT sync. There is a third-party application (Mark/Space’s Missing Sync), which seems to have good user feedback. The sync thing is a make-or-break issue for me, so if I make the jump from my current provider (the one that goes on about its Network), I’ll probably pop for Missing Sync as well.

    Oh, and a note to Dave: Seems only a short time ago that someone like you was wheezing about Macs having “only” 3% market share. Notice that the numbers are going *up*, and not down? Mind you, your beloved Redmond menace is hardly in danger of being toppled by Cupertino, so I suppose you can sleep tight, for what that’s worth. And Apple has its plate pretty full just supplying that ten-percent-and-growing “niche.” (Michael Dell ain’t laughing much anymore, for one thing.) So kindly untwist your boxers and enjoy the ride.

  2. macs dont get viruses because MAC is 10% of the market share. People who create viruses dont need to focus on the small group of socialite morons who use mac. MAC IS CRAP, the software is not compatible with most mainstream shit. the world is built on microsoft, and apple isn’t allowed to have it. so when all the mac-tards finally get a big enough market share to compete…then they will too get viruses, and spyware, and malware, etc. i dont have an antivirus running on my pc and i hardly ever get garbage files, except when i travel to not so talkable sites.

    • Brendan

      Hey Mike!

      It’s possible that your perspectives on Mac were viable prior to Apple making the switch to building their OS on top of *NIX or the adoption of Intel processors. However, I’ve not met a serious software engineer or web developer in the past three years who doesn’t use a Mac as their primary workstation, has a Mac at home, or is considering the purchase of a Mac.

      If your primary complaint was the price-point of the Mac or the fact that they are still orienting themselves to the Enterprise, I would consider your criticism.

      Frankly, it sounds like you haven’t picked up a Mac since 1990 and feel as though you are still an expert.

  3. Francisco

    Thank you so much, i was getting frustrated that i couldn’t transfer a file from my blackberry to my mac, and all i had to do was check the bluetooth sharing box! Thanks again your steps are very clear!

  4. I have been trying to use PocketMac to sync my address book to my Blackberry and it works the first time, but then when I try to sync it again, it freezes…any suggestions???

  5. The steps were very clearly laid out.

    Well done!

    Now, if only backing up my auto-text entries and syncing address book / calendar / tasks / memo pad entries were through Blue Tooth to Mac were as easily done!

    • Elliott

      Plug your phone in? That wouldn’t be using Bluetooth then smart-ass! That would be using a cable. Unlike most PC’s, Mac are the simplest of computers ever made without degrading the whole system. Try sending files with a PC to a flash drive or, here is a big one, try not catching viruses without an Anti-virus software program on your computer. A Mac doesn’t need that crap!! PC is crap, Mac is all that!