howto://delete BlackBerry Messenger from BlackBerry OS 5.0

blackberry_logo I know the title is a mouthful, but the monumental pain in the ass that is Blackberry Messenger makes it worthy of its own post.  To give you the background on this particular issue, I recently upgraded my Blackberry Tour to the latest OS 5.0 (from 4.7).  The upgrade went smoothly over the wireless network and other than taking a bit of time had no drawbacks.  With what I can see from my limited testing, the performance is snappier, the look of the OS is a little slicker and having Skype integrated into the Blackberry is a huge bonus.

You would think that with all the things RIM got right they were really taking a considered approach to their upgrades.  Then they try to jam something down your throat in a textbook case of "we don’t care what you want, you’ll use this".  The "SONY" approach (as I like to call it) doesn’t work with the modern consumer—unless you’re Apple—because we want the flexibility to use our equipment in any way we see fit, not as dictated to us by a large corporation.  This is where RIM stepped in the poop hard.  Let me explain.

BlackBerry Messenger

BB Messenger RIM’s take on instant messaging is their well known product BlackBerry Messenger.  Some people love it, some people hate it and others couldn’t be bothered (I fall into the 3rd camp). Like with any application, if you don’t want it, don’t use it.  You can simply uninstall the offending app and be on your way. This has been the standard course of action for quite some time.  Then the upgrade to OS 5.0 rolled around.

Now RIM has FORCED you to use the BlackBerry Messenger.  It automatically runs in the background (even if you "did not accept" the EULA), refuses to shut down at all AND—to add insult to injury—can no longer be deleted from the BlackBerry using the native Applications interface.  So not only is it constantly running, but there’s no way to kill it through the new OS.  Bravo RIM, good job!  That’s exactly what every customer wants, an application consuming resources regardless if you use it.

Thank god for Google because I would have chucked this damn BlackBerry out the window if it hadn’t shown me how to remove the disease.  Since what I found were forum posts and other odd bits, I’ll compile the steps here for your viewing pleasure.

How To Rip It Out

BBAppWorld_black_logo First you install BlackBerry App World.  Yes, I know this is counterintuitive to everything you know about removing an application.  The last time I had to install an app to remove an app is when it was spyware.  Hmmm… makes you wonder.  If you already have BlackBerry App World installed then you’re ahead of the game.

Next, open BlackBerry App World.  Scroll over to the magnifying glass icon and select it.  This takes you to the search box.  In another burst of genius by RIM, if you were to type in Blackberry Messenger it would NOT bring up that app.  Instead you have to type in Messenger to get it listed.

Once you see it, scroll down to the app and click it.  This should take you to another screen where you can install the app.  Select YES when the OS asks you if you want to replace the current version.  Go through the normal install process which will involve a reboot of the entire phone.

When your phone comes back up go to the Applications menu (Options—>Applications).  Select the Add-On portion from the drop down and you’ll now see the Messenger app.  Highlight Messenger, click, and then select DELETE.  You’ll go through the normal deletion process (which involves another reboot) and you’re done.  Not the most elegant of solutions, but the only one currently available.

For People Who Like Numbered Lists

Here are the same instructions for the anal retentive:

  1. Install BlackBerry App World (if you don’t have it already)
  2. Open BlackBerry App World
  3. Select and click the magnifying glass icon
  4. Type in MESSENGER
  5. Select and click BlackBerry Messenger
  6. Click INSTALL
  7. Select YES  to replacing the current version
  8. Reboot the phone when prompted
  9. Go to the Applications menu (Options—>Applications)
  10. Select Add-On from the drop down list
  11. Select and click BlackBerry Messenger
  12. Click DELETE
  13. Reboot the phone when prompted

Since this post is all about doing things how we want to, I thought the following video would be wonderfully appropriate.

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How have you tweaked technology in YOUR WAY?  Are company’s forced options pissing you off as much as they do me?  Vent a little in the comments.