Troubleshooting BlackBerry Camera Problems

Written by:  Shawn Drew • Edited by: Simon Hill
Published Jun 9, 2010
• Related Guides: Blackberry Devices | Blackberry

If your Blackberry camera won't open, or even if it is just acting strange, review these procedures for troubleshooting common Blackberry camera problems.

BlackBerry Camera

There is nothing more frustrating that reaching for your phone in order to take a picture, only to find that the camera is not working correctly or your BlackBerry camera won’t open at all. While BlackBerry cameras are generally pretty good, they can go bad from time to time. The camera issues can either be software or hardware related, so it’s normally best to try the software fixes before you start taking the phone apart.

The Obvious Fix

This may seem simple, but there is no reason to skip the simple stuff. If your pictures are coming out blurry or distorted, make sure that the camera window on the back of the phone is clear of dirt and debris. Use a dry cloth to clean off the lens and see if the camera quality improves.

Reset the Device

As a BlackBerry device operates, the software that runs the device can develop problems. These problems can exist in the working memory, meaning the phone needs to be reset, or the problems can exist in the stored memory of the application, meaning that the phone has to be wiped to resolve the issue. Back up your data first, you should be doing this regularly anyway, and try these two methods to resolve software issues with the BlackBerry camera.

1. Take off the back cover and pull the battery out of the BlackBerry. Wait for at least 30 seconds before returning the battery and turning the BlackBerry back on and checking the camera program.

2. Go into the “Security Options" and then the “General Settings" menus. For Operating Systems prior to 4.1, just go into “Security." Press the BlackBerry key and then select “Wipe handheld" from the menu. Type in the word “blackberry" when you are prompted to. If you don’t have your data backed up, you will lose it now, so stop before you type in “blackberry," and back up your data if you need it. The BlackBerry device will take a few minutes, sometimes up to 30, to erase all of its data. If the camera is still not working, then the issue is not with the software.

Hardware Solutions

If your BlackBerry camera won’t open and gives you an error like “Could not launch camera application," there are some hardware fixes that might work. This issue, along with the camera program freezing when you try to launch the camera, can often be fixed by re-seating the camera on the control board. The BlackBerry camera can become separated from its contacts on the board, either by popping out of its holder or if dirt and dust build up between the camera and the camera contacts on the BlackBerry control board. Before opening the phone up, try pushing down on the sides of the camera with a small screwdriver. Be careful that you don’t break anything, just try to push the camera back into place. If you hear a “click," you may have fixed the problem. If not, open up the phone to see if there is something you can do.

Each model of BlackBerry is opened up using different methods, so check online if you need step-by-step directions for your particular model. Most BlackBerry devices need a T4 and a T6 screwdriver to undo the screws and a flat head screwdriver to pry off plastic coverings. When you get the phone open, find the camera in a small metal box. The box has small metal brackets on the inside. Push these brackets out of the way to release the camera. Clean the bottom of the camera and the contacts in the box with isopropyl alcohol. Push the camera back into place and reassemble the phone. If the camera still does not work, the device should probably be taken in for service.

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