BlackBerry Curve Text Messaging Guide

Written by:  Shawn Drew • Edited by: Simon Hill
Updated May 20, 2011
• Related Guides: Blackberry | Sms Messages | Blackberry Curve

An overview of the process of sending and receiving text messages on a BlackBerry Curve. The article discusses the basic features like replying and forwarding, as well as some more advance topics like keyboard shortcuts, options and troubleshooting.


Your BlackBerry Curve can take pictures, retrieve email, play music or movies, and access the web. With all of the powerful features clogging the interface, the simple act of sending and receiving text messages can sometimes be confusing. This guide will touch on all of the basics of text messaging, like sending, replying and forwarding text messages, as well as some advanced features.

Sending an SMS Message

Compose a Message Sending an SMS text message is one of the most basic things you can do on your BlackBerry. Like all BlackBerry messaging options, the command to compose a text message is located in the messaging program.

1. Scroll to the “Applications" icon and press the trackball. Move the cursor to the “Messaging" icon and press the trackball to access the messaging system.

2. Press the BlackBerry key, located just to the left of the trackball. Scroll to “Compose SMS Text" and press the trackball.

3. Choose a name from your contacts, or choose “Use Once" if the recipient of the message is not in your address book. If you choose “Use Once" you will have to enter in a phone number or email to continue.

4. Type your message on the BlackBerry keyboard.

5. If you want to send the message to multiple people, press the BlackBerry key and choose “Add Recipient" from the menu.

6. Click on the BlackBerry key and choose “Send" from the menu. Your message will now be sent.

Saving, Replying and Deleting Messages

When you receive a text message, an envelope icon will show up on the BlackBerry main screen and the message will be listed in the “Messaging" application. When you are done reading the message, you can choose to save, reply or delete it.

1. Click on the BlackBerry key while the message is open to bring up the menu.

2. Choose “Save" from the menu to move the message to your “Saved Messages" folder. Choose “Delete" to erase the message from your BlackBerry.

3. Choose “Reply" or “Reply to all" from the menu to bring up a text box where you can type your response and then send it normally.

Forwarding Messages

After you read a message you can choose to send that message to other people, a process called forwarding. Your BlackBerry Curve can change the message type, so that you can send it as an email, group message, MMS or BlackBerry Messenger message. So how do you forward a text message on the BlackBerry 8300?

1. Open the message and then press the BlackBerry key to bring up the menu.

2. Choose “Forward" to forward the message as an SMS message. Choose the recipient and the message will be sent.

3. Choose “Forward As" to change the message type. Scroll through a list of the possible message types, then choose the recipients and the message will be sent.

Using the Search Function

Search Function The BlackBerry Curve offers a search feature that can search and filter messages so that you can more easily find what you are looking for. To filter messages from just one person, highlight a message from that person in your message list and press the BlackBerry key. Choose “Search Sender" from the menu and only messages received from that sender will show up in a list.

For a more advanced search, press the BlackBerry key while in the message list and choose “Search" from the menu. Type the word or name that you want to search for in the “Name," “Subject" or “Message" fields, depending on where you want to search for the term. You can also scroll down to narrow the search to only certain types of messages or in only certain folders. Press the BlackBerry key and choose “Search" to start the search. A list of messages that match your search terms will appear.

Changing the Options

Message Options You can customize the way that your BlackBerry Curve displays messages by accessing and changing the message application options. Press the BlackBerry key while in the message list and select “Options" from the menu. Select “General Options" to get a list of the options that you can change. You can choose to display the name attached to the message, or the time it was sent. You can also decide to change the order that this information appears. You can hide saved or sent messages and even choose how the messages should be separated on the screen, by lines or colors. Below the display options, you can make some changes to certain actions that you can take, like having the BlackBerry ask for confirmation before deleting a message. On the last line you can set how long the BlackBerry will keep messages.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

If you don’t feel like dealing with the trackball and BlackBerry key, there are several keyboard shortcuts that can make your life easier.

1. You can reply to a message with “R" and forward a message with “F."

2. You can only view received messages with “Alt-I" and you can view only sent messages with “Alt-O". At any time you can go back to viewing all your messages by pressing the Escape key, located just to the right of the trackball.

3. You can easily move between days by pressing “N" and “P" in the message list. You can also jump right to the next unopened message by pressing “U."

4. There are a number of other keyboard commands, so check your manual for a full list.


SMS text messaging is pretty cut and dry, either its working or something is seriously wrong. I’ll go over a few issues and some simple fixes, but if the fixes don’t work you should take the Curve in for service. Remember that the BlackBerry runs on complicated software and it is fairly common for issues to arise. For any issue that arises on the BlackBerry Curve, taking out the battery and then replacing it should be your first step.

Can’t Send or Receive Messages:

Make sure that your BlackBerry has a signal, and a data connection. The letters next to the antenna (1XEV or EDGE) will be capitalized if you have data service. If the letters are lower case, you can pull the battery, wait 30 seconds, then put it back in. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to call technical support, so they can look at the issue on their end.

Messages are Erasing Themselves:

This is more a problem for the BlackBerry Pearl than the Curve, but if your BlackBerry starts to run out of memory, it will delete non-saved messages to conserve space. Go into “Options" and the “Status." If number after “File Free" is under 15 million, you probably need to delete some applications, or move things to a memory card. Running out of memory will also have other signs, like sluggish response times for applications. Before erasing anything, you may want to consider removing and replacing the battery, since it will free up some memory if you haven't done that in a long time.

An SMS Message is Cut Off in the Middle:

SMS messages can only be 160 characters long, so if a message is longer than that, the BlackBerry breaks it into pieces before it sends the message. Wait for a few minutes and the rest of the message should show up.

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