Transfer SMS from Blackberry to Android

This started out as a personal project to try and understand the IPD file format used by RIM when backing up their devices, but I ended up developing a simple application that may be useful to someone. As input it takes a backup of a Blackberry device as generated by the “Blackberry Desktop Software” and exports the SMS messages to a format that can be used by the popular SMS Backup & Restore Android application. The program is named “Blackberry 2 Droid”.

If there’s enough interest, I’ll look at doing this in reverse – But at the moment I think more people are moving away from Blackberry than to it.

Like this site on Facebook If you find this useful, please support me by liking this site on Facebook. Many thanks, Dave

Read more about Blackberry2Droid and download the latest version for free.

Published by

Dave Hope

Dave works in IT for a leading UK based retirement developer, in his spare time he enjoys tinkering with technology and rock climbing.

99 thoughts on “Transfer SMS from Blackberry to Android”

  1. Hey, I would be interested in doing the reverse! Lol. My Android was stolen, but I had SMS backups and a friend has lent me a BlackBerry for a while. I trying to get everything back in sync and restored. Contacts, Calendar are easy. SMS possible?

    1. Hi! Can I ask how you made the calendar transfer? I’m currently looking for a way to transfer blackberry calendar events to my android. Many thanks! 🙂

  2. i used the app it created the file but how do i move the file from my computer to my phone? so that sms backup restore actually finds the file, i have saved it everywhere but theres no way directly to save it where sms backup reads the file, i have a samsung galaxy s2

    1. Connect the phone via USB and transfer it to there, then browse to it in SMS Backup & Restore. Your phone should appear as a USB drive in “My Computer”.

  3. Hi there, Tried to use the app after using BlackBerry Desktop Manager .BBB file that contains about 20k messages.. An error comes up that says “Could not locate any SMS messages” & Exception of Type ‘System.OutOfMemoryExcecption’ was thrown. Any ideas?? Thanks!

    1. As soon as I click on Convert after selecting the .bbb file, the Blackberry2Droid application says it could not locate any SMS messages in this file. Then it throws an exception System.OutofMemoryException. There are 172 messages in the bbb file because I converted the same into CSV and I can see all the messages in excel.

      1. Sorry you’re having problems, it sounds like the application is running out of memory when it tries to read your backup file for some reason. Would you be willing to send me the BBB file so that I can see if there’s anything In your backup that might be causing it?

        1. I figured out the problem. Blackberry Desktop v6x or v5x needs to be used for backup, with the latest version, all backups end in error. When I downgraded to v5 or v6, it worked beautifully.

          Thanks! Hope this will help others as well.

          PS: Another helpful app to view bb data after backup by v5x or v6x is IpdDump 0.3 RC4

  4. I use a program called VeryAndroid SMS Backup. It is a smart Android SMS transfer software that can transfer SMS from iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia and Windows Mobile to Android. Works fine for me. So I recommend it here.

  5. As soon as I click on Convert after selecting the .bbb file, the Blackberry2Droid application says it could not locate any SMS messages in this file. Then it throws an exception System.OutofMemoryException. There are 172 messages in the bbb file because I converted the same into CSV and I can see all the messages in excel.

    1. Sorry you’re having problems, it sounds like the application is running out of memory when it tries to read your backup file for some reason. Would you be willing to send me the BBB file so that I can see if there’s anything In your backup that might be causing it?

  6. Hi Dave, could you please make tool for transfering call logs from blackberry to android as well…
    I use SMSBackup+ to backup my call logs and SMS to Gmail, unfortunately BB doesn’t have this kind off app (there are few apps, but the way they work is not as good SMSBackup+). So please consider… we can use Ritesh’s Call Backup & Restore to load the converted file to Android.

    1. By the way, I just found few bugs… tried both IPD and BBB backup files… the bugs are:
      1. The sender and receiver got switched. example: original message was you said “hi” and I said “whats up”… when the message converted and restored on Android, it will become me said “hi” and you said “whats up”.

      2. The time stamp was all wrong.. I dont know whether this is the fault in the program or its the way BB store time stamp on SMS.. anyway, when I restored the message on Android, usually there’s 6-12 hours gap between the original timestamp and the converted one. I also check the XML file, the gap already there, so it’s not SMS Backup & Restore fault. And I also already set the date, time, and time zone of both phones manually and identically (to avoid wrong time stamp due to automatic time update by network).

      Can you fix this please on the next release? 🙂

      1. Hi,

        I can certainly look into the first issue you’ve reported – It should be very easy to reproduce.

        As for the second, I believe the timestamp is correct – I’ll look into if there’s any way I can restore the timezone information with the messages.


          1. Hi Dev,

            Unfortunately I’ve not had much time as I’ve been working on other projects recently. I’ll take a look at the first issue you raised tonight and e-mail you a link to a private build you can try if that’s OK?



          2. Good afternoon!  Thanks so much for creating this converter.  I’m having the same issues Dev is having — the senders are switched and the timestamp is way off.  Any guidance you could offer would be very much appreciated.

          3. Hey Dave
            First of all, thanks for putting this tool together. It works quickly, and the instructions are clear!
            I also had the same bug that the two users above described. The sender/recipient are switched, and the time stamp on many messages are off by about 12 hours. I understand that there are probably a lot of things that you’re doing, but I was just wondering if you had a chance to take a look at this. Thanks!

          4. Hi Rohit,

            I’m still waiting on someone sending me a backup that exhibits this problem – and an example of what it SHOULD look like. If you could e-mail me a backup, and an example of the sender issue and what it should look like I can fix it asap


          5. The new build, alpha 1 version (not yet released), corrected the “switched sender-receiver”. As for the timestamp problems, Dave already sent me 3 alpha builds, but none of them fix this issues. I assume the real problem is on the BB OS itself, like the timezone setting reset to 0 while the clock “still correct” making the user unaware of “the reset”, and thus making the timestamps incorrect when converted. I can’t go into details, but I’ve tested lots of scenarios with 3 different alpha builds provided by Dave himself and the incorrect timestamp only happens if the BB has different timezone than the Android when the SMS sent/received. 

            Example: SMS received on our BB at 1AM with BB timezone set to GMT+7. But unknown to us, BB reset the GMT to 0 while the clock still point at 1AM thus making the timestamp wrong since the beginning. Then we convert this SMS and restore it on Android with GMT+7 resulting the SMS has a way-off timestamp.

            The funny thing is, if we backup the SMS, factory reset the BB, and restore them using BB Desktop Software, the BB device can show the correct original timestamp (even with the timezone reset bug issue). So the way BB OS stores data of SMS must’ve been very different than Android.

          6. Thanks Dev,

            If one more person can provide me with a backup demonstrating the switch sender/receiver I’ll gladly release a fix for that.

            I have an idea of the timezone issue, and how we can potentially address it but need some more samples to be sure.

            If anyone can send me their backup file, with SMS messages in, I’ll treat it in the up-most confidence and should be able to get these problems resolved.

  7. Sir, do you have an App doing the reverse of this?  Would need that.. I’m trying to transfer my SMS backup file from android to my Blackberry curve..

  8. hello, I’m getting an output buffer error:

    System.ArgumentException: The output char buffer is too small to contain the decoded characters, encoding ‘Unicode (UTF-8)’ fallback ‘System.Text.DecoderReplacementFallback’.
    Parameter name: chars
       at System.Text.Encoding.ThrowCharsOverflow()

    anyway to increase the buffer?

    1. That’s an odd error. Not something I’d have expected to see. What languages are your test messages written in? – Do they have any unicode characters in them?

      1. As far as I know, not. but there may be some international texts that I had received while traveling from friends. Not sure if the encoding is different in those.

      2. hi im getting the same message – except mine ends at parameter name:chars.

        im not sure of what to do. all my sms are in english.

  9. Love you, Dave…I have to try to sync Contacts & SMS from BB to Android.

    It takes me days to do this.

    Just want to share with all people here:

    1. Connect BB & Android by Bluetooth

    2. Change Option in BB of Address Book Transfer = All Entries

    3. Transfer to Android (it names Phonebook.vcf)

    4. Go to Android Contacts to import, if OK -> finished, if not, go to 5.

    5. If can’t import contacts, go to Gmail, import this vcf to Gmail Contacts

    6. Then open Contacts in Android -> Accounts, choose your gmail acc & sync -> Finished.

  10. hi there.. which email do i use to send you the sms file? i’m having the reciever/sender swap issue as well

  11. absolutely fantastic! thank you so much, couldnt find the storage folder myself so just put it in my documents and worked perfectly! thank you so much!

  12. I’ve found a workaround for those with the sender/receiver swap, which happened with me transferring from BB 8520 to Nexus 4.

    If you look at the generated XML file using notepad, you should see type=”1″ or type=”2″ within each entry. Swap those round using Replace All and hey presto!

    Fantastic program, Dave!

  13. HI..just downloaded blackberry2droid-1.0.2-alpha4 and tried to run it but my system shows up with this message – ” Blackberry2droid-1.0.2-alpha4.exe is not a valid Win32 application ” ….whats the problem ? if u can help…i need to transfer my sms from blackberry 9700 to my new samsung s2

      1. hi..thanks for replying, Yes message appears when i double-click to run it …. but i have following listed (installed )in my control panel program list :-
        Microsoft .Net framework 2.0 – SP2
        Microsoft .Net framework 3.0 – SP2
        Microsoft .Net framework 3.5 – SP1 and am having windows xp (professional ) SP3 – build- 2600 installed in my notebook.
        i am still unable to run this file..same message..
        Need your help..

          1. Hi..Dave….i uninstalled the last download…again downloaded the new version and disabled my anti virus for sometime and also uninstalled magicberry and one android software…..and it worked….i was able to run your file and transferred all my messages ( except few ) from blackberry to my new android phone. Thank you very much

  14. i almost fell into a depression because of loosing almost 3k sms.
    you saved my life.
    one very big THANK YOU!

  15. I’ve followed the instructions and copied the converted file to my Samsung S3 mini SD card but when I run SMSBackup it doesn’t find the file.

    1. You copied the saved .XML file across, right?

      You’ll need to place it on your storage card and then manually browse for it using “SMS Backup & Restore”.

        1. Install “SMS backup & Restore” from the google play store. Once installed, launch the application and click the “Restore” button. You will be prompted that it could not find any backup files, click the “Yes” button to search other folders.

          You will now be able to browse your device to find the file, in the top-right corner is a picture of a folder icon with an upwards arrow. Press it to go up a level as required.

          1. I get the message “No backup file exists!”
            But there are no further actions I can take from that point :-/

          2. Ahhh possibly not!
            Mine has the same name but a different icon.
            Will try that now thanks ever so much!!

          3. Seems to be working well now but the transferred message has a strange time stamp on it.

          4. In “SMS Backup & Restore” try going into “Preferences” and beneath the “Adjust Time Zone” heading tick the box next to “On Restore” then try restoring your messages.

  16. Awesome!!!! Dave…. No words…YOU ARE JUST GREAT!!!!!…. Really appropriate your hard-work and THANK YOU SO MUCH for making this FREE…. I don’t know how many hours I spend behind this…. Thanks Again!!! For your great heart…

    Let me know if you need any help from me anytime. I love to assist you!!!!! My ID:

  17. Hey! It says unhandled exception has occurred in your application and on clicking continue, nothing happens. Please tell me what to do…

  18. I did everything and when I look at the messages on my Samsung S4, all I see are my received SMS but my sent SMS are not there.

    1. I’d imagine they’re there, but all the sent message messages are first then received. This is indicative of a problem with “SMS Backup & Restore” not getting the time right. Make sure you’ve ticked the option in the app on the phone to automatically adjust time zone.

  19. Very nice app. First try didn’t work because i only backed up sms. You’d add it works with full backup (step 2 :Connect your Blackberry to your PC and create a —FULL backup— of your phone using the Blackberry Desktop Software)
    thx a lot

  20. Hi, like everyone else above, THANK YOU for this app! It’s the only one out there that works for what I need.

    However, I am having one small issue: some of my messages that contain quotes aren’t being parsed correctly. Here’s an example output from Blackberry2Droid:

    When the message is imported it reads as “I love it that I am now just” and the “PC” part is missing. I think it should be imported as

    body=”I love it that I am now just & quot;PC." 🙂 ”

    Will that fix the issue? Thanks again!

  21. Hi there, is it possible to transfer bbm conversation in curve 8250 to android’s bbm? I switch device from blackberry to android with the same blackberry id but my conversation is gone and I can’t find the chat history as well. I hope you can help me. Thanks.

  22. Thanks Dave for this beautiful converter. Due to this, I was able to transfer 514 SMS from Blackberry 9870 to HTC One X. Besides, this pretty much ends my affection for Blackberry, and I am happy about it.

  23. Hi Dave,

    An Excellent application you have made. It is very simple yet very powerful. Really appreciate your effort made to help. This was something I was looking for some time now. I have got the solution to my issue.

    It would also be very good if you could build in the a tool in Blackberry mobile itself for transfering messages directly from Blackberry mobile to android instead of using a PC. I mean a mobile to mobile transfer. You could incooperate tranfer of all and selected messages/for a particular date/s. That would also be really an excellent application. Also you could include the transfer of Tasks and memos in it

    Thank you so very much. Really appreciate it.


  24. Hi Dave… this is just too cool.. really appreciate you efforts here, it has saved a lot of us time and money.

    I wanted to know if there is a way to transfer MMS as well!

    best regards

    1. Hi Nitin,

      It’s certainly possible, it’d just mean working out the file format for MMS. Blackberrys store their data in a proprietary database format. I’m not interested in further development as I no longer have any Blackberry devices but if someone wants to carry it forward and has suitable .Net experience I’m happy to provide the code.

  25. Hi Dave….you made my day dear. I did lot of research on google but no luck…all tools were paid and even not performing the task well, but your tool is really awesome which has made this task very simple.

    Hats off bro 🙂

  26. Hi Dave… Thanks a lot dear, you made an easy tool to save my lot of time… Great Work Bro… 🙂

  27. You sir are a true genius! I’d tested many apps, be it freeware, cracked or paid (spent nearly 40 bucks on that), but finally only Blackberry2Droid worked, and, hell, it worked like charm.

    I might be a record-holder here, as I’ve sucessfully exported and converted nearly 17k SMS (lot of conversation with my gf mainly 😛 ). The only problem I faced was wrong time in most of the messages. I’ve hardly heard of the time stamp thing, so if you find some time, please send me an email and give some insight into how to understand and deal with this.

    Thank you very very much for your work!

  28. Hi Dave!

    Happy New Year!

    Blackberry 2 Droid… great little utility, especially in the last few weeks with the BB infrastructure shutdown globally.

    I’ve been in touch with Craig from Syntech Australia (who still make the SMS Backup and Restore utility BB2D feeds into) as I noticed a couple of thousand of my ~1million (!) SMS over 18 years were corrupted (blank after a certain point) on import. They did some diagnosis and found it’s because the messages contained unescaped quotation marks in the message body. Ironically around things like – the password for the switch is “….” which is the crucial information and what alerted me to it!

    They tracked this back to the BB2D output with me and wondered if it were possible to escape any “‘s found in SMS in the BB2D output.

    Obviously BB2D was last updated in 2013 so I can imagine it’s a long shot making contact, but I’m willing to offer Bordeaux red money or a cheese platter if there is a remote possibility you would touch / find the source for it.

    That said, understand if not as time and interests move on faster than some of us waved BlackBerries farewell, still very kind of you to keep it live on the site (it still works just fine if you keep the .ipd size down and was very helpful to me).

    Thank you!
    (tried to email as this was long, but couldn’t see a working email address on the site!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.