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5 annoying BlackBerry Priv problems, and what to do about them

Simon Hill
BlackBerry posted its first fiscal 2017 quarter financials, and the numbers revealed the company lost a whopping $670 million during the quarter. Furthermore, device sales continue to decrease.

If you’re after a great physical keyboard on an Android phone, then the BlackBerry Priv is the obvious choice. There’s plenty to recommend it, but it’s not without its faults. We’ve been digging around in the forums to unearth the most commonly reported BlackBerry Priv problems, and then we’ve been digging deeper to try and get at the roots and find good ways to fix them, or, failing that, work around them.

Related: 5 of the best BlackBerry Priv cases and covers to keep your QWERTY phone safe

Click on an issue to jump to it:

First problem: Rapid battery drain and overheating

Problem: Rapid battery drain and overheating

A lot of BlackBerry Priv owners have been complaining about the battery life. The phone has a whopping 3,410mAh battery in it, so it really should be capable of making it through even the busiest of days. Sadly, there are reports of rapid battery drain and overheating, which are likely to be symptoms of the same problem.

Workarounds:

  • You might find that the problem is temporarily alleviated with a simple restart. Hold down the Power button and select Restart.
  • Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers and make sure Battery saver is on. It will reduce performance and background data when power is low to extend the battery a little.
  • You could also go to Settings > Display and reduce the brightness under Brightness level and the screen time out under Sleep.

Potential solutions:

  • Make sure that your OS and apps are fully up to date. Go to Settings > About phone > System updates and tap Check for update. Open the Play Store and tap Menu — represented by three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner — then My apps & games > Installed and Update all.
  • There’s a good chance that an app or game is causing the issue. If you notice issues specifically with a certain app, then go to Settings > Apps > All and find the app in question, then tap Force stop and Clear cache. If that doesn’t help, then try uninstalling and reinstalling it.
  • Some people have found that tweaking their cellular or mobile network settings helped. Go to Settings and choose More under Wireless & networks and then Cellular network > Preferred network type. Try changing the settings to see if it makes a difference. Some carriers lock these settings down, in which case you might not have the option to make any changes.
  • You can check if a third-party app is to blame by booting into safe mode. Press and hold the Power button and then tap and hold on Power off, then tap OK to reboot to safe mode. If you find the problem is resolved when in safe mode, then you can uninstall apps one-by-one until you find the culprit, or go straight for a factory reset and install selectively, testing to see if the problem returns after each app is installed.
  • Your final option is a factory reset. Make sure you backup everything precious and then go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone.

Next problem: Wi-Fi won’t connect, disconnects, or slow

Issue: Wi-Fi won’t connect, disconnects, or slow

A few people have had trouble with the BlackBerry Priv connecting to Wi-Fi networks. Some people have found that it frequently disconnects, or the connection slows down inexplicably. This is a common issue for smartphones and there are lots of things you can try.

Potential fixes:

  • Turn your BlackBerry Priv and your router off, and then turn them on again. This often works, but it’s rarely a permanent fix.
  • Go to Settings > Wi-Fi, long press on your troublesome router, then tap Forget network, and try setting it up from scratch.
  • If you’re connecting to 5GHz and there’s a 2.4GHz option, or vice versa, try switching to see if it makes a difference.
  • Use a free app like Wifi Analyzer to make sure that your channels aren’t too crowded. If you find that you’re using a busy channel, then try switching to a different one.
  • Check that the MAC filter on your router is off, or add your BlackBerry Priv MAC address. You should find it listed in Settings > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced.
  • Make sure that Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep is set to Always. You’ll find it in Settings > Wi-Fi > More > Advanced.
  • Make sure that your router firmware is up to date. Check with your ISP or manufacturer about updates.

Next problem: No SIM card error

Glitch: No SIM card error

There have been some reports of BlackBerry Priv owners getting error messages about the SIM card not being detected. This error seems to pop up intermittently, with no obvious reason, and it may disappear again just as randomly.

Potential solutions:

  • Check that the problem isn’t related to a case or something else pressing against the SIM card tray.
  • Make sure that your Priv is up to date via Settings > About phone > System updates > Check for update.
  • Hold down the Power button and tap Power off. Remove the SIM card tray using the SIM card tool or a paper clip. Make sure that there’s no dust or dirt in the port and check the metallic contacts on the SIM card. You can use a pencil eraser to gently clean your SIM card. Make sure it’s clean before you put it back in.
  • Ask your carrier for a new SIM card. It’s often free, but you should confirm this before you order one.
  • If you find the problem persists with a new SIM card, then you may have to ask for a replacement handset.

Next problem: SMS or MMS not working

Bug: SMS or MMS not working

If you’ve been having problems with sending or receiving SMS or MMS messages, you’re not the only one. A few people have reported recurring issues with text messages not sending properly or arriving late on the BlackBerry Priv.

Potential fixes:

  • Make sure that your OS and apps are fully up to date. Go to Settings > About phone > System updates and tap Check for update. Open the Play Store and tap Menu — represented by three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner — then My apps & games > Installed and Update all.
  • Check with your carrier about your APN settings and other details of your network. Take a look under Settings > Wireless & networks > More > Cellular network to confirm they’re correct.
  • Some people report success after a factory reset, but the problem may return. If you want to try it, then back up everything precious and go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset > Reset phone.

Next problem: Battery edge indicator not working

Problem: Battery edge indicator not working

The battery edge indicator is a strip of color on the right edge of the screen that’s supposed to show charging progress. It goes from red to yellow to green as the Priv charges up. Some people have found that it isn’t working properly for them.

Potential solutions:

  • Take a look in Settings > Display and make sure Battery Edge is turned on.
  • Go to Settings > Display and make sure that Ambient display is on.
  • Keep in mind that it’s designed to turn off when the room is dark, so as to avoid disturbing your sleep. Try putting it in a bright environment or shine a flashlight on it, just to test if that’s the problem.

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