How to manage App Permissions with BlackBerry Z10

Blackberry Z10The BlackBerry Z10 launched on January 30th 2013, so given Blackberry is a mobile security leader, it seems only right that we take a look at the new security and privacy features. In this post I will be looking at how you control and manage your app permissions on BB10 (which has been built on the ever reliable QNX platform).

Those of you who don’t know much about QNX, should realize that it has been used in the industrial world for many years and is ever present in many luxury cars. QNX Neutrino RTOS (this is what powers the kernel space for the techies among us) powers many things from military and medical equipment to supporting Cisco Internet backbone core routers for the Internet we all know and love. Now you have some background on QNX, let us now take a closer look at how BB10 handles app permission management (this applies to both the Z10 and Q10 devices).

If you use an Android device, you may be familiar with the lack of management when it comes to installing an app but that app requires access to various personal content on your device. It’s impossible right now (unless you root your Android device) to install an app without agreeing to ALL the permission requests. BB10 on the Z10 on the other hand allows you to install an app even if you disable ALL the permission requests (see Bootnote). This does of course mean in some instances that the app may not provide some features like sending emails, uploading a photograph to Facebook or provide location-based content, but you do have complete flexibility to manage these permission settings in BB10. For privacy advocates, this should be welcome news indeed!

  • Swipe down from the top of the screen for the status/notification bar
  • Tap > Settings > Security and Privacy > Application Permissions
  • You should now see a drop down for Permissions and a list of apps below that are installed on your device

*You can also Tap the Settings icon which can be found on the 2nd screen. Firstly Tap > Permissions – the following permission details are shown:

  • All – this will list all apps regardless of which permission is used
  • Connect to BBM – this allows the app to connect to BBM. Chat or update your BBM profile without leaving the BBM connected app – this includes additional permissions for BBM Contact Invites and Profile Updates
  • Email and PIN Messages – Allows the app to access your email and PIN messages, including viewing, creating, sending and deleting them
  • Device Identifying Information – Allows this app to access device identifiers such as serial number and PIN
  • Internet – Allow the app to send and receive data. This could potentially be used to send your personal data to other services
  • Microphone – Allow the app to record sound through the microphone. This could potentially be used to monitor your conversations
  • Shared Files – Allow this app to access your pictures, music, documents and other files stored on your device, at a remote storage provider, on a media card or in the cloud
  • GPS Location – Allows this app to access your GPS location
  • Camera and Location – Allow the app to take pictures, record video and use the flash as well as allows this app to access your device’s current or saved locations

Next up, Tap an app – let us use the > Facebook app – you should now see this apps permission requests – Location and Shared Files. You can toggle these app permission details On or Off – turning a permission Off will not stop an app from running.

Update: Some apps have all the toggles greyed out. This is because these apps were ported over from Android and are using the Android runtime. Remember, only native BlackBerry BB10 apps allow you to toggle On/Off their respective permission settings.

Bootnote: Some apps, when you install the app, you are prompted to accept or decline all of the requested permissions. If you decline the prompt will appear again the first tim you open the app. You cannot change the application permissions later unless you delete and reinstall the app.

Safe surfing folks!

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54 Responses to How to manage App Permissions with BlackBerry Z10

  1. John says:

    I have noticed that some apps have gained permissions that I declined while installing them. I unchecked the boxes which asked to connect to bbm or location service, and later one app connected to bbm, and another app had the location service bar as on, on the permissions screen.
    As a company promising security this seems like a strong possible breach.

    • Julian says:

      #John# I have noticed permissions re-enabling themselves on some apps (without naming the apps). Right now, BlackBerry needs to look into permissions more closely, because not all native apps show up in permissions either.

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  3. Kevin says:

    I recently updated all of my apps and noticed that some permissions automatically changed after the update. My biggest concern is with Whatsapp, which after the update had enabled access to my shared files. I noticed it within less than 30 minutes and disabled the permission. But I don’t know if within that time they have already accessed my files.

  4. Gana says:

    I’m using a z3 and when an application got started for the first time it always ask for application permission. Unfortunately someone is toying around with the device, started almost all the applications and now I’m getting a bunch of applications listed in the application permission screen, i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Games, etc while I’m not really using the applications at the time. So I wanted to remove the application entries from the screen but so far with no avail. Already tried highlighting the application but cannot, hence the entry can’t be deleted or removed.

    Much appreciated if you can shed some light on how to do this since I want the applications to go back to its ‘unused’ state.

  5. Jasim says:

    I use a z10 os v10.2.1.2977
    I have installed a few android apps in my phone which require access to SD card for their full functioning. Isn’t it possible to toggle it’s permission ON so as to use them? apps like tube mate, without access to memory doesn’t work at all.
    please help

    • Julian says:

      #Jasim# It’s not possible to control Android app permissions. 🙁 This might change in future Android runtime builds for BB10. Note: Android 4.3 which will be included with BB 10.3 includes App Ops, so it’s possible BlackBerry will enable this function. This version is expected to roll out in the next few months.

  6. Alexandra says:

    hi there! i have a problem regarding my applications.i cant access my online application through mobile data. i already used sim cards that have LTE features but it doesn’t work, even stumble on the setting on my phone but still to no avail. my phone is Z10. what shall i do? please help? hope you might help me , thanks!!

    • Julian says:

      #Alexandra# Can you clarify what you mean when you say ‘can’t access my online application through mobile data’? Do you mean you can’t receive mobile data? If so, then I suggest you reset your APN. You can do this > Network and Connections > Mobile Network > Settings (sprocket icon) > Restore Settings (icon). This will restore the default APN settings. NOTE: Before you restore your APN settings write down the APN, User name, Password and Authentication Type (should always be PAP. If this doesn’t work, then you should call your carrier to reset your APN.

      • Alexandra says:

        I just cant receive and send data through mobile data, but still i’ll try your solution,,@Julian thanks for the help!!

  7. Allen says:

    I’m using BlackBerry z10. I have sideloaded snap and installed some android apps. But my Z10 blocks the Internet connection for those apps. If I open the app it says no Internet connectivity found. But i’ve already switched ON my data connection. Even the popular Viber app which I installed from BlackBerry World respond in the same way.kindly provide me a solution!!

  8. Nav says:

    I too have the same data connection is on..i get H+ but still the android apps installed on my BlackBerry z10 device gives a notification saying “no Internet connection available”.. my OS is BlackBerry OS

    • Julian says:

      #Nav# I confess that I don’t use the Android runtime on BB10 for security and privacy reasons. My suggestion would be to reboot and or re-install a recent backup copy of your working OS. Note to all readers: It’s very very important to make regular backups! 🙂

  9. Ben says:

    I can’t use my bb z10 camera. it says camera cannot be started and/or camera is in use. What do I do? Please help.

    • Julian says:

      #Ben# Have you rebooted your device? If you have and the camera still doesn’t work, I’d suggest either a new install or recovery from backup. Hopefully you make backups 🙂

  10. chintan says:

    Hi I have use in blackberry z10 some online game not run to mobile network only use wifi network how to problem slove…give rply soon

  11. haswath says:

    I am not able to use any data consuming apps in my z30 except whatsapp! Like the app says no Internet connection although the data was turned on! Please help!

    • Julian says:

      #haswath# Have you tried Wi-Fi connection only? If that doesn’t work (and you have mobile network issues) then you might have to wipe your device. Before you do that, you will need to make a backup.

  12. haswath says:

    #julian# I hope I didn’t make any change in settings related to that! But all other apps are working if it is connected to Wifi! And if I use mobile data instead if Wifi,it says no Internet connection, check your network settings!! So what is the solution for this!?

  13. Julian says:

    #haswath# My suggestion would be to make a backup and wipe the device. This should fix your issue.

  14. shadab says:

    how to backup BlackBerry z3

  15. ibson says:

    i have problem with my BBZ10 whenever i turn if off and on it again all my data will wiped up please find me solution

    • Julian says:

      #ibson# Wipe your BlackBerry Z10 and start again. You should make a backup of your device using BlackBerry Link before wiping (reset) your device. Settings > Security and Privacy > Security Wipe then enter “blackberry” to confirm you want to delete all your device data. If you have encrypted your media card, you will need to decrypt before you wipe your device, otherwise you will be unable to access your SD files.

  16. cam says:

    i have a z10 which allows me to only use apps such as(bbm,facebook,whatsapp etc) on wifi, when turning the wifi off im not able to use any of these apps even though i have data

    • Julian says:

      #cam# Have you exceeded your monthly data limit? If not, you might need to wiping (reset) your device. Settings > Security and Privacy > Security Wipe then enter “blackberry” to confirm you want to delete all your device data. If you have encrypted your media card, you will need to decrypt before you wipe your device, otherwise you will be unable to access your SD files. Before you do this, backup your device with BlackBerry Link.

  17. Femi says:

    I have a Z10 blackberry.. I downloaded a movie but due to network the movie can’t play.. I tried to delete the the movie but it’s telling me.. unable to delete file, permission denied.. I need help because I have lots on my download file

  18. Ziro says:

    Hi,i have bbz10 but cant run android apps.always saying data connection not found when my data is 100% on.please need a help

    • Abd-fattah says:

      Hi, Am having the same issue with z10. Downloaded a movies but unable to view or delete from file manager? Kindly advise

  19. Mishael says:

    I am unable to connect the app through mobile data connection but the same app is being connected through wifi network….need your help as well as suggestions…

    BlackBerry Z10 device

  20. aano says:

    I have problem in BBM Z10. My amazone appstore warning again and again to Change mobile data Limit or connet to wifi. I can’t connect to wifi becouse there is no wifi anywhere but mobile network is working well. …what should I do?

  21. wilson says:

    Hi, I’m using balckberry Z3 when I’m using facebook it just take all my data. Please help

  22. Devendar says:

    Had upgraded to OS update 10.3.1 on Z30. For one of the security applications, getting a message to enable package verifier. Any ideas how to do this? Same application was working fine in 10.2.1. Please suggest.

  23. eljado says:


    I have a probleme with one app on my phone it only opens when I use wifi dont want to open with out wifi plz hlp

  24. Sundar says:

    Hii julian brother The app permissions for the apk files is greyed.I can’t toogle between ON/OFF. It was greyed and I can’t do anything Iam using 10.2 OS plz help me

  25. helmut says:

    hi, am using a BlackBerry z10 but each time I want to upload my profile pic on WhatsApp or make WhatsApp call, it will display you are not connected to Internet network I deleted it in order to reinstall but now I can’t install beyond the point of phone number confirmation. My monthly data is still very much active. pls, what do I do?

    • Julian says:

      #helmut# WhatsApp running on BB10 is reliant on the Android Jelly Bean 4.3 runtime. Have you tried any other messenger Apps to eliminate a device issue? I’ve checked Known Issues on the BlackBerry developer site for the Android 4.3 runtime and BlackBerry World for comments. Nothing indicates the problem you are experiencing.

  26. MB says:

    On my Blackberry Classic under Application Permissions it will not allow me to disable/deny access to my Shared Files with any apps except for Facebook. I have Googled this for a very long time now and I am at a loss for a solution. I strongly value my privacy. Please help if you can. Thank you.

  27. segun says:

    am using BlackBerry z3 and my twitter is giving me problem. if I want to log in it will write user over the limit for login. try again in an hour. have uninstall it and reinstall but is still the same. please help

  28. Dapo says:

    #julian# hello brother, need some help, I deleted instagram off my Z10 because it crashed a lot then tried to re-install it but now I just get an error message telling me i’ve got a newer version of instagram on my phone and i’ve got to delete it before I can install the one I’m trying to. The thing is though there isn’t any instagram on my phone..i’ve tried installing different versions but even the latest version gives me the same error message while I’m trying to install it. What can I do to fix this?

  29. Azad says:

    Hi i am using blackberry z10
    I want to know how to restrict wifi data for specific application

  30. Francis says:

    hi Julian, I use Z
    10.. I do receive photos and videos via whatsapp easily but the problem is I can’t send photos and videos through the same… everytime it says ‘failed try again’

  31. Alexander malekwa says:

    Am BlackBerry z10, am also experienced the same problem of sending images. Pliz Julian assist

  32. jo says:

    Can you help? I am using a blackberry passport with the Android version of WhatsApp as support for Blackberry WhatsApp is finishing. I am unable to send photos over this android WhatsApp

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  34. Adithya says:

    My Phone Is BlackBerry Z1O and Mine Allow Apps from Other sources to be Installed Is Not Turning On
    Help me And Showing It is Turned By Admin stator

  35. Calvin says:

    This concerns the Z30 OS 10.3.3; I have noticed that I cannot restrict the access to my files by some apps. Some how they have created code in their apps. that have greyed the on off permission switch, within the permissions area, so one cannot restrict access to their files. The one I’m concerned with is the Amazon App. Store application. What I have also found is that the app. cannot be removed from the O.S.; i.e. one cannot uninstall that app. This I find concerning and as others have said, how can a company; professes security, allow this app. to have such wide ranging access to ones files?
    My question is…how does one reactivate the toggle switch so it can be used to restrict the access to the files?
    Thank you


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