Expectations when encryption is enabled for a media card in a BlackBerry smartphone

Article ID: KB25484

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 11-19-2014


Product(s) Affected:

  • Porsche Design P'9983 smartphone from BlackBerry
  • BlackBerry Bold smartphones
  • BlackBerry Curve smartphones
  • BlackBerry Pearl smartphones
  • BlackBerry Storm smartphones
  • BlackBerry Style 9670
  • BlackBerry Torch smartphones
  • BlackBerry Tour 9630
  • BlackBerry Passport
  • BlackBerry Q5
  • BlackBerry Q10
  • BlackBerry Z3
  • BlackBerry Z10
  • BlackBerry Z30
  • Porsche Design P'9982 smartphone from BlackBerry
  • Porsche Design P’9981 smartphone from BlackBerry
  • BlackBerry smartphones

BlackBerry OS software:

When media card encryption is enabled on the BlackBerry smartphone the following occurs to the files on the media card:

  • Existing files already on the media card will not be encrypted unless they are renamed, modified or moved.
  • After media card encryption is enabled, files copied to the media card using mass storage mode will not be encrypted.
  • If the BlackBerry smartphone is security wiped and the encryption method was set to use the Device Key or Device Password & Device key, the BlackBerry smartphone will not be able to access the encrypted data on the media card.
  • After media card encryption is enabled, if the media card is moved to a different BlackBerry smartphone files can still be written to the card, however these will not be encrypted.
  • After media card encryption is enabled, if the media card is moved to a different BlackBerry OS smartphone, the password will be needed to access the existing files.

Note: The BlackBerry 10 smartphone does not support media card encryption that was enabled on a BlackBerry OS 7.1 or earlier smartphone. The contents of the media card must be decrypted on the BlackBerry OS smartphone before it can be read by a BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Note: Media Card Encryption can then be enabled on the BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

BlackBerry 10 OS:

The BlackBerry 10 smartphone will start to encrypt all of the data that resides on the inserted media card as soon as the Media Card Encryption setting is changed to On.

Once completely encrypted, the data can be accessed by using the any of following methods:

  • By opening the file Manager on the smartphone and browsing to the content
  • By using the appropriately associated app that has access to the media card data, for example:
    Docs to go app to open documents such as spreadsheet, or powerpoint documents.
  • By connecting the smartphone to a computer that has BlackBerry Link installed or has BlackBerry 10 smartphone drivers installed.
    Note: Data can then be added, copied or moved from the encrypted media card installed on the smartphone when using the computer that is connected to the smartphone.
  • By accessing mounted drives, or by accessing the UNC path of the device using the following address format \\169.254.x.x\

Note: Trying to access data from an encrypted memory card on the smartphone that has USB Mass Storage mode set to On or by removing the encrypted memory card from the device and inserting it into a card reader on the PC or another smartphone, will result in the inability to open the contents of the data successfully.
The files will be displayed showing the file name and type but will be unrecognizable when attempting to opening the file.

Note: There is no .rem file name extension added to file names that are encrypted by a BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

CollapseAdditional Information
KB12999 - How to encrypt files on an installed media card in the BlackBerry smartphone
KB11970 - How to configure an IT policy for encrypting files on a media card


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