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A philanthropic spirit encompassed with an entrepreneurial mind, I am passionate about technology and the things technology can help people to achieve.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Solution: Issues of BBM Display Picture Not Updating/Changing


BlackBerry 4.6, 5, 6, 7 & 10
BlackBerry Software/BBM Application


There have been users reporting that their display pictures are not changing as viewed from their contacts. On own handheld it will be possible to put a new BBM display picture but an old picture remains on the contacts handheld. The following solutions had been proposed albeit without resolving the problem:

  • Battery pull for 2 minutes.
  • Handheld software reinstall
  • Security Wipe on the handheld
  • Removing contact and re-adding the contact to BBM


This could be emanating from device switch, replacement of a BlackBerry phone with a new one, running concurrent sessions of BBM on two handhelds using one BlackBerry ID.

In my case I had BlackBerry Curve 8520 and replaced it with the BlackBerry Q10. After doing the device switch all data was moved to the Q10 with no problem. After sometime I noticed the display picture on the Q10 was not changing as viewed from my BlackBerry Z10. After trying out a few fixes the problem did not resolve, I was sceptical of doing the Security Wipe & software reinstall on the Q10 as data might be lost, after all this was just a display picture issue which didn’t really hinder functionality on handheld except that sometimes you want to show off or inform your contacts using the display picture to put the message across. Can imagine an engaged woman who puts a picture of her finger with a ring only to be told by the friends we are seeing an old picture on their contact list.

I realised that I had used to BlackBerry Curve via WIFI after doing a device switch, I had activated BBM/Email during that instance so it was one BlackBerry ID connected to 2 devices. On checking the Curve 8520 I realised the display picture on it was the one my contacts on the Q10 were stuck with and unable to see the changes done from the Q10.

  • I took my Curve 8520 from where I had stored it, then did a SecurityWipe (I no longer used it and the data was moved to the Q10 already).
  • After doing the security wipe, I checked and my Z10 was still showing the old Display picture on the Q10.
  • I them removed the current display picture on the Q10, and instantly the display picture as viewed from the Z10 went to blank/no picture.
  • I put another picture on the Q10 and it was updated on the Z10.
  • So if you do this procedure and the picture seems not to change, don’t worry, after you put a new picture or remove and put it back this should resolve.

How to Prevent This Happening

We all know the adage, prevention is better than cure! Now to avoid having this problem recurring or happening the following must be done:
  1. If you get a new BlackBerry and give the old one to a friend, cousin, child et al, do a security wipe first. If you give them as is, your BlackBerry ID remains attached to the phone, when they begin to use it BBM will restore on your BlackBerry ID can cause the problem.
  2. If you are to use your old handheld after doing a switch, make sure you do not link it with your BlackBerry ID or you can create a new BlackBerry ID and link it so that there are no 2 devices sharing one ID.
  3. If you lost your phone, make use of BlackBerry Protect so that you can do a remote wipe.

NB: If the proposed solution failed to work in your instance, comment below so we can continue to explore if there is another cause.


  1. I am using android and my BBM display picture is not changing! There has been given an option of 'Sample Picture' and 'Picture'.. On choosing one of those Sample Pictures, it is changing but on choosing my desired Picture it is not!
    What is the solution to this problem?

    1. Hi Anusha,

      This is an error that was noted with Android devices, BlackBerry is working on a solution.

    2. So is there any solution for android devices?

  2. I'm still using my old bb but it has refused to change dp in about 2 months despite removing the battery.

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  7. Why not take a look at my blog about how to create an Android app that displays an Image in an ImageView control of the main Activity at the full width of the screen.

    The app uses the following Android SDK objects:

    . ImageView
    . LinearLayout
    . Bitmap
    . Activity
    . XML layout
    . LayoutParams
    . Display

    . layout_width
    . layout_height
    . orientation
    . id
    . vertical
    . match_parent

    XML attributes and values are covered.

    Click the link BELOW! to see