Aidan Fitzpatrick
Posted by Aidan Fitzpatrick,

Ever find yourself needing to recover emails, contacts, texts, or other data stored in your BlackBerry's IPD backup file?

Here's a short guide on how to extract the information stored in IPD backup files by BlackBerry Desktop Manager, using the BlackBerry Backup Extractor in four simple steps.

Step 1: download free BlackBerry Backup Extractor

First, download the free version of Reincubate's BlackBerry Backup Extractor.

Step 2: run the BlackBerry Backup Extractor

Next, open the zip file you downloaded, and run the "BlackBerryBackupExtractor.exe" file contained inside it.

Step 3: open your IPD backup file

Click the “Open backup...” button to load your IPD backup file into the software. You'll see that the BlackBerry Backup Extractor automatically knows where to look for your files, so you should see your IPD files presented straightaway.

Your computer doesn't need to have a copy of BlackBerry Desktop Manager to use the BlackBerry Backup Extractor: it is possible to open an IPD file from a Flash drive, email download, or even another computer.

Step 4: choose where to extract your data

Once the backup has been opened, you'll see the extractor reports on how much of the backup it has read, and how many databases of information it has found.

Now, let's take a look at the data you've recovered. You will see something like this:

See how it managed to extract all of the data in less than a second? You should see the following types of extracted file available:

Sent and received emails, and saved email drafts

Your BlackBerry's emails will be extracted in “.eml” format, which can be easily read by Microsoft Outlook and a number of other email clients. Note that the BlackBerry Desktop Manager will rarely save email attachments in its IPD backups. This means the extractor will rarely recover them.

Contacts and address book

The contacts and address book in the BlackBerry IPD file are extracted in a variety of formats: simple CSV for easy use, and as a big VCF file for import into a variety of webmail platforms. In addition, each individual contact is exported to a VCF file for easy import into Microsoft Outlook or the Windows Address Book.

Phone call history

The backup's phone call history will be exported into an easy to read CSV file.

SMS and text messages

SMS and text messages from the BlackBerry backup file will be saved into a nice, simple CSV file.

Calendar appointments

All calendar appointments included in the IPD file will be exported into a simple CSV, and also into an ICS/ICal file for easy import into your email or calendar client.

Tasks and memos (notes)

The tasks and memos (notes) are extracted into CSV files, and tasks are also extracted into a handy ICS/ICal format for import into most email or calendar software.

Other data from the BlackBerry backup

All other parts of data stored in the BlackBerry backup will be extracted into a neat “other” folder.

In the example backup used here, this recovered the following data entries:

  1. Address Book - Last Used Hints
  2. AP Mobile News Settings
  3. Application Permissions
  4. Attachment Data
  5. Attachment Options
  6. AutoText
  7. BBGroups
  8. BlackBerry Messenger
  9. Bluetooth Options
  10. Browser Bookmarks
  11. Browser Data Cache
  12. Browser Folders
  13. Browser Options
  14. Browser Push Options
  15. Browser Urls
  16. Calendar Options
  17. Camera Options
  18. Categories
  19. Certificate Summary Data
  20. Clock Options
  21. Code Module Group Properties
  22. Configuration Channel
  23. CustomWordsCollection
  24. Default Service Selector
  25. DocsToGoCommonPrefs
  26. Email Filters - All
  27. Email Settings - All
  28. Firewall Options
  29. Folders
  30. Handheld Agent
  31. Handheld Key Store
  32. KeyStoreManager
  33. Mailbox Icon Management Options
  34. Map Locations
  35. Map Settings
  36. Message List Options
  37. Messenger Options (GoogleTalk)
  38. Messenger Options (WLM)
  39. Options
  40. Phone History
  41. Phone Options
  42. Policy
  43. Purged Messages
  44. Quick Contacts
  45. Random Pool
  46. Recipient Cache
  47. RMS Databases
  48. Searches
  49. Secure Email Decision Maker
  50. Service Book
  51. Sounds
  52. Theme Settings
  53. Time Zones
  54. Trusted Key Store
  55. Unknown
  56. VideoRecorder Options
  57. WLAN Profiles

We wish you good luck in recovering your data soon!