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How to Navigate a Blackberry Without the Trackball

Updated July 20, 2017

Many BlackBerry smartphones are designed to be used with a trackball. The trackball allows the user to navigate screens, applications and the cursor (when composing text). It is possible, however, to navigate some BlackBerry applications and functions using just the keypad. The default setting for newer BlackBerrys is for the shortcuts from the home screen to be turned off. Ensure to turn on the shortcuts so that you'll be able to navigate without using the trackball.

Go to the Phone application by pressing the green "Call Send" button. This button is the second to the left of your trackball.

Press the "Menu" key that's to the immediate left of the trackball and has the BlackBerry logo.

Choose "Options" from the list that appears by pressing the "Enter" key -- each press of the "Enter" key scrolls down the list by one.

Choose "General Options" by pressing the "Enter" key.

Change the Dial From Home Screen field to "No." Once you scroll down to this field by pressing the "Enter" key, press the "Alt" key to access a submenu that gives you the choices of "Yes" and "No"; choose "No."

Press the "Back" button to save your selection. It's the button with the curved arrow to the immediate right of the trackball. Your BlackBerry is now enabled to use shortcut keys from the home screen.

Press "M" for messages from the home screen. Once you're in the messages application, press "C" to compose a message. To move up a screen, press the "Shift" and the "Space" keys. To move down a screen, press the "Space" key. Pressing "T" moves you to the top of a message list. Pressing "B" moves you to the bottom. By pressing "U," you can move to the next unopened item. Press "N" to move to the next date; to move to the previous date, press "P."

Press the corresponding key to access the following applications:

"D" = Memo Pad "A" = Address Book "U" = Calculator "L" = Calendar "T" = Tasks "B" = Browser
"N" = BlackBerry Messenger
"G" = Google Talk "H" = Help

Click the first letter of a menu item to select it once you open a menu on your BlackBerry. Press "Enter" to save your selection. If more than one menu item begins with the same first letter, press the letter key multiple times until you arrive at your desired menu item.

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About the Author

Zakiya Lathan began her professional media career in 2002. Prior to Lathan's freelance career she worked in broadcast news as a Web producer and online journalist for the CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Ala. She also produced newscasts for the Anchorage FOX affiliate and has written for local and national media outlets. Lathan earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Lake Forest College.