How to clean your BlackBerry’s Trackball

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 Left Side
I read a lot of articles where BlackBerry users complained about their BlackBerry’s trackball (aka pearl – which gave the Pearl its name) doesn’t want to move to a direction anymore.

To be honest, this is something I was afraid of when I first heard RIM will replace the BlackBerry’s trackwheel with a trackball. You won’t believe what happened to me two days ago … My trackball didn’t want to move to right. Well, that’s not good, I thought. After two days of drying everything from moving the ball as fast I could to shaking the Pearl until it got sick. Nothing helped. The ball didn’t want to move right anymore. That’s really bad because there is no way to select an application (address book, options, anything that is not in the left column) and therefor the phone is useless!

BlackBerry 8800 Trackball

BlackBerry Enterprise Applications:
Save Money with phone cards
GTD for BlackBerry
Professional Tasks
Zip & Unzip files
Track billable time
Develop habits
more…

Today it was enough! The problem is, I cannot afford to loose that phone for maybe several weeks while it will be repaired. So I searched forums, googled (even yahooed) and found a lot of stuff which had not really an answer to my question. I remembered an article some months ago which mentioned the coloring the of the Pearl’s trackball by coloring the LED beneath the trackball. Finally I realized that removing the pearl’s cover would the best way to get access to its sensor and clean it. By the way, this should work for all BlackBerry devices that carry a trackball around like BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, 8800, 8820 and 8830.

The silver ring which covers the trackball can easily be removed if you use a small screwdriver to lift it at the outer side of the ring. Be careful here! Like you should be during the whole process as all parts have very small plastic nipple which can break very easy. When the silver plastic ring is removed you will see the inner trackball component which can be removed completely. Before doing this you should carefully remove the silver metal ring that holds the trackball component in its position. The trackball component itself can also be carved. For every direction the ball can roll to you’ll find a sensor wheel. Those wheels are mostly carrying some gunk you should clean them from. Once this is done put everything back together to the place the pieces came from and secure the trackball with the silver plastic ring you removed in the first step. Your BlackBerry’s trackball should be back working now.


BlackBerry Pearl Trackball Cleaning Screen Shot
Cleaning BlackBerry Pearl's trackball


BlackBerry Bold Trackball Cleaning Screen Shots

This is a bit more complicated because you need to disassemble all parts starting with pulling out the battery, unscrewing the cover, and popping out the circuit board. It is pretty though. You just need the right tools :)

That are lots of parts I know. But that’s it. Here is a high definition image of the BlackBerry Bold’s Trackball:

The trackball itself is the same as in the BlackBerry Pearl, Curve and 88xx Series. Just the metal cover is a bit different. So if you cannot fix this you might want to get one of the replacements below. They should work with the Bold as well.

If even this cleaning does not help you should consider to buy a new trackball for your BlackBerry. It is pretty cheap and you even know how to assemble it already :) BlackBerryInsight searched the web and found the best offers for you! You can get a brand new trackball replacement below via the famous Amazon webshop for just 5-8 bucks.

Update: We have added a “BlackBerry Trackball Toolkit” to the widget above if you are in a need a full blown trackball repair solution :)

Tags: , , , , , ,

671 Responses to “How to clean your BlackBerry’s Trackball”

  1. Arunrao says:

    Very Helpful…Thanks for the Review :)

  2. Murphyslaw77 says:

    I used a qtip with rubbing alcohol on it to wipe out the inside of the trackball housing and now my phone is freaking out.  at first I was typing in my pasword and all the buttons i pushed made like 4 letters at a time.  Then I took the battery out to reset it and now it cycles on then the screen where it says “Verifying system” or whatever, the screen goes black and I cant do anything.  Please HELP!!!!

  3. Murphyslaw77 says:

    I used a qtip with rubbing alcohol on it to wipe out the inside of the trackball housing and now my phone is freaking out.  at first I was typing in my pasword and all the buttons i pushed made like 4 letters at a time.  Then I took the battery out to reset it and now it cycles on then the screen where it says “Verifying system” or whatever, the screen goes black and I cant do anything.  Please HELP!!!!

  4. it did help me gross or not it did help.

  5. Cake says:

    Haha, I put it/something back in wrongly so eveything’s shifted 90 degrees clockwise (scrolling up makes my ‘cursor’ go right, scrolling right makes my ‘cursor’ go down, etc).
    Since I don’t have any tools, I used a (relatively) small knife, which took me too much time to even consider redoing all of this shit.. I’m just gonna keep it the way it is and hope it won’t take me very long to get used to it ;p

    Thanks for this guide!

  6. [...] How to clean your BlackBerry’s Trackball « BlackBerryInsight …Jun 13, 2007 … Stuck Trackball – Today, 11:46 PM I hope that I am not the only one who has had the misfortune of having their trackball get stuck and not move … [...]

  7. Mobinh says:

    OMG you’re a genius, it worked. I had this whole kit assembled in front of me and then I decided to read the comments as well :)

  8. Kala says:

    can someone pleaseeeee help me!!! my trackball doesn’t move left,up and right but i can only click. what can i do?? please can someone pleaseeeeee help me with it? what can i do?

  9. [...] How to clean your BlackBerry’s Trackball « BlackBerryInsight …Jun 13, 2007 … If even this cleaning does not help you should consider to buy a new trackball for your BlackBerry. It is pretty cheap and you even know how to … [...]

  10. Anonymous says:

    Easiest cheapest and fastest method? Rubbing alcohol and Q-tip.Soak the tip, roll the ball back and forth, up and down with the moistened tip. Keep refreshing the q-tip as it gets dirty. The alcohol will dry quickly so don’t worry if it looks wet. I was ready to throw my 5 year old 8230 away and now its as good as new.

  11. maxx says:

    Taking the tracbk-ball out and cleaning it manually didnt helped me… I did it, A lot of dust came out of it.. Cleaned all the 4 roolers inside the Ball… refixed it… But still the issue is the same… I think I need to replace it with the new one.

  12. guest says:

    Thanks worked for me, just like cleaning out a mouse ball only much smaller, 

  13. Test123 says:

    IPA (isopropyl alcohol) and a ‘q-tip’ works just fine. No need to take the thing apart – just soak the cotton wool in IPA e.g. tippex thinners) and wipe the ball around. Dirt quicky forms on the cotton wool and the alcohol evaporates. Mine started working again about 40 seconds after I started to clean it – and is now as good as new.

  14. jim says:

    i licked the pearl  now it’s working

  15. guest says:

    Hi I have a curve 8520 and my scroller button isn’t working – I can still press it but can’t go in any direction. Have taken battery out and rebooted.  As I’ve had phone for a while it is out of warranty – any ideas?

  16. Luqman says:

    you wrongly put 4 roller. you must change the direction of the 4 roller to the other side. and put it together again

  17. Terabrommit says:

    Thats a chance you take when you use liquids (i.e. rubbing alcohol) with an electronic (i.e. a blackberry). Try doing a software reload and maybe that will help….

  18. [...] How to clean your BlackBerry’s Trackball « BlackBerryInsight …Items 1 – 96 of 116 … BlackBerry Keypads,BlackBerryTrackballs.Wholesale BlackBerry Keypads / Trackballs.Dropship best BlackBerry Keypads / Trackballs. [...]

  19. [...] How to clean your BlackBerry’s Trackball « BlackBerryInsight …Feb 28, 2011 … The thing is, the ball is never the thing that collects the dust, its the actual rollers which gather the dust. The newer blackberry trackpad is … [...]

  20. [...] others have experienced the same problem – a sticky trackball that refuses to scroll down. Try as I may, nothing would improve the situation – and so I was compelled to upgrade. [...]

  21. rejuane says:

    hi my trackball is scrolling up nd up,left to right but isnt scrolling dwn i used a pionty comb nd fixed it but my trackball went dwn 3 days passed nd my trackball is still doing the same thing what can i do to fix this problem

Leave a Reply