How to Setup BlackBerry (bb) with a Different Ringtone for each Email / Contact

by Brett on April 2, 2010

The BlackBerry has the ability to setup ringtones for each application and also use different ringtones for each contact / email. These features are great for giving full control over notifications for email, phone call, SMS, MMS, IM, etc. With this article I will explain how to setup both application level notifications, contact/email level notifications and then how to setup profile switching at a given time of day.

Application Level Notifications

In order to setup the sounds that an application uses to notify of new events just go to Profiles on your BlackBerry. Scroll down to the bottom of this list and click Capture12_35_25Advanced. Now you will see a list of your profiles (screenshot on right). Scroll to the profile you would like to edit and click the BlackBerry button, located on the left of the trackball. A list of all of the installed applications is shown including the different email accounts. Select a specific application or email account, click the BlackBerry button and select edit. This will pull up a page that gives different options for how the application is allowed to notify when new events occur, this can be seen in the screenshot below. Modify these settings to have your preferred ringtones, vibrations, LED flashing, etc. Then repeat these steps for other applications and other profiles.


Contact / Email Level Notifications

There are a few different ways to setup notifications for contacts and emails. I have found the easiest option is to use exceptions.

Exceptions allow a custom ring tone to be used for a specific contact or a group of contacts. The exception will work with all profiles except the Off profile. The exception can also be muted by the currently selected profile if that is desired.

Using exceptions works perfect for the scenario where someone should always be able to reach you like the wife/husband or boss (which could be the same person). This also works well for specific people (or email addresses) that should be able to reach you while using a specific profile. This might be something like work related emails that are important during business hours but not in the middle of the night.

The following steps can be used to setup an exception:

  1. Go to Profiles and select Advanced
  2. Click the BlackBerry button (left of the scroll wheel) and select New Exception.
  3. Type in a name for the exception (maybe something like “Urgent”)
  4. In the From: field click the scroll wheel and select a contact. Repeat this step to add more than one contact to the exception.
  5. In the Use Profile: field select the desired profile that this contact or group of contacts will always use. For the contacts that should always be able to reach you the Loud profile is a good option. For contacts that should only be able to reach you while using a specific profile select Active Profile. With this option if the active profile is one where the application is muted the ringtone will not play. If the profile is one where the application is not muted the ringtone will play.
  6. Select the custom phone tune.
  7. Click the BlackBerry button and select save

There is also another option that will give control over emails by setting up specific email addresses as level 1 emails. Each profile has a specific ringtone,vibration and LED flashing for Level 1 emails.

Emails can be set as level one by applying filters at the following site:

It is unfortunate that this is not a little more integrated into the blackberry but as long as you know your login/password you can do the following:

  1. Login and select the Filter Option on the right hand side of the screen for a specific email address.
  2. Click Add a Filter
  3. Give the filter a name
  4. Select when to apply the filter. This can be based on the From email address, subject, to email address, CC email address, new mail or high priority mail.
  5. Fill in Contains value that applies to the filter option selected in step 4.
  6. Select filter messages to device check Level 1 notification and click Add Filter

Now when an email message comes that meets the requirement of the newly added filter the Level 1 notification settings will be used.

Automatic Profile Switching

By default there is not currently a way to automatically switch profiles at a specific time of the day. Having a feature like this is very beneficial if there is any regularity to your schedule (like meetings, classes, sleeping, etc).

25780Even though a scheduled profile option is not built into the BlackBerry by default there is a third party app that does give us this feature. The app is called ProfilerPro (cost $3.99). I just installed this on my blackberry for the first time but it appears to work perfectly for profile switching.

Hopefully all of the steps above will help gain control over the mass amount of media that is thrown at us every day. Are there any other tips or tricks that you use to keep your blackberry optimized?

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