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Troubleshooting BlackBerry PlayBook Problems

Updated on March 9, 2012
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a BS in Mass Communications from SIU and an MA in Communication from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.


Common problems with the BlackBerry PlayBook include problems with email and the calendar on the device, problems playing audio or video files, problems connecting to Wi-Fi networks and more. Use troubleshooting to take a crack at resolving your problem on your own so you don't have to contact Research in Motion support.

The BlackBerry PlayBook offers 16 GB of storage space and an HDMI output.
The BlackBerry PlayBook offers 16 GB of storage space and an HDMI output. | Source

PlayBook Email Problems

  • You won't be able to send email unless the BlackBerry PlayBook you're using is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Try moving closer to the wireless router to ensure as strong a Wi-Fi signal as possible, as a number of factors can interfere with a previously strong connection, and even prevent a connection entirely. Make sure there are no large objects between the PlayBook and the wireless router (especially metal objects), and also try turning off any devices that send and receive a wireless signal, such as baby monitors, cordless phones, wireless electrical devices and more. Also, try resetting your wireless router, as the problem may be with it.
  • If you're having problems adding an e-mail address, make sure the information you're entering for that specific email account is correct, specifically the password, as this is often case-sensitive.
  • You may have set up an email account correctly, but that account may have become deactivated at some point. Tap "Settings" and then "Accounts," then make sure Sync Email is enabled for that specific account.

BlackBerry PlayBook Calendar Problems

  • If you don't feel like you're looking at the right calendar, you probably aren't. You can switch what calendar you're looking at by placing your finger along the top of the PlayBook touch screen swiping down. A list of calendars associated with email accounts appears. Select the calendar you want to view.
  • If you're calendar isn't syncing up with changes you made outside of the BlackBerry PlayBook, calendar syncing may not be enabled. Tap "Settings" and then "Accounts," select the email account associated with the calendar you want to sync, and then enable Sync Calendar.

BlackBerry PlayBook Won't Play My Audio or Video File

The BlackBerry PlayBook supports a large number of audio and video formats. Supported audio formats include MPEG-4, WMA, MP3 and WAV, among others. Supported video formats include MOV, MP4, AVI and WMV, among others. If the format of the file you're trying to load to the BlackBerry PlayBook isn't supported, the device won't play it, or if it does play the file, it could encounter a host of other problems. Additionally, some files that are the correct format may not be wrapped in a supported codec. If you don't have pricey audio and video conversion software, such as Sorenson Squeeze, at your disposal, try converting your file to a supported file type and also a different codec using a free audio or video conversion program, such as Any Audio Converter or Any Video Converter. These programs aren't as glitzy as a program you'd need to pay for, but they get the job done.

BlackBerry PlayBook Wi-Fi Connection Problems

  • Make sure the Wi-Fi is actually turned on. Even if you've set up a Wi-Fi network, if the Wi-Fi isn't enabled, you won't be connected to the network when you're within range. To do this, tap the Wi-Fi icon and then select "ON."
  • If you set the BlackBerry PlayBook down for a while and didn't use it, the wireless connection may have been timed out and you'll need to reconnect to it.
  • The wireless router you're connecting to the network through may be experiencing problems and need to be reset. Try disconnecting the wireless router from power for roughly 30 seconds and then reconnect it to power. Wait a few minutes for the wireless router to send out the Wi-Fi connection and then try reconnecting to the network on your BlackBerry PlayBook.
  • Baby monitors, cordless phones, radios, smart phones and various other devices that operate on a wireless signal can interfere with your connection. Try turning those types of devices off and then reconnecting to your Wi-Fi network. Additionally, move closer to the wireless router and ensure that your BlackBerry PlayBook and the wireless router have a clear line of sight to each other. Also, make sure you're not too far away from the wireless router. If you live in a large area, you have to remember that the signal from wireless routers only goes so far.

BlackBerry PlayBook Battery Life Problem

  • Disable the BlackBerry PlayBook Wi-Fi when you're not going to be within range of it for an extended period of time. When you're not within range of your Wi-Fi network, the device will expend battery power searching for a network within range it can connect to, bringing down the overall battery life of the BlackBerry tablet.
  • Disable the Bluetooth technology for the same reason you disabled the Wi-Fi. Essentially, you don't want the tablet to search for the Bluetooth device you set up with the tablet if you're not going to be using the Bluetooth device with the tablet.
  • When tethering or bridging a cellular connection between your BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and a BlackBerry smartphone, position the two devices as closely as possible to each other so the cellular connection being shared doesn't have as far to go, which means the PlayBook doesn't have to use as much power to pull in the cellular feed.
  • Close apps that you aren't using, as apps that are running in the background continue to drain your device's battery.


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    • profile image

      Dave 3 years ago

      My playbook is less than 2 years old I haven't used it for 2 months and now it won't charge. It attempts to charge then a yellow lite comes on?


    • Max Dalton profile image

      Max Dalton 5 years ago from Greater St. Louis, Missouri

      Hi Gary,

      First, try resetting your wireless router by disconnecting the power cable from it for 30 seconds and then reconnecting it. If that doesn't resolve your problem, try turning off some of your other wireless devices and then connecting your PlayBook to it. Beyond that, I'd make sure that the network settings for your wireless network on your device are correct.



    • profile image

      Gary 5 years ago

      My playbook wont pick up any wifi signals even though all my other devices in my home can!! Any suggestions?