Blackberry Pearl Trackball Stopped Working!

Blackberry PearlBlackberry Pearl

I am the owner of the Blackberry Pearl, and I must admit like many other Blackberry owners that I know, IT IS VERY ADDICTIVE! I actually got it about a year ago, I’ve had a few cases for it, one of which was the glove which it slides into, that was annoying because I would always forget to put it back in after a call, and then I lost it. The second was the belt holster, which I could definitely feel when I was getting a call rather than when it was in my pocket, and it was easier to put away after a call, but I felt like an idiot walking around with this thing sticking out of the side my body, and I would usually get in the way of what I was doing (I know I am picky). So forget the cases, I just left it in my pocket.

Unfortunately for me, with my dirty pockets and a blackberry with no warranty, one day while I am going through my calendar, my trackball stopped moving to the right! I tried pushing down hard and moving the ball, I tried moving it softly, I even tried blowing it with compressed air, but the most I would get is two or three icons to the right. I was able to live with it for a few weeks, by just dialing numbers, but after a while I was fed up and just had to fix it. After looking at the unit a little more, and playing with the trackball some more, I realized the trackball can easily be compared to those old computer mice that used a ball to move the cursor. I had one, and it stopped working as well, I had to take out the ball and clean the mechanisms on the inside to get it working again, but I never really knew how it got so dirty. Anyway, I figured it needed a good and proper cleaning, here’s what I did:



Tools required: Small flat-head screwdriver, a pin, and a cotton swab with alcohol

1. Power Off

Turn off the power of your Blackberry device, by holding down the red ‘End Call’ key on the keypad for a few seconds.

2. Removing the Silver Ring

Around the trackball is a silver plastic ring, which is held in place by clips on the left, right and bottom of the ring. By placing the screwdriver or your fingernail in the bottom left corner on the outside of the plastic ring, and pulling the ring up, you should easily get the clip on the left and the bottom out. The clip on the right might be a bit hard, you need just to pull it up carefully, trying not to bend or break the clip.

Taking off silver ring

Taking off silver ring

Without the silver ring

Without the silver ring

3. Taking out the trackball unit

Once the clip is out simply turning your Blackberry upside down and shaking a little should pop out the trackball unit. Make sure your hand is there to catch it!

4. Opening the trackball unit

First take note on the bottom of the unit the silver lead going down from the middle, it is important, I will keep the metal lead pointing down throughout the rest of the steps. ***The metal ring keeping the unit together is very brittle, if you bend it too much it WILL BREAK!*** Using a pin or screwdriver, on the left and right side of the unit, lift the metal down and out of the clip keeping it in place. On the top and bottom of the unit the metal ring is held in place by a butterfly clip wrapping around the plastic, using the pin or screwdriver pull the metal out and down. Without taking off the metal, the plastic top should come off, which would expose the ball and tracking wheels.

Dirt Trackball

Dirty Trackball

Clean Trackball

Clean Trackball

5. Cleaning

Remove the plastic top keeping everything in place, and take note of the position of the tracking wheels, the bottom wheel should have the black piece on the left, the left wheel should have the black piece on the top, the top wheel should have the black piece on the right, and the right wheel should have the black piece on the bottom. Using your swab with alcohol, clean off all the dirt from each tracking wheel, which can come out very easily, that’s why it is important to know how they go back in. Make sure you clean all around each of the tracking wheels.


How trackball goes in

How trackball goes in

6. Putting it back together

With all the tracking wheels in place, put the plastic cover back on, and reattach the metal to each clip. Make sure the metal butterfly clip is around the plastic cover on the top and bottom, and the plastic is through the metal opening on the left and right. With the unit securely closed, turn it over so the ball is on top with the metal lead still pointing down on the bottom; place it back in your Blackberry. Clip the plastic silver ring back in, with the leads on the left, bottom and right. Turn on your Blackberry and test it out!


Approximate time: 15 minutes


Should you break, loose, or find that some part is unusable, replacement parts can be located at BBRepairShop, they ship around the world.


28 thoughts on “Blackberry Pearl Trackball Stopped Working!

  1. hey

    great step by step.
    wish i had this when i had the same problem.
    i managed to remove and clean the pearl a few times successfully.
    just want to urge your readers to be very careful with the very flimsy metal ring that has the clips. it is a real pain to work with and once bent, it can be nearly impossible to manage.

    good news is that complete trackball housings can be purchased online for like 8 dollars. i had to go this route once and having a new one made the phone work perfect.

  2. Hey man, you just saved me more than $100. Thanks a ton. I had figured out as far as taking the trackball out but didn’t figure out to go inside it. Oh man the gunk that was in there.

    Thanks again.

    • Cail:
      You can use some tweezers to hold the trackball unit in place, and something fine/sharp to lift the metal, preferably a very small flathead screw driver, just to lift the metal off the clip holding it in place. Keep track of the direction which you are taking out the parts, if you replace them in the wrong direction, the trackball won’t work correctly!

  3. Awesome thanks! Real pain to get the little rollers back in and the white plastic cover on. And watch you dont bend the metal. But its working now!

  4. i had the same problem sadly the metel ring broke but i fixed that problem by placeing the ring on the track ball until it is in the blackberry then carefuly remove the metel ring then i snaped on the plastic cover ring with super glue and it works 111110000000 time better then i first got it!!

  5. umm well my ball couldnt work in any direction and your process made it work down but not any other way can you help me here man

    • Hey dsk,
      I am assuming that the rollers on your trackball are completely clean, well really the whole unit is clean. So here is a checklist of things to troubleshoot:

      You are putting the unit back in the correct way, with the little tab part below the circle, closest to the keypad.

      Check to make sure the rollers are in the correct position (if you have taken them out). Yes I know it sounds odd, but for example, if you put the top roller on the bottom, or the black part of the top roller is on the left side instead of the right, the thing does weird things.

      Finally check the contacts on the BB, make sure they are clean

      My guess is that the rollers are in the wrong position.
      Let me know if it works or not


  6. My muthafuckin nigga! Sorry about the racial slurs but u really my homie! I’ve been having so many problems with my BB curve it aint funny! But thanx to u, I’m back in da game. It was hard getting all of that stuff back 2gether but it was worth it. 4real!

  7. Wow!! haha I was a second away from buying a new phone cause I was so tired of this ball. Thank you! this worked perfectly.

  8. Thanks man all the way from lagos, nigeria;it worked like magic.The trackball gave up this morning by scrolling in all directions except downwards but now its all so fine and it feels like brand new to the touch after pulling out the gunk;going to stumble this page and have it up in my delicious.

  9. morning please my blackberrry preal has a problem the trackball is moving but it cant click on anything and my keypad is not working too,no water or moist touched it just started acting up please it would be a real relif if u help me out asap its driving me crazy and i have important tins to wif it.from nigeria.Dilim

    • Sounds bad Dilim, sound like there is something internal that needs to be replaced. The board which the trackball and the keypad sit on may need to be replaced. You should have a professional look at it to find out the problem. You may be able to buy the part online cheaper then what they would offer, but have them install it for you.

  10. Hi,

    Great advice! lately my track ball had became very unresponsive and totally stuck in one direction – so the phone was almost useless.

    Before reading ur article i tried removing track ball and cleaning it from outside- but it was of no help. Real culprit was the thick roll of dirt around internal rollers .. could figure out how to open n clean it only after seeing this detailed step by step procedure.

    Thanks buddy,

  11. worked like a charm. thanks a million! A set of tiny screwdrivers comes in really handy for this, might be worth a quick trip to the hardware store if you don’t have them. PS – as far as I can tell the rollers are interchangable as long as you magnet roller (black end) facing left on each so that they are all going clockwise, it should work I would think.

  12. Hello i drop a glass of tea on atable an dmy blackberry pearl got a little wet.. i managed to grab it and it did not get much water in it. i think it got it on the keypad because now it won’t work right the menu key does nto show menu it types q e and w and even though the track pad moves from application to another when i click on top of an application it takes me to letters i turned it off and took of the sim card and left it open.. any other suggestions?

  13. This is my experience with blackberry trackball. Few weeks ago my blackberry bold trackball got sticky and wont let me scroll down. I think it is dirty or something and it’s very irritating because i dont have any alternative shortcuts to scroll down. But after searching around i found this trick @

    I tried their strawberry trick using a rotating plastic straw to clean my trackball without disassembling, and then my trackball is working fine again.. good luck.. hope it helps..

  14. Joshua,

    Thanx a LOT!! Proper instructions. Really easy to do. Had opened the trackball a couple of times, but was too afraid to open it completely. One direction wasn’t working, and now today got frustrated, so found your blog and VOLA, working as good as new!!
    The dust that got settled there had got the shape of where it had got trapped, anyways again THANKS A LOT!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s