How to enable and edit the keyboard shortcuts on the BlackBerry Priv

How to enable and edit the keyboard shortcuts on the BlackBerry Priv
In this article, we'll show you how to set up and use keyboard shortcuts on the BlackBerry Priv.

One of the main features of BlackBerry's first Android smartphone, the Priv, is a slide-out physical keyboard. As you'd imagine, hardware buttons are perfect for those who spend their days tapping away at emails and reports. 

As it turns out, however, the keyboard can be used for more than just writing. For instance, you can use the keyboard as a quick-launch mechanism for your apps, which is a trick that the manufacturer has migrated from its previous BB OS 10 smartphones. Alternatively, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to quickly turn on/off the Wi-Fi or the Bluetooth connection.

Out of the box, the keyboard shortcuts are turned off by default. Don't worry, though, we'll show you how to turn them on and then customize the shortcuts to match your workflow.

Step 1. Perform a long press on the home screen.

Step 2. When presented with the four possible actions, tap on Settings. Note that you can also choose to change your wallpaper, add a widget or change the icon pack.

Step 3. Tap on Typing, then choose "Use a short-press keyboard shortcut".

Step 4. The OS will now take you back to the BlackBerry launcher settings screen, where a new Keyboard shortcuts tab has now appeared.

Step 5. When you first turn on the keyboard shortcuts, the launcher will automatically assign actions to some of the keyboard buttons. These predefined shortcuts will all be listed in the new "Keyboard shortcuts tab". To edit a default shortcut, tap on a letter, then edit the action.

Step 6. To add a new shortcut, tap the + sign on a blank entry. Note that you'd want to tap "All shortcuts" on the next screen to be able to choose from the entire list of possible shortcuts.

Step 7. The BlackBerry Priv's physical keyboard has 26 different keys, all of them being able to launch shortcuts. If you need more shortcuts, however, you shouldn't worry. Going back to the Keyboard shortcuts screen, you'll notice that there are two tabs, one for short presses and one for long presses. As a side tip, make sure to create some sort of intuitive system when combining short and long-press shortcuts.

Now that the setup is complete you can launch a shortcut by pressing a key whenever you're not typing something on the keyboard. 



1. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

Keyboard shortcuts are an excellent way to navigate around/through the Priv. I'm glad that BlackBerry brought this feature over from BBOS/BB10 to the Priv.

3. manav33

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 18, 2016

bro what if blackberry could come up with play store in their own bb 10 operating system

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

While they do have their own BlackBerry World app store for their BB10 devices, if they were somehow able to get native Google Play access on their BB10 devices, that would be awesome. Especially since BB10 is capable if running Android apps. That would, however, require BlackBerry to have Google Mobile Services to be installed on BB10 devices, as well as BB10 devices possibly having to be a part of the OHA.

5. manav33

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 18, 2016

so why blackberry is not focusing on more app number in their app world

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 21784; Member since: May 28, 2014

They're focusing on productivity apps in their own app world, not apps for the average consumer. They are an enterprise-first company. They are sticking to their strengths. They have the Amazon App Store baked into the BB10 OS for consumer app, and the Android run-time player so you can download Amdroid apk's OTA or use Snap. Or you can buy a BlackBerry Priv and have full access to Google Mobile Services and the Google Play Store. BB10 is more for enterprise and governments now.

2. drdaly

Posts: 78; Member since: Nov 09, 2012

Great tip for Priv

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.