Home > mifamily, Smartphones, Tech Tips > Always on Blackberries? Turn them off automatically with Auto-off

Always on Blackberries? Turn them off automatically with Auto-off


Do you feel in control of your own technology usage? Not sure? You can take charge. Read on, and we will give you instructions on setting up your Blackberry to take charge of your time.

Image of a "Stressberry"

A stressberry

In an “always on” world, there is a great temptation to retain the ‘always connected’ feeling. Unless you are in a critical role, that needs you to be on call for 24 hours a day, then having total connectivity to work is not required – despite what you manager might think. The reality of this is that the majority of people who think they need to be contactable 24 hours a day actually don’t. Personally, I have been in jobs where this has been required, however for the general population, these jobs are rare.

I have also been in jobs where workaholic bosses and bullies have used this technology to harass staff at all hours of the day, and night. One of the miFamily principles (low-tech bedrooms) is that your home and bedroom is a sanctuary. This is true for both children and parents. Children in your house watch and learn how you use technology every minute of the day they are awake. Adults can make decisions about priorities, children are bad at it, parent have to show children how to use this connectivity.

Always on features of phones can affect these principles in a bad way. In my own circumstances, I had a bullying boss who would send emails at 10pm, with follow-ups and threats at 2am, and 6am the next day. All I heard through the night was a quiet buzzing requiring my attention. So I learnt about a feature on my BlackBerry® … There are applications that can do this as well, however if you are on a corporate environment, then there is good a chance that the ability to install applications has been disabled.

How you configure this for you is your choice, however for me, with newborn children I did night feeds, children drops at school in the morning, and went to bed at 10pm. The always on features of this device was a total misfit to my circumstances.

One of the good things about this feature is that you can scale the times back as you withdraw from an always on mindset. Another great thing I found was that the battery life got better as the phone was off for 12 hours a day, not requiring the phone to be charged every day.

Blackberry Options Menu

Blackberry Options Menu

How to set the Auto On/Off feature

  1. From your home screen navigate to the Options menu.
  2. Scroll through the list to the Auto On/Off item and click on it.
    • If this feature is not available, there is a chance that your IT Administrators have turned it off. Ask for this feature to be turned back on.
    • The screen you then see has two main options: Weekday, and Weekend. Monday to Friday is the weekday setting, while Saturday and Sunday are the weekend – this is not changeable.
  3. Select which of the two options you wish to change and set it to “enabled”. This will then allow you to set the relevant times.

    Blackberry Option AutoOff

    Sample Auto Off setings

    • I set the device to turn on at 8:30am, and off at 9:30pm for weekdays, and for weekends, on at 10am, and off at 7pm.
  4. To set the other time period (Weekday, or Weekend) repeat the process for that time grouping.
  5. Once you are happy with the settings press the menu key, and chose to save your settings.

Once you have this set, then when the time comes for you phone to turn off, a popup will display on your screen. Pressing any key will abort the turn off request. At the turn on time, the phone will automatically wake up and download any messages delivered since the phone turned off.

My only word of caution is that for the first few days it will feel very strange, however stick with it, you will enjoy the down time. Remember that if you have passed on your after hours contact details on, then if it is a real emergency, people will all.

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  1. Simon
    October 25 at 12:47 PM

    Awesome advice – thanks for the tip I’ll be setting it now 🙂

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