Files with the .BBB extension are known as BlackBerry Backup files. These are single files containing a copy of both personal data and configuration settings from a BlackBerry device (phone or playbook). Depending on the options selected when first creating the backup, .BBB files can contain many different types of data.
The most common types of data stored in a BlackBerry backup are the device owner's Address book (contacts), SMS messages, emails and calendar.
If the data stored on a BlackBerry device becomes corrupt, lost or accidentally deleted; the data can be restored from the .BBB backup file.
Note: With the release of BlackBerry OS v10, the internal structure of these backups changed (version 3). These backups now contain multiple encrypted .TAR archive files (app.tar, media.tar and settings.tar for example).
How to Open a BBB file
The only software available to reliably view the data within a BlackBerry .BBB file is phoneMiner. This software allows you to view the address book (contacts), SMS messages, emails and calendar inside a BlackBerry backup file.
phoneMiner also allows you to export the data to common formats such as Excel, CSV, VCF (vCard) and XML.
How to Create a .BBB file
BlackBerry backups can only be created using the 'Blackberry Desktop Software', an application developed by Research In Motion Limited (RIM), the creators of BlackBerry devices.
Blackberry Desktop Software is bundled with all new BlackBerry devices, however the most up-to-date version can be downloaded directly from RIM's website.
Once the software installed, a BlackBerry must be connected to your computer using a USB cable. Running the BlackBerry desktop software will give you the option of creating a full or partial backup.
Full backups will result in a .BBB file containing all personal data and phone settings from the BlackBerry. Selecting a partial backup will create a file with the chosen databases only (E.g Address Book and messages).
Before actually generating the backup, the software will provide the additional option to password protect the backup; doing so will encrypt the data using 256-bit AES encryption. Anyone attempting to view the data will then need to provide the original password.