Tunning Up your Blackberry
If you are anything like me, then you have a BlackBerry with 1000 icons on your applications screen (ok maybe not 1000, but you get my point), unused themes in the double digits and an available memory block that gets smaller and smaller by the minute.
Once you add in the BlackBerry ringtones, contacts and pictures that I have not bothered to transfer to my PC, it is not hard to tell why my device is starting to run a little slow now and then.
I was digging around last night to find various ways to reduce the amount of memory I am using in my BlackBerry and the internet has proved quite fruitful. As I was digging and finding all kinds of cool tips, I thought to myself – This is really something I should share with the BBGeeks =)
So this morning I got to typing and I now present to you a handful of ways to free your BlackBerry memory.
If you are not sure how much memory you have, or how much of your device memory is being used, you can check it easily by navigating to Options – Status. Look for the lines that read “File Free” and “File Total” for the appropriate values.
1. Delete unused application
On your BlackBerry, navigate to the main screen and choose the “Options” icon.
Here you must choose Advanced Options and then Applications. You will now be presented with a list of all the applications installed on your device.
Scroll through the list and identify all of the applications that are installed on your BlackBerry that you really don’t use or need. For each of these you will need to click the BlackBerry key and bring up the contextual menu. Scroll the menu until you have “Delete” highlighted and click the trackball.
You will be presented with a dialog box that prompts you to confirm the deletion of the selected application. Choosing delete will permanently delete the selected application from your BlackBerry, while choosing cancel will take you back to your list of installed BlackBerry applications.
Hint: How about deleting all of that extra language support that is included by default, or maybe the video demo? If you do not use your BlackBerry for international business, the bulk of the default language files are pretty much just wasting space.
Repeat the delete process for every application you have deemed to be unworthy of your device memory and be careful not to delete any applications that are essential to your device operation (No Brickbreaker and Facebook do not count)!
2. Clear your Blackberry browser cache
Every page you navigate to using your BlackBerry browser leaves some type of information packet on your device. This is done for any number of reasons, one in particular is to allow for a quicker load time for pages you may visit regularly.
If you use your BlackBerry browser on a regular basis, the cache could be taking up a significant chunk of your device memory. To clear your Blackberry browser cache:
Launch the BlackBerry browser and then click the BlackBerry key. From the displayed menu, select Options and then Cache Options(Operations).
You will be presented with three options here that will help you reduce your used device memory. These include: Content Cache, Pushed Content and Cookies Cache. Each with a number associated with it. The number is the amount of memory being used by each item.
Select the option to “Clear” all of the items in the list and you will have freed up the amount of memory which was displayed for each.
3. Manage your inbox address book
C’mon let’s all be honest here. We don’t really know all the people in our address books. Whether it is the number for that guy/girl you met at the bar but have no intention of calling or that smarmy asshat at the conference who insisted on exchanging numbers, pins and the whole nine – they can be deleted.
Do yourself a favor and spend an afternoon paring down your BlackBerry contact list. Keep only important individuals and close friends and relatives. If you only have their information on hand so you can send them a Christmas card, chances are that information can be kept somewhere else until need.
For the inbox, you have the option of restricting how long email is stored in your BlackBerry memory. Changing these options is easy:
Open your email and then click the BlackBerry key. Scroll down until you have the word “Options” highlighted and click the trackball. You will see a number of options presented, but the one we are interested in is “General Options”.
Select “General Options” and scroll down until you see “Keep Messages”. Click on the highlighted value and choose 15 from the presented list.
Your email will now be kept stored on your device for a maximum of 15 days. If you ever need an email to stick around a little bit longer just email it to yourself to start the clock again.
4. Delete all unused pictures and random media
You may have taken some quick snaps to test out the camera waaaaayback when you first got your BlackBerry and forgotten them. Or you may have taken a bunch of pics, some blurry, some not. If you are going to be waiting a while before transferring the photos to your computer, why not go in and prune out the blurry ones sooner than later?
Access your photos through the Media icon on your main screen. Navigate to Pictures – Device Memory and highlight any pictures you would like to delete. Click the BlackBerry key for each and select delete from the displayed menu. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion of all selected items.
The above process is also used to delete any video, music or ringtones you may have hiding out on your BlackBerry. Go ahead, be brave, you know you don’t really need that Soldier Boy ringtone.
5. Delete the themes
Yes I know it is very cool that you have a Wonder Woman theme, a Miss Piggy theme, a Ronald McDonald theme, a LOST theme, one for Valentines day, one for Halloween and about 12 others for various occasions/television shows. The thing is, you don’t really need to be packing all of those themes onto your device at the same time. You always have the option of backing up your themes onto your desktop and re-installing them later. So why not go ahead and scrap a few – or all of them.
Keep the one or two that you feel define you as a BlackBerry user at the moment and ditch the rest for the time being.
Deleting your excess BlackBerry themes is easy as pie, but can be accomplished in a number of ways.
- Navigate to Options – Theme – Highlight the desired theme and click the BlackBerry key – Choose delete – Confirm deletion
- Navigate to Options – Advanced Options – Applications – Highlight desired application(theme) and click the BlackBerry key – Choose delete – Confirm deletion
- Uninstall themes via BlackBerry Desktop Manager – Connect to PC via USB – Launch Desktop Manager – Choose Application Loader – check off each theme you wish to uninstall – click next and follow the onscreen instructions
You have now reclaimed all of that wasted memory which was previously taken up by themes you rarely use – congratulations!
6. Delete your phone call logs and your old SMS messages
Your phone logs, SMS, MMS and email are all deleted using the same functionality. Each one of these operations requires memory from your device in order to display. Allowing them to remain on your device while you don’t really need them is just plain wasteful. Yes it is much better to delete them as they are read, or to go in and bulk delete the entire list on a daily basis as you see fit.
In order to delete an item from your phone log simply highlight the desired item and click on the BlackBerry key. Choosing delete from the available options will bring up the confirmation prompt. Accept the delete and proceed to repeat this process for all unneeded call logs.
If you know that you do not need any of the calling information from a certain date and back, it is possible to delete phone logs in bulk. To do this you must select the call log you would like to use as a marker. All logs before this entry will be deleted.
With the desired item highlighted, click the BlackBerry key and choose “Delete Prior” from the available options. Confirm the deletion and you are off to the races.
Don’t forget about your missed calls log, MMS outbox, SMS outbox, SMS SIM card inbox and your WAP push messages =)
Hint: If you don’t want to do the delete prior method, but have a block of messages/logs that you want to delete, simply hold the “Caps” key on the BlackBerry keyboard down while you scroll in order to highlight and select multiple items at once.
Remember that you can do this for Email, SMS, MMS, and call logs. Doesn’t your BlackBerry feel lighter all of a sudden?
7. Delete your Event Logs
Your BlackBerry keeps a hidden log of all events that it process during its lifetime. This events log ends up taking up more and more of your device memory, as you perform more and more tasks for it to record.
While the menu is not accessible from any of the standard icons, it can be accessed through a simple keyboard shortcut.
While on the main applications screen, press and hold the ALT key and proceed to type LGLG on the BlackBerry keyboard.
You will see a full list of every event your BlackBerry has processed. While viewing this list, click the BlackBerry key to bring up a menu.
From this menu, choose “Clear Log” and confirm the deletion process.
It is a good idea to complete this process every few weeks to free up whatever device memory you can.
8. Use the BlackBerry Memory Cleaner
The BlackBerry Memory Cleaner??? What the heck is that?
I had the same reaction when I stumbled across this little gem. My Pearl, shipped in its default configuration did not have this option readily available so I am guessing that many of you won’t know about it either.
To enable the BlackBerry Memory Cleaner, you need to follow the following steps:
- Navigate to Options – Security Options – General Settings – Enable Content Protection – Enter the new device password when prompted and save your changes.
- Go all the way back to your main applications screen and then navigate back into the Security Options section.
- You will now see Memory Cleaning added to the list. Select this option and set it so that the icon is displayed on the home screen.
You will now see a small icon that looks like a paper shredder on your main applications screen. Simply click on this icon to launch the Memory Cleaner and have your BlackBerry clean up a bunch of stored files that you never even knew existed.
In order to keep this icon on your main applications page, you will have to keep content protection enabled. This unfortunately means casual users will have to enter a password every time the device locks.
9. Enable content compression
Your BlackBerry has a means of compressing the data that makes up your memos, tasks, calendar information, messages and more. Given the limited internal memory on most BlackBerry devices, it is a good idea to take every step possible to decrease the footprint of your data and leave space for cool games and ringtones. In newer models of the BlackBerry, content compression is enabled by default.
To get your BlackBerry to give your data the maximum compression, just follow these steps:
Navigate to the options menu and select Security Options and then General Settings. Scroll down until you have the field associated with Content Compression highlighted.
If your settings are already reading “Enabled” then you are good to go. If you see the word “Disabled” in red just click on it and swap it around. You are now also good to go =)
There you go folks 8 simple steps to trimming the fat on your BlackBerry. If you have any more killer tips on how to reduce the amount of data stored in your devices internal memory, please leave them, along with any questions you may have in the comments below. I will check back regularly and add new tips to the list.