How to Free Up Memory on your BlackBerry Smartphone's BlackBerry 101 Lecture Series
By Adam Zeis on 28 May 2008 12:38 pm EDT

So you’ve downloaded ringtones and themes.  You have loads of messages and call logs.  And you ask?  Why is my Berry so slow?  And then one day you wake up and POOF!  You notice all your call logs and messages have been deleted.  So you rush over to your PC and start to search the forums, only to find out you have a memory leak.  Your valuable device memory has been eaten up, and as every good cannibal does – your BlackBerry has started to eat itself up to save space – meaning your messages and call logs are the first to go.  So now you want to prevent this from happening in the future, right?  Well here lies your answer.  In this tutorial, we will go over the best and most common ways to free up memory on your device.  Some are more “technical” than others, but most users should be able to do it.

First off, you want to be sure you have a memory card for your device.  One of the most important accessories you can buy – a memory card is priceless.  It gives you loads of room to store all those ringtones, videos and MP3s that would otherwise eat up your device memory.  If you don’t have a memory card, check out the wide selection in the store.

The overall and most obvious way to free up memory is to delete any applications on your device that you do not use.  To do this, from your BlackBerry home screen press the Menu key, then go to Options > Advanced Options > Applications

Free Up Memory!

  • Select the unused app and press the Menu key.  Then select Delete.
  • Reboot the device.
  • If you choose to delete anything, your device will restart and yield a higher File Free.

The next few things we can do to start freeing up memory are fairly simple as well:

Enable Content Compression: Go to Options > Security and enabled Content Compression, this will free up some space.

Set Keep Appointments to 15 Days: This won’t make a major difference but will definitely free up some space.

Delete the “Help” Application: Once you get the hang of your BlackBerry you don’t really need this app. Go to Options --> Applications, select Help and delete it.

Delete the Sample Video: Go to Options > Advanced Options > Applications.  Highlight BlackBerry Sample Video, press Menu and Delete.

Delete the Unused Languages: You will have an option to remove them from the Application Loader screen.

Delete BrickBreaker: Why you ask?  Well if you never seem to play it then it just takes up space – so lose it.

Delete Pictures: Delete any unwanted images or move them to your memory card.

Clean Up Browser Cookies and Cache: Start the mobile browser.  Press the Menu key and select Options > Cache Operations.  Clear History & Clear Cookies.

Free Up Memory

Reduce Allocated Media Memory: Start the Media App.  Press the Menu key.  Change the Device Memory Limit to 12mb.

Free Up Memory

Change Save Time for Messages:  Click the Messages icon.  Press the Menu key and select Options.  Select General Options.  Scroll to Keep Messages and lower the value.

Free Up Memory

Change Call Log Options: Click the Phone icon.  Press the Menu key.  Select Options > Call Logging.  Change to None (or Missed Calls if you prefer).

Remove Unused Apps: You can also remove any unused apps such as Tasks, Memo, BlackBerry Messenger etc. to free up space.  All of the standard apps can be removed from the Application Loader in the Desktop Manger.

Deleting Old Messages: Deleting SMS messages and emails will save space and reduce lag as well.  I tend to delete all my previous SMS messages every morning.

Limit Your Themes: Everyone wants to have a good choice of themes, but having only 1 or 2 at a time on your device will save lots of space. 

Removing Default Items and Modules

Now we can get a bit more technical and remove some of the other features that will save even more space.  To start, you will need to have your current OS installed on your PC.  If you don’t have it you can usually download it here: BlackBerry - BlackBerry Desktop and Device Software Download Sites and install it to your PC.  After it is installed, plug in your BB and open Desktop Manager.  Do a complete backup of your device (from the Backup/Restore menu).  When the backup is complete, close the Desktop Manager and unplug your BB.  Delete the vendor.xml file from your PC (should be located in c:\program files\common files\research in motion\apploader).  This file is really unnecessary as it only tells your device specifics about your carrier and OS, so we can just trash it.

There are certain items that can be removed to save space such as Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), Push to Talk (PTT) on some AT&T Devices, themes etc.  Decide what you don’t use and we can remove them from the device.  Navigate to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Loader Files\xxx\Java on your PC (where xxx is the installed OS version).  From here we can do the following:

Remove Wallpaper:

net_rim_bb_media_240 x 260_b.COD

These two files will most likely have your device model in them but it is essentially what the file name will appear as.

Free Up Memory

(The best way to handle them is to move them to a separate directory - Create a new directory labeled "Removed”)

Select the COD file and move it to the “Removed” folder.

This will remove all of the pre-installed wall paper, leaving you with a blank background.

Remove Default Themes:

Themes are supplied by BlackBerry and the carrier. Each device is carrier branded during manufacture; the branding controls the loading of specific theme components.

In this case, T-Mobile themes are identified by "100".  Other carriers have similar numbers assigned. You can ignore themes with non matching numbers; they will be skipped in the process.


Both of the above are needed for normal device operation. You can safely remove the following:


Free up Memory

Removing these is optional, it will save about 700 Kb.

Remove Push To Talk:

If you are not using it (your device may not even have it), remove these files:


Remove Voice Activated Dialing:

Move all files prefaced with net_rim_vad_ to the Removed folder.

Free Up Memory

Remove Password Keeper:

Move all files prefaced with net_rim_bb_passwordkeeper_resource_ to the Removed folder.

Free Up Memory

Connect your device to your PC and run the Application Loader to complete the changes. 

If there are other applications you want to remove, verify which modules are used with by going to Options > Advanced Options.

Choose an application, press the Menu key and select View Properties. All modules are that make up the application are listed.*

*Keep in mind, other applications may share modules. Be prepared to restore some of them if you run into problems (that’s why we did a backup first).

After these procedures you may also find that Desktop Manager will not recognize your device.  If this happens, go to Control Panel > System > Device Manager on your PC and delete you Blackberry Device.  Then reconnect it and it should be accepted by the Desktop Manager.

If you somehow manage to screw up and brick your device – fear not and read this: How do I Recover a Dead BlackBerry?

For more information and help on this topic, visit the How To Increase your BlackBerry's File Free Memory Thread in the CrackBerry Forums. 

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How to Free Up Memory on your BlackBerry Smartphone


If you remove voice activated dialing your Options > About won't work anymore. A small price to pay for freeing up space but I thought I would mention that.

alt + caps + H will get you there, so will alt + e a c e

They will both get you to the About screen!

And thanks for the writeup!

thank you for this! i can't wait to get home from work and start freeing up space (or at least getting rid of crud I don't use...ever).

this has been a HUGE help to this newbie!!! Love love my first blackberry (CURVE) and I want to help it all I can!!!! THANK YOU

Great info. I have been wondering how to get rid of some of the junk they dump on these phones.

I have found that a lot of people don't use the VAD. I think it's one of the best features on the phone. But I do a lot of driving and talking on the phone =)

This was perfect, I deleted everything in the Lecture except the Password Keeper and preloaded themes (for now).
Easy to follow and yeilds great results!

P.S. My About still works as well.


Worked flawlessly. I was a little freaked when it didn't connect, but I forgot that once you run the app loader it reboots your device. Came right back up and works fine now. One thing that did worry me, was the fact that Windows forced me to close (BB DM ran into a problem... select close), it happened twice, but didn't happen after that. I'll credit my crappy computer for the scare. Thanks a lot, more write ups should be like this. Very clear and understandable.

I'd love to ditch the PTT and other junk AT&T preloaded but can't find the above-mentioned folder. I don't see any "Shared" folder when I go into the RIM folder. I'm running Vista Home and have a new 8310.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Ok...maybe I am doing something totally wrong because I am a newbie, but I have the current software and I followed all the directions totally. And i cannot find a single file on my computer named net_rim_bb anything...when I go under C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\ I don't even have a "Shared" folder to look for them?? Why am I havin this problem?? I can't free up all the unwanted wallpapers and themes and whatnot because this doesn't exsist on my computer for some reason. I've tried everything I know how to do. Any thoughts? I'm on T-Mobile if that's any help. Thanks! Jessi =)

I can't find it either!!!!! I tried every config of the os and then removed everthing til I got back to the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\ and found nothing past it.

I have a new 8310, and have downloaded the newest os, etc...I could find. (Verizon)

To all who can't find the Shared/Loader Files/
You have to download and install the latest OS on your PC.

Now we can get a bit more technical and remove some of the other features that will save even more space. To start, you will need to have your current OS installed on your PC. If you don’t have it you can usually download it here: BlackBerry - BlackBerry Desktop and Device Software Download Sites and install it to your PC. After it is installed, plug in your BB and open Desktop Manager. Do a complete backup of your device (from the Backup/Restore menu). When the backup is complete, close the Desktop Manager and unplug your BB. Delete the vendor.xml file from your PC (should be located in c:\program files\common files\research in motion\apploader). This file is really unnecessary as it only tells your device specifics about your carrier and OS, so we can just trash it.

Ok...I know I'm a newbie...but I did that first before even attempting to start freeing up memory...I followed all the directions and made sure I had the current OS...and I d/l the new one....and still no dice...the folder is not there.

Working off a very limited device, so cannot implement these suggestions. PLEASE HELP.

Specifically, I have no access to Options > Advanced Options > Applications since my Curve froze up a few days ago. Also no access to any other desktop icons/apps, can only make/receive calls :

- Battery Pull has no effect
- fyi, Bberry Device Mgr:, enterprise server currently not set up for mail synchronization

Is there any way to manually access/clearout my device's mail from using the USB data cable?


I cannot find "Cache Operations" to clean up browser cookies. After going to options there is no listing of Cache Operations anywhere.
Am I missing something?

is there a way to remove the shop applications from the phone? how about the standard alarm clock that comes on the 8110 (att)? the ATT navigator all of those things

so as it turns out, most of my pictures were not in the media card, but on the device. This was very helpful. Is there anyway to delete the preloaded pictures on my device? Blackberry pearl 8130.

Thank you so very much for the extremely helpful device, I was just before throwing my phone against the wall!

i saw some peoples' comments about not being able to find the shared folder. i too can not find it and am running windows vista as well can someone please help us out because i run out of memory in days and all my texts get wiped out. plz help the newbies!!!

Does this mean I don't have the updated OS? I haven't my BB for about 2 months and the software came with my phone!?

I'm also having the same trouble in funding the shared folder! After going into the research in motion folder, it pulls up additional 4 folders BBBI drivers, modem drivers, RIM device manger, USB drivers and I've been into all of them and can't find anything past research in motion. I have the BB pearl 8130 and I am pretty sure I have the updated OS

My call logs and text msgs were automatically being deleted and I couldn't figure out why. I was down to about 3 million bytes of free space. Thanks to this site, I was able to get up to 21 million bytes of free space. I still have a few things left to delete, but thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a low memory prob. How do I move my pics from device memory to my SD card? I need a walk through. Newbie here!!

I don't have a shared folder either. I have the newest version of Destop Manager (just d/l it last night) and also am running Vista. Is Vista the problem?

Okay, I'm having the same problem with not having a shared folder. I too just purchased my 8330 curve (verizon), I have downloaded the Desktop Manager just 2 days ago and my laptop is vista. I swear I have run/searched all that I know to do and cannot find this folder. I will continue to check back to see if any suggestions come out.... --->left pondering...

Disclaimer: I know enough about computers to be dangerous! Here is what I did after I posted my own comment:
I opened back up the Desktop Manager. Go to "options", then click on "data folder settings".
From there it shows what folder path data is stored. I copied and pasted that folder path in the c: drive line.
this opened to show 2 file folders: intellisync and loader history. I opened loader history (which opened as a notepad). from there I could delete items.
NOW...remember my above disclaimer. I have had no problems once I did this. Heck, I'm not 100% sure it made anything happen. I did realize a theme i had installed was not set as my theme anymore. Oh, well. I need to stop now or i will crash my laptop and my new BB! again, i can be dangerous!

It states above that I needed to have the latest OS on my computer.

This means have the latest OS software that is on my phone downloaded to my PC?

Or If I have the latest do I still need to download to my PC isn't that what the back up data device is for?
Sorry probably making it harder than it seems!

I appreciate you taking the time to post this information. It was very clear & easy to follow. Now I have a lean, mean crackberry machine. Ok, that was corny lol

Just theoretically speaking, what if somebody were to accidentally remove the phone application? I of course didn't do this, I'm just wondering what it would do.

Thanks alot! That really helped me out alot! I thought there was something seriously wrong with my world edition.... Is it possible when i load applications to store them on my memory card???? later

I do apologize if this seems like an ignorant question, but is it safe to delete the Removed folder that was created, after running Application Loader to complete the changes. Thank you.

it was drivin me crazy that my messages and calls were gettin deleted....all better now...thanks a million

Over 22000000 of file free memory. :oD

At first I was scared, I didn't want to ruin my BB but it all came out ok. Just followed the steps and away it went.

ok so i'm a complete newbie to the bbcurve. i was wondering if by deleting certain applications can they be retrieved later, like lets say right now i dont need the task application but later i do and its been deleted can i get it back

I deleted the theme files that were safe to delete, but now when I download a theme, it doesn't show up in my themes list anymore. It is in my applications list but not showing up in my themes list. Any ideas????

I know, it's probably a stupid question, but I'm getting memory warnings, and I've put my ringtones all on my 4gig MicroSD in the back.
I know it's accessed, because it plays the music/ringtones from there.
I'm not looking forward to installing the applications I just bought here if the BB is giving fits about memory.
Anyway to walk through this idea.

all that I read or have read say the same and now I am here and I see and read the same info.
that the 8310 bb curve can handle up to 8G but when I put my card in it reads err....
it also called to be formated but if I do that then it will erase all I have on is there something to be done or am I stuck with a card I can't use....

SOS newbie

I haven't had a text yet, but I followed the directions and will get a memory card tomorrow.

This was so helpful, I've been freakin out about this for days and no one out there could help ... especially my phone company. So, thanks.

i royally screwed myself. I deleted all the files that said themes. now when my phone rebooted i had a white screen with my icons. when I went to options to select a theme there is no theme listed under options. what do I do now? help!!!

Can we follow the same instructions for the Bold? I know that the above works really well for my old Curve. I have use this many times when loading all of the new 4.5 betas but I was wondering if this will work for the Bold as well? It seems that there are new file names and it could be risky to delete some of these if they do not match what you have listed above.

For those trying to find cache operations, you have to go to your browser page, hit the menu key then go to cache operation.

I had the same trouble with my themes that others experienced. I went back to the "Removed" folder, cut the "net_rim_theme_bbdimentions_icon_320x240_b" and pasted it back in the "Java" directory. I then ran the App Loader again and that solved my problem. I would guess that my missing themes were dependent upon the Icon theme.

very, very helpful I deleted alot of things that I did not even need on my phone. I just joined this site lastnight and have already done so much wigh my curve. Thank you for having such a great site and keep up the good work

I removed PTT before but after installing the newest version, it appeared again. I tried following the instructions to remove it once again but the files (KnJCDE and net_rim_bb_phone_ptt_app) are not there. Please help!!! :-<

I just got my BB Curve a week ago so I'm not encountering any issues as of yet, but just knowing I have these options is very helpful!! Thank you!!

Im sure this is a silly question to most, but which memory
should I be concerned with? I see three types:
1. Application Memory
Free Space: 19.6MB
2. Device Memory
Total Space: 879.2MB
Free Space: 874.8MB
3. Media Card
Total Space: 7.3GB
Free Space: 7.3GB

The application memory changes constantly, which i dont
quite understand. I have a 9530 (storm).

another great way to free up spacwe on your blackberry is to clear the event log, you can accomplish the by pressing and holding ALT and then pressing LGLG. if done correctly, this will bring up the event log. press menu(BB Key) and it should have an option to clear the log. once cleared, you'll have a good amount of space. do this periodically to keep your BB running smooth!

I upgraded to and then did the above to remove PTT, docs to go, password keeper and the dimension today theme. Now I can't change the sounds in my sound profile. Nothing happens when I click on loud after advanced. Any ideas what I deleted that caused this?


ETA - I have a Pearl 8110

Hey did everything said and when I plugged the phone back in and ran blackberry manager and the application loader everything is still on the phone like ptt, themes, all of it . Any ideas?

i, like you, did all this. when i ran appliacation loader, nothing changed. dfid you find a solution?

I Thought I would add this in, More to show WHAT languages Are Coded as in your OS, And Which one you can Remove If You Choose to go that Far...

Nevermind that, Code wont Show up...LOL

THis is a GREAT TOOL for freeing up a LOT of Wasted Space too!

I don't even know how to acces my memory card through my bb storm at all.

I do not get an option to remove Unused Languages from the Application Loader screen. Are you talking about the Foreign Language characters? because Im not sure what you mean.I am stuck.

I deleted help and brick breaker so far and for some reason my phone seems to have gotten slower. Now the phone is so slow when I am receiving calls it rings moments before I can even answer my calls. Which is REALLY bad. I am having huge issues and I am not sure what to do.

After following the instructions exactly as written, I updated my 8310 Curve through the Desktop Manager. After my phone rebooted, my screen was white with black icons, void of any theme. My OTA and custom themes were showing up in the Add/Remove programs on my Desktop Manager and were appearing on my phone under Options/Advanced Options/Applications, but were not available under Options/Theme. After visiting a more in depth article online ( I realized there is a serious problem with the instructions on this Crackberry article. DO NOT DELETE THESE ITEMS: net_rim_theme_bbdimension_zen_320x240_b.COD

Most custom themes/OTA themes are dependent upon the items listed above, so if deleted, your custom themes/OTA themes will not work. So delete that stuff if you really really need the space.

Honestly, I'd just go to this link to get memory-cleaning advice:

ran application loader, and nothing changed. once you run application loader, what do you do next to make the change effective. all removed programs are still there.

Thanks, Adam, for any suggestions.


thank you 'therealsnowshite'..i ran into the same issue..kudos to you for making others aware of this..i failed to see the other post and it messed up my 8330..thanks.

I followed all directions (quite clear) and note the complete lack of warning for those of us with a custom theme (lovely peaceful garden on mine.) Got the white screen without readable icons per warning by Therealsnowwhite. I reloaded the "removed" items -- all of them -- and now my BB 8310 is taking hours, I'm not exaggerating, to apparently restore my missing stuff.

Don't follow these instructions if you have a custom theme! Pay attention to Therealsnowwhite's post.

Use the App Loader to replace all the essential BB apps you deleted and see if that doesnt get you back to where you were.

Do you have a list of items or applications that you should NOT delete? as it will cause issues with the bb?

Hi. I have an 8900 and I want to delete the files in my download folder. Files like Pac-man, Tetris, XM Radio etc. Which cod file should I delete? I have reloaded my OS several time (upgrading and downgrading) and they do not appear. But as soon as I restore my phone they appear. Thanks for your help.

The File Manger on my PC has none of these files I am on a tour and I cant find any of these files on my PC only RIM Dir no cod files so this is useless to anyone using the tour..

Went to programs Common files, Research In Motion these files are in there..

Auto Update
BBBI Drivers
Modem Drivers
USB Drivers

So probably a dumb question but I was removing apps like facebook and yahoo messenger and the icon is still on my screen. any way to delete that too? or do I just have to hide it?

a friend told me i can change my trackball from my 9000 bold to a trackpad i will like to know id that true ?

I don't know if I want to get rid of my backgrounds because I don't want a plain looking screen. What does the screen look like with no wallpaper? Can someone put up a link before I decide to remove it? Thanks! =D

The article was very informative, but it could use some updating. For instance, I have a Boost Mobile 8330 and I can't delete the sample content. I go to Options/Applcations/Core and see "BlackBerry Sample Content", but there is no option to delete it. I've looked under Properties and still no luck. I think with the new OS, some of the information has become outdated.

I asked my roommate if his dad happen to have an extra phone since they use AT &T. he brought me a blackberry 8310 curve. i paid $20.00 for a charger and a new battery and i had a usb data cable from my previous phone. what a deal.. the guy at AT & T said it was a 350.00 phone.. ching ching.. i love it. the phones they sell today at AT & T are cheap.. thanks for the great tips all you blackberrys.. I am glad my G/F hates technology.. she had a chance to get this blackberry but she didnt want it..its all mine now..

This worked perfectly on my Curve 8320 on my desktop PC at home (windows xp).

But for my girlfriends curve 8300, on my laptop (windows vista), I did everything step by step but nothing is gone. Nothing was removed from her phone. It's all still there. The "About" in the options is there, voice dialing, themes, everything!

Whats going on and how can I fix this?

is it safe to remove this file on mu bold 9000 >> net_rim_bb_enterpriseconfig

thinking to remove it since mine only running on BIS.

is it okay?

yea so obviously blackberry has to have updated the software on the 83xx phones, there seems to be a trend in us with the "can't find the Shared folder" problems; most of us seem to be running have boost mobile and the curve 8330, which has one of the most up-to-date systems.

in this case either boost or blackbery(most likely the latter) has changed the newer os so that you cannot delete some these crucial items that seem to be screwing up people's systems with 8320 and lower phones that are capable of doing so. my suggestion is to leave the default themes alone unless you plan on using a downloaded one permanently.

otherwise i am still a noobie, and hopefully someone can come up with an up-to-date tutorial to clear up space on newer blackberrys.

i myself have a question.
why is it that the application memory is slowly eaten up until you reset it, in then which the memory seems to be restored?

I just got the 9800 torch and would like to do the same with the apps and unnecessary fodder in there. i just cant figure out what is what aside from the obvious stuff.
thoughts ?

I followed every step to letter on my BB 8330 Boost. Themes are still loaded to phone. This article should be updated to include changed file names and anything else that had changed in 3 years

I followed every step to letter on my BB 8330 Boost. Themes are still loaded to phone. This article should be updated to include changed file names and anything else that had changed in 3 years

After following the prompts to free up memory on my 8310 under the section: 'enable content compression' I was then directed to choose a pin code which I did (aside from the primary one). But then when I restarted the phone it rejected the secondary code and mentioned that phone is locked. After the battery pull the same thing happened but with a slight twist: I was now directed to enter "blackberry" and continue. Alas no success here too. eventually a I contact blackberry services and told my phone probably requires new software! Ag man, the inconvenience of it all. not to mention the inevitable loss of some data. And I had to leave the phone at customer care for a few hours... I will never try this again. Better to rely on the Desktop Manager.

I have deleted some applications on my phone(Curve 3G) but the memory on my still remain zero,pls help because it slows down my phone.

I have a dilemma. I have tons of SMS messages (my regular old phone text) that I must download to a computer so I can print out.
I have researched and loaded the Blackberry software on my PC and they speak of a message tab which there is not one.
I know I can take off phone but how? These messages are vital for me and my husband. Thanks

P.s. Sorry I have a Curve 8530.

Yes, I hope this get updated to version 6.
I have problems with OS 6 and 9700. where the application memory. Others jumping more than 100MB and I did not know the solutions