How to enable Memory Cleaning on your BlackBerry smartphone

By James Richardson on 31 May 2012 11:59 am EDT

If you are a new BlackBerry user or one that isn't too familiar with all the features deep within, you may be interested to hear that the BlackBerry has its own memory cleaner. I often see on Twitter people complaining that they are seeing the spinning clock way to often or their device is laggy. Memory Cleaning will help, but for some strange reason it isn't enabled by default.

As you will see in the above video enabling the feature is dead easy and can be done in just a few seconds. If you wish you can even place the Memory Cleaning icon on your homescreen for easy access. If you ask me you would be crazy not to have it enabled -- trust me, it makes a difference.

That said though; some folks mention this may actually increase the amount of lag on your device. It's a mixed bag. Either way, give it a go and see if you see improvements. If not, you can always disable it again and go back to how it was set up previously. I hope this short video may solve a few BlackBerry frustrations.

Head into the CrackBerry forums for more help and discussion

Reader comments

How to enable Memory Cleaning on your BlackBerry smartphone


Don't enable it. You'll regret it. Memory Cleaner is misnamed security feature used to wipe sensitive data from your BlackBerry device memory by overwriting zeros over the previously deleted memory space.

From the RIM Knowledge Base article KB03862:

BlackBerry smartphones might contain information such as passwords, email messages, and private keys. The memory cleaner is designed to protect this information with the following functions:

 Secure Garbage Collection
 Clearing Caches

Secure Garbage Collection: All Java® objects are stored on the BlackBerry smartphone in random access memory (RAM) or flash memory. Normally, when Java objects are no longer needed, the memory assigned to that object is released to be overwritten by new data. With the memory cleaner turned on, the BlackBerry® Java® Virtual Machine (JVM) overwrites the memory using zeroes before it is released. As a result, data cannot be retrieved from the memory chips.

Using Memory Cleaner will not create 'new' fresh memory or more space in your BlackBerry device memory. If your BlackBerry is subpoenaed by the FBI because you're a child p0rnographer, you deal in illicit drugs or you work for the CIA, this is a good idea. Otherwise, no.


It's a very common mistake to think that the memory cleaner is used to free up memory. They should rename it as "personal data cleanser" or something.

And any Java programmers out there know that garbage collection can have an impact on the system.

I used to have this feature enabled but it caused issues with bbmm.

I had it set to run when my phone was idle. When I'm playing music I'm not always playing with the phone, there for it goes to standby/idle. This would cause bbmm to stop playing.

I haven't tried it recently to see if this has been resolved but I can assure you I was very upset with the constant pausing of music!

I have some doubt on the effect of this memory cleaning. It just clean certain sensitive information on your phone such as Clipboard, Encrypted Messages, PGP Key Search etc. Therefore, I dont think it will do much of a difference UNLESS you have a HUGEEEE clipboard memory being used

- Charles

Fantastic - even if not fixing lagging, I don't want that stuff hanging around. Clearing when holstered is perfect.

Fixmo Tools has the feature for "memory cleaner" as well...apparently it's most likely a shortcut to the default BB memory cleaner. Good find!

RIMPIRE is awesome. Great tip. Thank you!
Enable it may interfere with other apps like music apps since I'm not actively using my phone while listening to music. Instead I created a short cut and clean it whenever I want.

I like this. This is one of those moments where I'm like "I never knew it could do that!" Nice one James

Do not enable memory cleaner! That's the worst advice ever to alleviate or reduce the "clocking" issue. Memory cleaner will further degrade your processes and cause lag when taking the BlackBerry out of standby mode. No no no! Go find it now and disable it.

I can't provide a link to back it up, but I can tell you that my BB 9810 has been pure shit since I enabled it, including causing boot time to be about 15 minutes. I have just dis-abled it and re-booted, and I was back down to three minutes.

This has been around since OS 4.0... It just clears sensitive information, and it should not affect performance at all.... In fact, I think it might hurt performance in the same way as cleaning your browser cache hurts browsing speed.

There is a reason it is turned off by default... It probably consumes more battery power too since it runs in the background.

Not trolling, looking for suggestions before I have to get this warranty replaced- I have very few apps, no themes, and I had a perfectly functioning lovely work horse minutes ago.

It may have nothing to do with the memory cleaner, but minutes after I did this on my 9930 I checked the app management for more memory and I noticed I had a very low memory (not unusual or part of the problem) so I did a battery pull. My phone has not turned back on. I have two full batteries to try with and my phone will not come back on. I get a few seconds of a red LED and then it goes blank and my phone never "pops" on.

Remove the battery, connect it to the computer, run desktop manager and have it reload the software, then replace the battery when it says "reconnecting to JVM".

This has me baffled, it's enabled by default (with a lock icon) on my Sprint 9930. Does that mean it's been running in the background all this time. My 9930 runs smooth and has been since day one. The only thing I did was put the icon in a folder from video information....didn't know I could do that. Tried to disable...cannot

After reading the above comments it seems we have mixed views. I have looked at various other sources and again a mixed bag.
I'm sticking to my guns though. If my device plays up a memory clean helps for sure.

James, maybe no issues on a 9810 or 9900, but your advice will make for some very very sad OS5 and 6 users, on a 9550 or 9700. Anyway, this is really not an issue of opinion. Go read for yourself what Memory Cleaner does.

Just to echo what others have said. Don't do this. Your BlackBerry will thank you for ignoring this advice.

Those of you that have it enabled and there is a lock next to it have an IT policy that turns it on.

As has been stated by jsanders and others, the Memory Cleaner is for security purposes only. Those who have it enabled with a lock icon beside it are on BES with corporate devices and their BES admin requires it for security reasons. In these cases, there is no way to disable it. But for those who don't need the added security, don't use it. It might improve things in the short term, but it will impact performance in the long term. We have seen a wide array of problems pop up that disappeared as soon as the Memory Cleaner was disabled. It can take days to show up, but it will.

James, please take this post down. Its bad advice for the average user. Better advice would be "How to perform a battery pull."

Agreed. Memory Cleaner yields no performance advantages at all. Just slows down your device and uses more battery.

Pls if u're using a os 7 devices, don't even try to do so cos u're gonna regret doing so. Any time u reboot ur fone. Just knw dat ur fone wil tke approximately 15mins to 20mins before rebooting. If u like ur fone don't do it. Worst advice ever from crackberry. Arrrrrrggggg!!!!

My memory cleaner was disable by default but I enabled it, since it was named as memory cleaner, so i got this idea that it will help my phone to have extra space if I enable it. But in the end, I did not notice any changes and I've noticed that my phone takes like 3-5 mins to boot up. And when I disable the memory cleaner, it only took 50 seconds to boot up. If you want to get some extra space to your RAM, try the battery pull.