's BlackBerry 101 Lecture Series

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.