How to optimise a BlackBerry

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Why does my BlackBerry slow down?

Have you ever noticed your BlackBerry phone or PlayBook running slowly? Having lots of applications installed on your BlackBerry can eat up your device’s memory. This is especially true when you run many apps together at the same time.

Remove unnecessary files / applications

When you purchase a brand new BlackBerry phone, it comes with pre-installed files and apps you can play with to try out its features. These include sample media such as preloaded audio and video files. Unless you love listening to and playing these files, they're not needed on your Blackberry. Most of the time, they sit there and use up a portion of your device’s memory, which could other be used for another app. The same goes for apps you don't use.

Deleting unused apps is as easy: go to OptionsAdvanced Options then select Applications. That should list all the applications installed on your device. To delete, just choose the specific application, go to Menu then Delete. A message will appear asking you to confirm the action. Choose Yes to completely remove the app.

Close running applications

Once you've removed the unwanted applications, you must remember to close to ones you have kept. Having too many application open can reduce free memory on your device. To check which applications are currently open, hold down the Menu button. This will show all apps currently open: select an app that doesn't need to be open and close from the app itself using close or exit options.

Delete old messages

You don't have to keep each and every message you get in your Inbox, as these little notes eat a lot of space as they accumulate. Depending on your set-up, provider, and phone, it's possible for purged messages, email and text to remain on your device. This is becoming less common, but deleting data on the device doesn't always mean the information is removed entirely -- so check the Purge folders.

Clear phone log

The details of people who call you through your BlackBerry device are also saved in the "Phone Log". If you keep it unattended, they'll build up and occupy a portion of your BlackBerry’s memory.

Automatic memory cleaning

Your Blackberry most likely has an automatic memory cleaning feature, an option you probably don't know exists. This option is turned off by default, but it can help reclaim badly managed memory lost by inefficient or buggy apps on your device. Most applications -- if written correctly -- should manage memory in the background and recycle when finished with, but this is not always the case.

Here's how to turn on the feature on your BlackBerry

  • Click your BlackBerry Menu key to bring up all your menus and option icons
  • Choose Options (usually the spanner icon)
  • Scroll down to Security Options and choose it
  • Click Advanced Security Options
  • Scroll down and select Memory Cleaning
  • In the Memory Cleaning menu, it'll most likely say Disabled, so click and choose Enable and several menus will now show
  • Leave the first two options as Yes, and adjust the Idle Timeout option to 5 minutes or less
  • The last option Show Icon on Home Screen, means exactly this -- it can give you the option to manually clean memory
  • Exit, then Save changes

Encrypted files

Encryption is important as it keeps your files safe. BlackBerry OS is good at protecting data, but this protection means storing and accessing files can be much slower. Some files you use may not need encryption. This is preference and can be changed, but be careful: we don't recommend removing encryption. It's better to remove unwanted files that also slow your device down than to lift these settings.

About the author

Andy Coles has been building and documenting iPhone Backup Extractor since it was first released. He's made a number of discoveries in the field of data recovery, most notably techniques for transferring data between iPhone backups.

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