Andrew Coles
Posted by Andrew Coles,

Why does my BlackBerry slow down?

blackberry slow down sign

Have you ever noticed your Blackberry smart phone or Playbook running slowly? Well, you are not alone. This is pretty normal, especially for the more advanced mobile devices currently on the market. When you have lots of applications installed on your Blackberry phone, they tend to eat up your device’s memory. This is true especially when you utilize services and run different applications (aka apps) altogether at the same time.

Worry not because there are plenty of ways on how to optimize your Blackberry handset. Things that prove to be very useful are deleting unnecessary files or apps, old messages and clearing up your phone logs. But before you do these, you might want to backup your Blackberry phone just in case you accidentally remove any file, app or data that you actually need.

Backup your BlackBerry

Before removing any data from you Blackberry device do make sure you backup your data thoroughly first. Backing up the data on your Blackberry phone is pretty simple, you only need Blackberry Desktop Manager on your computer to create backups and the application is free.

To create a backup just follow our simple guide:

  • Connect your phone to your computer using the USB cable provided
  • Open up Blackberry Desktop Manager application, allowing time for your Blackberry to sync with the BDM application
  • Select ‘Backup and Restore’ on the main display page, you will then be presented with different backup options
  • If you are unsure about which option to choose, we recommend 'Full (All device data and settings)'. This will backup everything stored on your phone, but please remember this does not include data stored on memory card or actual applications*.
  • You have the option to edit the back files name and the location (defaults to \My Documents\BlackBerry\Backup). We suggest you let the BDM manage this for you, but do make note od the file name and location.
  • Then click the ‘Back up’ button
  • The Blackberry Desktop Manager will then create a backup of the data into a IPD file. This is a standard file the Blackberry uses for all its devices backups
    • To backup data on your memory card if you have one, you can access directly via USB and your computer. As for your apps, they should be stored in your Blackberry 'My World' to download if needed

A backup is necessary for you to restore your device to its previous state in case something goes wrong after deletion of data etc. If you want access to the data externally from the IPD backup file or your BlackBerry, you can always try out BlackBerry Backup Extractor.

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 are pretty much not needed on your Blackberry gadget. Most of time, they just sit there and use up a portion of your device’s memory, which can be instead allocated to another application. The same goes for apps that you do not even run. Deleting those files and apps is as easy as 1-2-3. Just go to ‘Options,’ ‘Advanced Options’ then select ‘Applications.’ It should list down all the applications installed on your Blackberry device. To delete, just choose the specific application, go to ‘Menu’ then ‘Delete.’ A dialogue box will appear asking you to confirm the action. Just choose ‘Yes’ to completely remove the app.

Close running applications

Once you have removed the unwanted applications, you must remember to close to ones you have kept. If you have too many application open this will severely effect 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 do not have to keep each and every message you get in your Inbox because these little notes you receive day-to-day eat a lot of space especially when they accumulate. Depending on your set-up, provider and phone 'sometimes' purged messages, email and text can still be stored on the device. This is becoming less common, but deleting data on the device doesn't always mean the information is removed entirely so check 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 will 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' application on your device. Because of how complex a Blackberry device is it recycles a lot of memory during a day. Most applications, if written correctly, should manage memory in the background and recycle when finished with, but this is not always the case.

To turn on the feature on your Blackberry, carry out the following instructions:

  • 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 select
  • Click 'Advanced Security Options'
  • Scroll down and select 'Memory Cleaning'
  • In the 'Memory Cleaning' menu, it will most likely say 'Disabled', click and choose 'Enable' and several menus will now show.
  • Leave the first two options as 'Yes' and adjusting the 'Idle Timeout' option to 5 minutes or less depending on more much you use you BB
  • The last option 'Show Icon on Home Screen', means exactly this -- it can give you the option to manually clean memory. You could then remove or lessen the option above and action a clean if you BB starts running slowly.
  • Exit, then 'Save' changes.

Encrypted files

Encryption is good, it keeps your files safe so we don't recommend removing encryption. The 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 encrypting this is preference and can be changed, but be careful. It is better to remove unwanted files that also slow your device down because they are encrypted than lift these settings.

What to expect after doing all these?

Now, you might be asking what’s going to happen if you do this routine regularly. You will be surprised that your BlackBerry phone will perform faster. You will notice the changes especially when running apps. Additionally, you will have a large space left for future downloads and installations for apps you might need. Doing this not only optimizes the performance of your BlackBerry handset but also brings out its maximum potential. Plus, it won’t hurt if you pamper your gadget once in a while.