Optimize your BB's Memory! John Clark's Famous Memory Optimization Instructions!


Copyright 2008 John Clark - Please don't copy and paste this post into other sites without my permission. You're welcome to post a link to it, if you like, though. ~Thanks, JC.

Losing Call Logs, SMS or Emails? Optimize your BB! How To Setup for max free memory!  (For BB's with 64MB of on board Memory - 88XX, 83XX, 81XX)

Are you losing call logs and text messages? Or did you just get a new BB device but are unsure how to best set it up? Maybe you are upgrading your OS and want to have a nice clean installation. The setup wizard removes a few things but not all that should be removed. Many of you have asked me what I do to free up memory on my devices and prevent loss of emails and call logs, etc. I've decided to list out for you exactly what I do to my device. You may want to setup your device slightly different but this is a good starting point.

So, this is John Clark's "How To" on setting up your new device for maximum memory. We want to add the apps we want/use but get rid of anything we don't want. In the following tutorial I will go over what I do on my devices to maximize memory but get the apps I want when I get a new BB or update the OS on my existing BB. This post may seem long but the process is actually quite simple once you get through it. Any of the .alx editing (steps 4 & 5) can be skipped if you just want the device to be setup "out of the box." If you skip steps 4 & 5 you will have a device loaded with apps as the carrier wanted them to be. You'll still be able to remove unused languages, sample videos and a few apps that take up space.

Here is what we are going to go over:
1. Install Desktop Manager and backup the device.
2. Install OS package. (Additional and separate download from the Desktop Manager above)
3. Delete vendor.xml.
4. Edit Blackberry.alx & LBS.alx.
5. Remove unwanted .cod's from the java folder and place in "Removed Modules" folder.
6. Connect BB and run DM. Open Application Loader and and finish to add/remove the .cod's added/removed from java folder.

Detailed instructions: (to read these instructions in Chinese Click Here. Thanks to BBF Member youzang for the translated instructions.)

1. Install Desktop Manager to your computer.
If you didn't receive a disk with your device or you want the latest version of this software click HERE. There are several versions listed at the download site. Make sure you download a version of "Desktop Manager" (not Device Manager) and choose whether you want a version with or without Media Manager, if offered. Desktop Manager is the program that you will use for adding software, syncing your PIM data, backing up and restoring data, and if you're on a BES you can use it to connect to your corporate mail profile to start Enterprise Activations. It's also the software that installs new OS's to your device. (Note: OS's are not included with Desktop Manager but must be installed separately to the PC, even if an OS is already installed to your handheld.) During installation be sure to select BES/Redirector for Work/Corporate email if you are on a corporate BES and also the type of email system your company uses i.e. Exchange, Lotus, etc. Desktop Manager will connect to your work email profile and server if installed properly and you have access to your company's network (via LAN, VPN, etc.)

If you're not on a BES, or if you are on a BES but you don't want to connect this particular computer to your corporate email system, install using Blackberry Internet System (BIS) Personal Email method for email (even if you don't get email on your device.) Install using BIS method if you are unsure. However, if you're a BES user and you install using BIS method you won't be able to Enterprise Activate after an OS update. You'll need to contact your IT dept for a password (just adding or removing applications or themes will not require a new Enterprise Activation.) If you're unsure contact your IT administrator for help on installing Desktop Manager for use with your company.

Before beginning with step 2 it's best to backup the device data and 3rd party apps in case anything goes wrong during the changing. Use the Desktop Manager's Backup/Restore feature to make a backup of the data on your device.

If you like you can also make a backup of all 3rd party apps by following the instructions Here.

2. Install your Blackberry's OS installation package to your PC.
Desktop Manager needs this ADDITIONAL software installed in order to recognize the OS software already on your Blackberry. If you install the same OS that's already on your device then you can make changes to the apps already installed on your BB. Note: If you install a newer version then Desktop Manager will want to upgrade the OS on your BB. An upgrade takes roughly an hour so if you have time for that go ahead and install a newer version. You can use newer versions from any other carrier that releases the OS for your device. For example you can load Vodafone's 8300 OS to your AT&T 8300. The OS's are made for each individual device not necessarily anything special for the carrier. It's safe to load another carrier's OS to your device. Don't worry. However, for the purposes of this thread we are going to optimize the OS that is already on your BB so be sure you download the version that is already on your BB, if that is all you want to do. If you don't know what version you have you can look on your BB under Options >About or from the home screen hold the alt key and type E A C E. The Version number will be in a format like: Once you know your version number you can go to THIS site and download the OS for your device. Again, if you have a GSM device you can download from any GSM carrier. If you have a CDMA device you can download from any CDMA carrier. The important thing is to download the same version number as is already on your handheld. Once you download it, double click on it to install it to your PC. This is in addition to installing Desktop Manager as described in step one. Note: OS's have two version numbers. One is a package number and the other is an application version. The application version is what is listed in Options >About. Pay careful attention to make sure you get the right application version.

3. Delete the vendor.xml file.
Once Desktop Manager AND your OS are installed to your PC you need to go to the following directory and delete a file. Go to C:\program files\common files\research in motion\apploader and delete the file called "vendor.xml." This file just tells Desktop Manager to only load an OS to the device of the same carrier that's branded to the device. For example, if I have a TMobile BB and download an OS from Vodafone the OS won't load to the device unless I delete the vendor.xml file. Nothing is lost by deleting this file it only serves this one purpose and nothing else. Once that is deleted you can continue on. (Note: This vendor.xml file gets reinstalled with any OS installation or Desktop Manager installation so you may have to delete it again at a later date if you install another OS or update Desktop Manager.)

4. Edit Blackberry.alx & LBS.alx. Before we plug in the device and remove anything we don't want lets make a few modifications for themes. You can add all the different vendor's themes to your device if you like, including the TMobile MyFaves application/theme. However, I don't recommend leaving them all on your device at one time. There is a method of editing a file called "Blackberry.alx" so that these other themes will be loaded to the device. Each carrier has their own vendor code. For example TMobile's is 100. AT&T's is 102. These codes are written into the device and can't be changed. This is how Desktop Manager knows what brand of device you have and loads the OS appropriately. If we leave everything as is, then AT&T theme will be loaded to the AT&T devices but not to, say, TMobile's devices. We can edit the Blackberry.alx so that the desktop Manager will load any or all of the themes. If you have an AT&T device we can edit the LBS.alx file so that Blackberry Maps will be loaded (AT&T doesn't load BBMaps to their devices. They want you to purchase a mapping software. However, we can load BBMaps easily to an AT&T device.) Also, if you have an AT&T device it will have PTT (push to talk) preloaded on it. This is great if you use PTT but if you don't use it it only takes up valuable memory space. We're going to make some simple edits to remove PTT and add themes.

To Add All Themes: (we will remove the ones we don't want later.)
Navigate the the following location in windows explorer:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Loader Files
In this folder should be a folder corresponding to the version of software you've installed. For instance installing OS software for 8320, creates the folder:


In this folder, open the "BlackBerry.alx" file in your text editor of choice. I usually just use NotePad. If your computer asks you what program you want to use to open the file, just choose NotePad from the list. You can check the box that asks if you want Windows to Always use Notepad to open .alx file types.

Note: If you don't see the "Shared" folder go back to step #2 and install the OS to your device as instructed.

Scroll down until you see lines of text with the following:

where xxx is one or many 3 digit values. The best way to accomplish this is to search for the "_vendorID=" portion using the editor's built in search. For each instance, remove the string including the quotes and the containing values. The example below shows
the string for vendor ID 102 (AT&T)

<fileset Colour="True" Java="1.0" series="8700" _vendorID="102">

would become:

<fileset Colour="True" Java="1.0" series="8700">

Simply remove the info in bold above then save the file. Below is an example of what it looks like:

If using Windows Vista you may need to save the new file to the desktop first, then copy and paste the new file back into the original folder again. Vista doesn't always allow a "save as" directly to the original location. Once the vendor ID info is removed the theme listed below will be installed to any 8700. Do this for all the instances of vendor ID that are there. They're all in one place so once you find them you'll see them all.
Once you've done this to all of them you will get all the vendor themes loaded to your device. We will talk later about how to easily remove the ones you don't want and add them back if you do want them.

To Add BBMaps on OS 4.3 and lower devices (OS 4.5 and higher BBMaps requires a service book and it can't be added using this method): (if you want it.)

If you have an AT&T device or a device without BBMaps (and OS 4.3 and lower) do the same for the LBS.alx file:

Open the LBS.alx and scroll down until you see a string similar to the following:

<!-- For 8800 series, hide the icon for Cingular (102), Vodafone Germany (124), Vodafone Austria (137) and all
Orange properties. --><fileset SystemSize="normal" Colour="True" Java="1.0" _vendorID="~102|124|137|119|162|142|183|147|217"
<!-- For non-8800 series, show the icon for all carriers except Vodafone Germany (124), Vodafone Austria (137) and all Orange properties. -->
<fileset SystemSize="normal" Colour="True" Java="1.0"series="8800">
<fileset SystemSize="normal" Java="1.0">

Remove all references to “_vendorID=…..” and device codes. Remove the text in bold as shown above and leave the > symbol at the end.

The above code would be changed to the following:
<!-- For 8800 series, hide the icon for Cingular (102), Vodafone Germany (124), Vodafone Austria (137) and all Orange properties. -->
<fileset SystemSize="normal" Colour="True" Java="1.0">
<!-- For non-8800 series, show the icon for all carriers except Vodafone Germany (124), Vodafone Austria (137) and all Orange properties. -->
<fileset SystemSize="normal" Colour="True" Java="1.0">
<fileset SystemSize="normal" Java="1.0">

Save the file (as the same name) when you are done.

You are now done with editing those darned .alx files.

5. Remove unwanted .cod's (themes, applications, etc.) from the java folder and place in "Removed Modules" folder.
Now we want to remove the themes and applications we don't want. Our editing of the Blackberry.alx will add everything. If you want everything then you can skip this step. However, some of the added themes are large and the device doesn't perform to well with them all installed. It's easy to run out of memory and lose emails and call logs when the device runs low on memory. The easiest way to remove the themes we don't want is to remove them from the jave directory. In the same directory as the .alx files is a folder named java. In that folder are all the .cod's that get loaded to the device during an OS installation. All we have to do is remove the unwanted theme .cod's from the java folder and they will not be installed to the device. We can also remove the PTT .cod files to remove PTT from the AT&T devices. Another application I like to remove this way is Voice Activated Dialing. If you use VAD then don't remove the VAD .cod's but if you're like me it isn't worth the memory it takes up. Be aware that if the VAD (Voice Activated Dialing) files are removed from OS 4.3 and up devices then the Option >About screen becomes inaccessible. You can get the same info by typing in alt + EACE from the home screen on your BB.

Create a folder in the java folder called Removed Modules. Then simply move the unwanted theme .cod's into that folder. You are safe to remove any vendor coded .cod.

Remove any you don't want. I usually get rid of the 102 (AT&T) as it's the largest and I don't like it anyway. You can always load them all, try them out, and then go back and remove the ones you don't want. Most of us have a theme or two that are our favorites. Just load your one or two faves and remove the others. You can come back and add them again later, if you want some variety.

The themes are generally as follows:

Theme .cod's are listed as:
net_rim_theme_102a... etc.

The numbers below are the vendor ID's for each carrier and will help you identify which themes are which.

You can safely delete any of the below vendor-numbered themes. The size listed is an average size for that carrier's theme. As you can see a couple of them are quite big.
100=Tmobile 240kb
102=AT&T 769kb
104=Sprint 17kb
105=Verizon 572kb
107=Rogers 287kb
109=Bell 194kb
114=TMo UK 243kb
115=TIM 698kb
119=Orange 635kb
120=Vodafone 624kb
125=O2 349kb
129=Telefonica 30kb
162=Orange Switzerland (uses 119 theme)
183=Orange Global (uses 119 theme)
204=China Mobile
241=Alcatel Shanghai Bell (uses 204 theme)

TMo MyFaves apps will be automatically loaded with this edit. However, you can also safely delete TMo myfaves apps if you don't use myfaves (Note: If you are not using MyFaves then I highly recommend removing the myfaves modules, especially if you are using a CDMA device (8130, 8830, 8330, etc.) as having those apps installed will cause booting errors on your device. We've edited the Blackberry.alx file to add them so if you want/need the MyFaves, leave the cod's in the java folder. If not, move the following MyFaves .cod's in your Removed Modules folder:


Note: I don't recommend removing the bbdimension, Dimension zen, Dimension L, or dimension Today themes as some of the above themes need these in order to run. Also, 3rd party custom themes require these to be installed in order to function. Removing the Dimension themes will make it impossible to use these 3rd party themes.

Edit: If you'd like to just use the Dimension zen theme you can safely remove the bbdimension icon, bbdimension L, and bbdimension today. I, personally, just TMo Zen so I the only themes I have installed are the bbdimension zen, and TMobile Zen. Everything else is removed. However, as mentioned above 3rd party themes may not work without dimension themes.

Note: Be careful when removing a theme that might be currently in use. If you remove a theme that is currently in use your BB will boot up to a black and white screen with basic icons. If this happens, simply navigate to the swiss army knife icon (options or settings) and then scroll down to themes and select a theme. Your BB doesn't know what theme to use if you delete the one it's using so it boots with the basic default theme included with the OS. If you are unable to select a theme then you'll need to go back and add back the Dimension Theme you removed.

To remove PTT from AT&T devices remove the following .cod's:

To Remove Voice Activated Dialing:

Note: On OS and higher you'll need to remove the following module:


This .cod adds 5 or 6 red icons that are used in conjunction with the carrer China Mobile.

Note: On Voice Dialing you likely don't need to delete every one of these .cod's. If you are using English only you can delete the first 4 on this list. If you're using something other than english, delete the first 4 and then any other of the .cod's for the language you're using. However, it doesn't hurt to remove all the VAD .cod's if you're not sure and you don't want VAD.

Note: When removing Voice Dialing it will disable the Options >About screen on OS 4.3 and higher devices. You can get the same info about device and OS by hitting alt + e a c e or alt + rt shift + H.

To Remove Preinstalled Wallpapers:
The prenistalled Wallpapers are the second largest .cod installed to the BB's device memory. The first is the sample video. On some of the Pearls, the preinstalled wallpapers are the largest, even larger than the sample video. The sample video can be removed using the application loader but the preinstalled wallpapers can't. We can remove them by removing the associated .cod from the java folder:

On Qwerty devices with OS 4.3 and lower:
net_rim_bb_media_320x240_b.cod (1.7MB)

On SureType devices with OS 4.3 and lower (pearl
net_rim_bb_media_240x260_b.cod (3.5MB)

On Qwerty devices with OS 4.5 and higher:

On SureType devices with OS 4.5 and higher:

Note: On OS and higher OS's the preloaded video and preloaded wallpapers/custom folder icons have been removed by RIM so they will no longer be found in the java folder. There's obviously no need to remove them.

Note: Removing this media/medialoader.cod will also remove custom folder icons (which I don't use anyway.) You can still add a folder to your homescreen but your only choice will be the yellow folder icon. (thanks to Iare Tosevite for bringing this to my attention.)

You can always move the .cod's back to the java folder and re run application loader to add back any of these themes or files. Likewise you can add all of them, find out which ones you like and then go back and move the ones you don't like into the removed modules folder and run application loader to remove them from the device. Pretty simple, really.

6. Connect BB and run DM. Open Application Loader and hit finish to add/remove the .cod's added/removed from java folder.
Once you've removed everything you know you don't want we can now connect the device to the computer and run application Loader.

If you installed a newer OS than what was on the device then Desktop Manager should prompt you to upgrade once you plug in the device and start Desktop Manager. If not, run Application Loader and you should see a list of applications. To maximize space uncheck anything you don't need.

Personally, I uncheck the following:

All foreign languages.
Any preinstalled IM applications (since I use JiveTalk)
Any foreign Characters and Font Support
Blackberry MDS Runtime
Blackberry Sample Video
DOD Root Certificates
Help (if you are new to BB you may not want to remove this as it can be "help"ful.

And I make sure the following ARE checked:
Core Applications
Blackberry Attachment Service.
Blackberry Messenger (if you don't have a data plan or you don't use it, this is a good one to uncheck. You
can always plug in and check it again later if you want it back.)
Any other apps as desired ( tasks, memo pad, Password Keeper, Documents To Go etc.)
Any Third Pary Apps I want to leave installed on the device.

This window is also where you "Add" 3rd party apps. Click on the Add button (or "Browse" button on DM 4.5 and higher as shown above) and browse to where you stored the .alx and .cod for the 3rd party app you want to install. Choose the .alx file and click ok. Your 3rd party app will be installed.

Note: If you only made changes to the java folder for themes, etc. you will need to open application loader (it won't prompt you for anything) and you may not see any changes on the application loader screen with all the checkboxes. However, the changes will be made when you finish the application loader.

When you are done checking and unchecking boxes, click Next.

The next window will tell you what's going to be added and removed from the device.

If you're doing an upgrade there will be many items listed. If you only made some minor changes to themes then you will see just those listed. Click Finish to add or remove the themes and/or start the upgrade. If you're upgrading the OS be sure and make the backup that the loader prompts you to do. It should say in the above window that data will be backed up. Also, if you're upgrading the device will appear to hang with an hourglass for up to 20 minutes or more twice during the upgrade. This is normal. When a new OS has been added the first boot takes 10-20 minutes and will show the hourglass for that 20 minutes. This is nothing to be concerned with so DO NOT unplug the device. Subsequent boots only take a minute or two as normal.

Now your device should be optimized for max memory. I also recommend using a media card (if your device supports it) for photos and media storage. You don't want those photos taking up space that you just worked so hard to free up.

Good luck and happy thumbing....

***Note: You will have to do this process each time you upgrade your OS. Simply run this same process on the new OS/java folder created after installing the new OS to the PC. Be sure to delete the vendor.xml again.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: How do I get rid of the AT&T/Verizon etc. shopping icons?

A: Those are service books and can be deleted from Options >Advanced Options >Service Book. However, they'll likely come back the next time the device registers on the network so it's probably best to just hide the icons. Highlight the icon then hit the menu key from the main screen and select "Hide Icon." On trackwheel model BB's Hit alt + click the trackwheel from the main screen and select "Hide Icon."

Q: When try to run application loader I get the following message: The application "Browser" cannot be loaded because it requires the following applications that are not available: net.rim.blackberry.xml.

A: You made an error editing your Blackberry.alx file. Check your Blackberry.alx edits. If you can't find where you made the error then you'll need to put the original back and re-edit. If you happened to make a copy of the original Blackberry.alx, restore that and edit again. If not, just install the OS to the PC again and follow these instructions again. You'll need to remove the vendor.xml again as well as remove all the modules from the java folder again.

Q: When I run Application Loader it wants to "downgrade" my Documents To Go. How can I prevent it from "downgrading" my Docs To Go.

A: Delete or rename or move the DocumentsToGo.alx file to another location. Once it's renamed or removed the Application Loader will treat your current Docs To Go as a 3rd party app (which it really is) and leave it alone or if upgrading the OS it will back it up and restore it.

Please don't copy and paste this post into other sites without my permission. You're welcome to post a link to it, if you like, though. ~Thanks, JC.