How to maximize battery life and free memory on the BlackBerry smartphone

Article ID: KB14320

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 10-27-2014

 

Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier
CollapseEnvironment
  • BlackBerry Device Software  5.0 and earlier
  • BlackBerry OS version 6.0 to 7.1
CollapseOverview

The following information is relevant to BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry OS version 7.1 and earlier.

Note: For Maximizing Battery Power information relating to BlackBerry 10 smartphones, refer to KB33669.

Maximizing Battery Power

Application Management

Multitasking:
Close any running BlackBerry smartphone applications that are not being actively used. An easy way to see which apps or games are open is to press and hold the Menu key which causes the App Switcher to appear. Then switch to the application or game that is not being used and after pressing the Menu key, select the Close or Exit option to exit the application or game. Additionally, the CPU screen in the Application Management feature of the Options application will show the running applications that do not appear on the App Switcher screen. Applications that are not running will appear with Not Running under their name.

Closing Applications Correctly:
Avoid using the End key to close applications as this simply minimizes the application and leaves it running in the background. Instead, press the Menu key, select the Close or Exit option to exit the application.

Closing Browser Tab:
BlackBerry Device Software 6.0 and higher provides a tabbed browsing experience. Ensure that tabs that are no longer in use are closed by pressing the Menu key, selecting Tabs, and clicking on the red X under the tabs that are no longer in use.

Configure Instant Messaging and Social Networking Application Settings:
IM and Social applications may send and receive information on a periodic interval. These applications may have options or settings that will reduce the frequency at which data is transmitted. To further reduce the frequency at which data is transmitted, Logging out of IM and Social applications when they are not needed can further improve battery life.

Configure Podcast and Social Feed application settings:
Podcast and Social Feed based applications may be configured to automatically download content on a periodic interval. These applications may have options or settings that will reduce the frequency at which data is transmitted.

Close Media applications:
When pausing media playback, the application playing the media will still be running in the background. If media playback will not be in the near future, choose to press the Menu key and select the Close or Exit option to exit the application.


Wireless Connections

Disable Wireless Radios when not in use:
BlackBerry smartphones feature multiple wireless radios Cellular, Wi-Fi, Bucktooth, GPS, and NFC connections. If one or more of these wireless connections is used, it is recommended to disable the corresponding radio to prevent it from using battery power. For example, if it is known that no connection will be made to any Bluetooth devices while at home or at a restaurant, a quick way to save some battery life would be to turn off the Bluetooth radio. To review and modify network connections on a BlackBerry smartphone, click the connections area along the top of the home screen, or select the Manage Connections icon from the home screen. Enabling and disabling network connections can be actioned by checking, or clearing the check boxes.

Low Cellular Coverage situations:
When in low cellular coverage situations, the BlackBerry smartphone may increase power to the Cellular radio. In locations that have poor cell coverage such as basements, use the Wi-Fi functionality built into the BlackBerry smartphone to connect to available Wi-Fi network. If a Wi-Fi network is not available and cellular connection is not needed while in the low coverage environment, consider turning off the Mobile Network connection by click the connections area along the top of the home screen, or select the Manage Connections icon from the home screen and disable network connection by clearing the check box for Mobile Network.

No Coverage situations:
When in an area without cellular coverage, the BlackBerry smartphone may continue to search for available mobile networks. In locations that have no mobile network coverage such as basements, use the Wi-Fi functionality built into the BlackBerry smartphone to connect to available Wi-Fi network. If a Wi-Fi network is not available and a cellular connection is not needed, consider turning off the Mobile Network connection by clicking the connections area along the top of the home screen, or selecting the Manage Connections icon from the home screen and disabling network connections by clearing the check box for Mobile Network.


Device Settings

Adjust Backlighting Settings:
An easy way to see improved battery life is to customize the backlighting settings on a BlackBerry smartphone. As the BlackBerry display brightens, more power is consumed. Configuring the Backlight Brightness, Backlight Timeout, and Automatically Dim Backlight settings within the Options application to lower values will improve battery life.

Enable Auto On/Off Settings:
The Auto On/Off feature of the BlackBerry smartphone, contained within the Options application, allows configuration of preset times at which the BlackBerry smartphone will turn on and turn off. Newer BlackBerry smartphones allow for separate Auto On/Off settings for weekdays and weekends.

Configure a Power Efficient Notification Profile:
The speaker and vibration components of the BlackBerry consume energy when used. Consider configuring an energy efficient notification profile that minimizes use of these components by shortening the length of the notification as well as minimizing the number of times that the notification is produced. The vibration notification requires more power than other notification types, eliminating this notification type all together for an energy efficient notification profile, is a way to maximise battery performance. The LED light on the BlackBerry uses the least amount of energy, so for notification types where this form of notification is sufficient consider using it exclusively.


Maximizing Free Memory

Monitoring available memory:
To see the approximate amount of occupied flash memory on the BlackBerry smartphone, complete the following steps.

For BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 and earlier

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, open Options.
  2. Select Status.

For BlackBerry OS version 6.0

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, tap All, then open Options.
  2. Select Device.
  3. Select Device and Status Information.

The File Free field shows the approximate amount of available flash memory available for data. To make sure that this value is as accurate as possible, restart the BlackBerry smartphone to initiate a full garbage collection. For instructions, see KB02141.

From the Status screen, press the Menu key, to the right of the green phone key, and select Database Sizes to view the number of objects and size of databases on the BlackBerry smartphone.


What is considered low flash memory?
The BlackBerry smartphone's Java operating system has a complex and dynamic way of determining exactly how much available flash memory it should have before starting the Low Memory Manager application. To determine if it has low flash memory, the BlackBerry smartphone takes into account a number of factors, such as the BlackBerry smartphone hardware model, the operating system version, the number of installed applications, the frequency at which BlackBerry smartphone user data is added and removed, and so on. Generally speaking, the more the BlackBerry smartphone is used, the more memory the operating system sets aside for normal, efficient operation.

Note: When the BlackBerry smartphone has determined that is has low flash memory, it automatically starts the Low Memory Manager application, which reclaims memory.

The File Free field shows 0:
When the File Free field shows 0, it most likely means that the BlackBerry smartphone is full of data. The BlackBerry smartphone determines that it has low flash memory and performs more extensive garbage collections in order to make room for any new data. However, even when the BlackBerry smartphone is full of data, it is designed to operate properly. The Low Memory Manager application starts recovering flash memory when data is added that requires additional flash memory.

For more information on Low Memory Manager, see KB02843


Storing Data on Micro SD Media Card

Media cards are especially useful for BlackBerry smartphone users who want to store media files like songs, pictures, videos, voice notes, and ring tones, or who want to store pictures they take with the built-in cameras. Built-in video cameras on BlackBerry smartphones require a media card to function.

To make sure the built-in camera is set up to save picture files on the media card, complete the following steps:

  1. Install the media card in the BlackBerry smartphone.
  2. Open the Camera application (for BlackBerry OS version 6.0, tap All, and then open the Camera application).
  3. Display the menu and select Options.
  4. Set the Store Pictures field to On Media Card. Folder settings can be changed so that a particular folder to save pictures is selected.

    Note: For BlackBerry OS version 6.0, this option has been removed. However a different location can be specified when the file is renamed after image capture.

Removing Unused Languages and Applications

Removing features and applications that are underused increases the available flash memory on the BlackBerry smartphone. Use the Setup Wizard application to remove languages that are not used from the BlackBerry smartphone. Removing languages is highly recommended because it is one of the most significant ways to increase available flash memory.

To remove languages from the BlackBerry smartphone, complete the following steps:

For BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 and earlier

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, open Setup Wizard.
  2. Select Languages.
  3. Select the languages to be used, and uncheck those for removal on the BlackBerry smartphone. The BlackBerry smartphone deletes all languages that are not selected.

For BlackBerry OS version 6.0

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, tap All, and open Setup.
  2. Select Languages.
  3. Tap Manage Languages to expand the option.
  4. Select the languages to be used, and uncheck those for removal on the BlackBerry smartphone. The BlackBerry smartphone deletes all languages that are not selected.
  5. Tap the Update button at the bottom of the list to save the changes.

For BlackBerry OS version 7.0 and 7.1 

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, tap All, and open Setup.
  2. Select Languages and Input.
  3. Tap Input Languages to expand the option.
  4. Tap the Manage button.
  5. Select the languages to be used, and uncheck those for removal on the BlackBerry smartphone. The BlackBerry smartphone deletes all languages that are not selected.
  6. Tap the Save button at the bottom of the list to save the changes.

To remove applications from the BlackBerry smartphone, complete the following steps:

For BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 and earlier

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, open Options.
  2. Select Advanced Options.
  3. Select Applications. The BlackBerry smartphone takes time to build a comprehensive list of the installed applications.
  4. Highlight the application to delete, display the menu and select Delete.

 For BlackBerry OS version 6.0 and later

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, tap All, and open Options.
  2. Select Device, then Application Management.
  3. Tap the application to delete. The Application Properties screen appears for that application with a Delete option to remove the application.

Remove Data that is No Longer Needed

Remove Old Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages:
Because MMS messages can contain large media files and cannot be stored on a media card, MMS messages can use a lot of flash memory. If an old MMS is to be kept, open the MMS message and save the media files on the media card before deleting from the BlackBerry smartphone.

Automatically Remove Old Messages and Calendar items:
Change the Keep Messages and Keep Appointments settings on the BlackBerry smartphone to reduce the number of old messages using flash memory. To change the Keep Messages and Keep Appointments settings on the BlackBerry smartphone, complete the following steps:

For BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 and earlier

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, open Messages or Calendar application.
  2. Display the menu and select Options.
  3. Select General Options
  4. Set the Keep Messages field to either 15 Days or 30 Days.

For BlackBerry OS version 6.0 and later

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, tap All, and open Messages or Calendar application.
  2. Display the menu and select Options.
  3. Tap Message Display and Actions or Calendar Display and Actions.
  4. Set the Days To Keep Messages or Keep Appointments field to 15 or 30.

Remove Contacts that are Not Needed:
Minimize the number of contacts stored in the Address Book on the BlackBerry smartphone by removing contacts that are no longer needed. One way to minimize the number of contacts stored in the Address Book is to use the remote address lookup feature when an email message is sent rather than store company contacts in the Address Book. This feature is available if the BlackBerry smartphone uses BlackBerry Device Software 4.0 and later and one of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 3.5 or later for Microsoft Exchange or BlackBerry Enterprise Server 2.2 or later for IBM Domino.


Device Settings to Minimize the Size of Stored Messages

Configure Email Settings to Minimize the Size of Stored Messages:
By disabling both the Auto More and HTML Email features, it is possible to minimize the size of the stored messages thereby minimizing amount of memory held by email messages.

To set the Auto More option to No, complete the following steps:

For BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 and earlier

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, open Messages.
  2. Display the menu and select Options.
  3. Select General Options.
  4. In the Auto More field, select No.

For BlackBerry OS version 6.0 and later

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, tap All and open a message list.
  2. Display the menu and select Options.
  3. Select Message Display and Actions.
  4. Remove the check from the Auto More option.

To turn off HTML email support on the BlackBerry smartphone, complete the following steps:

For BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 and earlier

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, open Messages.
  2. Display the menu and select Options.
  3. Select Email Settings.
  4. Change the Enable HTML Email field to No.

For BlackBerry OS version 6.0 and later

  1. On the Home screen of the BlackBerry smartphone, tap All and open a message list.
  2. Display the menu and select Options.
  3. Select Email Preferences.
  4. Remove the check from the Enable HTML Email option.
CollapseAdditional Information

The BlackBerry smartphone is designed to operate properly with a modest amount of available flash memory. However, the BlackBerry smartphone can still operate at peak efficiency by maximizing its available flash memory. To maximize flash memory and battery power, it is recommended to know both how to monitor the available memory and what strategies help preserve flash memory and battery power.




Causes for decreased performance

BlackBerry smartphones based on Java technology depend on available flash memory for many tasks. Having low flash memory can lead to delays in processing information on the BlackBerry smartphone because the process for recovering blocks of flash memory, known as garbage collection, happens more frequently, which takes time. Java garbage collections automatically reclaim flash memory that is no longer being used by the Java operating system. Java garbage collections may also rearrange blocks of flash memory that are in use to create larger contiguous blocks of available flash memory. Just as a computer uses the hard disk as a source of virtual memory, the BlackBerry smartphone writes out lesser-used portions of its operating flash memory (normally held in fast static random access memory (SRAM)) to the slower flash memory. As the BlackBerry smartphone's flash memory begins to fill up, the BlackBerry smartphone must work harder to rearrange the flash memory to allocate the storage space it needs for normal operation. Therefore, low flash memory causes garbage collections to happen more frequently and take a longer time to complete, which also uses battery power.

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