What does BlackBerry’s Built-in Memory Cleaner do?

BlackBerry Memory Cleaning Memory Cleaner

You might have seen this built in “Memory Cleaning” option before on your BlackBerry and wondered what it does exactly or do you really need to enable it to get better performance versus data protection? Well, we have the KB article recently updated by RIM to answer most of these questions.

As we know, BlackBerry device has one common OS for both it’s enterprise and regular consumers. Depending on whether you use BlackBerry as an enterprise device or for personal use, you can enable/ disable certain features of BlackBerry OS to get more out it.

For e.g. BlackBerry does provide Password Lock feature which most of the regular consumers do not use, as for them it’s more of inconvenience type rather than enhanced security type feature, which is completely opposite for enterprise consumers.

Memory cleaning and Content Protection are one of those features which go hand by hand and you may want to keep the default settings as is, if your BlackBerry usage is more of a personal and you prefer speed vs. data protection. Content Protection and Memory Cleaning are disabled by default.

What is Memory Cleaner in BlackBerry?

As mentioned in KB article,

BlackBerry smartphones may contain information such as passwords, email messages, and private keys. The memory cleaner is designed to protect this information with the following functions:

  • Secure Garbage Collection
  • Clearing Caches
Secure Garbage Collection

All Java objects are stored on the BlackBerry smartphone in RAM or flash memory. Normally, when Java objects are no longer needed, the memory assigned to that object is released to be overwritten by new data. With the memory cleaner turned on, the BlackBerry Java Virtual Machine (JVM) overwrites the memory using zeroes before it is released. As a result, data cannot be retrieved from the memory chips.

Clearing Caches

The memory cleaner clears various caches on the BlackBerry smartphone including the temporary key store, content protection caches, and address book caches.

In simple words, Memory Cleaner is an utility which basically deletes the encrypted data and cache of your BlackBerry.

How to Enable Memory Cleaner?

On the BlackBerry smartphone, click Options > Security Options > Memory Cleaning.
There are more options for you to choose, if you decide to enable Memory Cleaning as shown in above image. You can also show that as an icon on your Home Screen. Once enabled, you’ll find the icon in the Applications folder.

How to Enable Content Protection?

Content-Protection-BlackBerry Content-Protection

On the BlackBerry smartphone, click Options > General Settings > Content Protection

My Recommendation

If you do not have BlackBerry device password enabled on your BlackBerry and your usage of BlackBerry is more of personal, where speed is more important than encrypted data, keep the default settings as is. i.e. Content Protection and Memory Cleaning disabled. The reason being, keeping the content protection disabled, BlackBerry does not need to go through more processor cycles to encrypt all data, and since there is not much encryption, keeping the the Memory Cleaning disabled is OK. There are other better ways to free up device memory if that is the prime concern. The other safe bet would be to select it to show up as Home Screen Icon and run it in manual mode occasionally, may be once in a day.

If your BlackBerry contains data which is very sensitive, hi-profile, worth thousands of dollars if found by someone and decrypted later from the memory chip, you may want to enable both content protection and Memory Cleaning. While doing this, you’ll have to enable the device password.

If your BlackBerry usage falls in between first and second types mentioned above, feel free to enable the Memory Cleaning for few days and keep an eye on the performance. If you do not notice any change, leave it ON.

More information

> > BlackBerry Memory Cleaner
> > Content Protection

Stay tuned, for the next how to post on “How to maximize free space on the BlackBerry?”

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One Comment
  1. Sal_34

    Very informative. This is why I love reading your site. Keep up the good work!