How I Save Space on My Windows Mobile Device

How I save space on my Windows Mobile device works in a two-fold process and is a very similar strategy followed by many of experts and contributors mentioned in this blog. One is by not installing applications directly on the device to take up precious memory, the other is by shutting down applications and freeing memory occupied by temporary files. On the Windows Mobile Standard (Smartphone) platform I have noticed that this isn't as much of an issue as with the Windows Mobile Professional (Pocket PC Phone)or Windows Mobile Classic(Pocket PC) and doesn't require as much memory management, but may in certain instances.

Minimizing Application Bloat

I have out of habit install most of my applications on my storage card and generally these applications are installed from a storage card folder called Install, where I store the latest versions of my favorite software install cab files. The only programs that I do install into memory are ones that require it like Spb Mobile Shell, Voice Command,etc. With these programs I may even go a step further using some free utilities on the net for advanced users and install it into the Extended Memory of the device. Most Windows Mobile devices have memory saved on the device reserved for programs to automatically install or are installed in the extended memory location by OEM's carriers, etc. during a hard reset. Note if you are not an advanced user, I don't recommend going this route.

Shut 'em down.

It is a well known fact that back in the day when Windows CE had the layer of Pocket PC and later the Smartphone OS placed on it that when you click on the infamous 'X 'in the upper right-hand corner of devices that your applications aren't really shut down, but "smart-minimized" for quicker application launch and switching between applications. As Windows Mobile evolved it has performed better management of this memory by freeing up memory when needed or shutting down threads, processes, and applications first with Windows Mobile 5 and even more so with Windows Mobile 6. It still isn't perfect, but it is better. :) Still there are times when bit rot occurs, some applications fail to shut down properly or temporary files outgrow normal usage patterns and cause many users to soft reset, which generally clears this problem and becomes a normal habit by many when things slow down or don't work like they used to. If you have an understanding of what is happening with your memory can prevent having to do this when things start to get bogged down. Most people don't even know that they have several applications open in the background.

To close applications on the Pocket PC manually by going to:

Start->System->Memory(here you can see how much memory is available)->Running Programs tab(here you can shut down applications running in the background that you may not see. Here you can also find large files using up your memory.)

These utilities are pretty basic, but good enough for general use. Of course there are several third party applications out there that solve this problem as well with a listing of memory consumption of files and running programs.

To help find what programs are running I use a program called Magic Button to alter the behavior of the X button to close applications when I click on the X or OK button instead of Smart Minimize. It also displays several icons of open applications on the today screen in the upper taskbar so I can quickly switch to them with a simple tap. Best of all it is free! Some devices by HTC now have a program or task manager called X-Button or even allow you to change how the X performs like Battery Pack Pro and Spb Plus which also include several other utilities for managing your mobile device..

On the Smartphone you don't have as many problems with memory consumption, but there are some applications like on the Pocket PC that do slow down the device and need some management and shutting down. Usually a soft reset will help or you can simply utilize the Task Manger on the device to shut down applications. Each Windows Mobile Standard aka Smartphone device has a different utility to do this, but its there and may take some digging on the device or reading of the manual to find it.

Clear out the Temps

My favorite application for freeing up space and memory on Windows Mobile Professional/Classic devices aka Pocket PCs is SK-Tools which has many utilities to free temporary files, compress heaps, etc. Note you can do this manually as well, by storing your temporary internet files on your storage card with a registry hack. Menneisyys has a great article worth reading on it here.

Another is storing your email attachments on your storage card:

Open the Messaging app->Menu->Tools->Options->Storage tab and check the box to store attachments on the storage card.

Clearing your temprorary internet files on the Windows Mobile Classic and Professional:

Open Pocket Internet Explorer->Menu->Tools->Options->Memory Tab and Delete Files

On the Windows Mobile Standard it is very similar:

Open Pocket Internet Explorer-> Menu ->Tools->Options->Memory->Clear Temporary Files

There are many ways to free up memory on a Windows Mobile Device these are just a few. Hopefully in the future there will be even more as Windows Mobile evolves.

GrAMHero: Have you tried the following - Open the Messaging appliation(you should see a list of all your email accounts)->Select Menu->Options->Storage tab and check the box to store attachments on the storage card?

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