In folklore, a silver bullet can kill all kinds of nasty things like werewolves, witches, and vampires. We BlackBerry owners need a silver bullet to kill problems like:
- low memory
- frozen applications
- email malfunctions
- sluggish or quirky phone performance
- installed themes not showing up
A common recommendation is to “pull the battery” (meaning remove it, wait, then replace it). But what about wear-and-tear from doing that over-and-over? And what if my phone is in a protective skin that must be removed? Surely there must be a better way? There is–and it’s soooo simple!
[NOTE: In the near future, there is expected to be a new BlackBerry Operating System (OS) release: OS version 4.5 (4.3.1 while in beta). A fairly recent warning has been posted on the SoftReset web site that says SoftReset will not work with this release. If you aren't sure which version OS you have, do Options > About, and look for a version number in the first few lines. For example, mine reads v18.104.22.168.]
One of my most highly-recommended applications for the BlackBerry is SoftReset by Alan Penner of GeekAndProud.net. Once installed, you are just a few easy clicks away from NOT having to pull your battery. There are both over-the-air (OTA) and download links for SoftReset. [If you don't mind typing a long URL for an OTA download, use your BlackBerry Browser to "Go To..." http://geekandproud.net/blackberry/softreset/softreset.jad.]
How It Works
After installing SoftReset, locate its icon on the Home Screen (or wherever you might have moved it).
Click the SoftReset icon. You’ll see the screen below:
Depending on your installed theme, colors and fonts may vary. In my case, the big Reset button is red. Click the Reset button.
After a brief moment, you’ll get the screen below. Honestly, I don’t understand what the message “The device is required to reset to complete module installation or removal. Notice 1 of 5″ is all about. I ignore it. And do NOT click Reset Later. I don’t know what that’s about, either, but when I’ve tried it, something bad happened (I don’t exactly remember–maybe the phone locked up). Instead, click Reset Now.
For about the next 2 minutes, your phone will be rebooting. The sequence will go something like this (times are approximate):
- Screen goes dark but LED is on and red. About 15 seconds elapses.
- LED goes dark for a brief moment.
- Screen goes white with tumbling hour glass. About 60 seconds elapses.
- Screen shows start-up picture (for me, a Verizon logo) for a few seconds.
- Home Screen appears with message, “Verifying Security Software.” A thermometer-type progress bar shows the percentage complete for verification. Eventually reaches 100%. About two minutes has elapsed.
- Press the Escape key to clear the 100% message off the screen. If you don’t it seems to just sit there.
- The phone is back to normal but may respond a little slowly until some background activity completes, but that should be only for some seconds.
SoftReset can be used any time you might consider doing a battery pull. There’s nothing better to immediately free up some memory, although it won’t solve the problem of what’s causing memory to disappear. But it can buy you time to investigate why memory is disappearing.
If your phone is acting strange and you suspect it’s a malfunction or software bug, it’s so easy to try SoftReset and see if that clears up the wierd behavior. But be aware that if you were in the middle of composing a message, memo, or similar, that work will be lost if you can’t send or save it before doing SoftReset.
Alan Penner accepts donations for SoftReset but highly recommends that before you donate you TRY the software, accept how it WORKS, and forget about asking for SUPPORT (he offers NO support at all ever). Personally, I encourage you to donate if SoftReset works for you. We need to reward people who create cool stuff for us. Donate here: http://www.geekandproud.net/blackberry-software/#donate.