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Shrinking your BlackBerry OS 6 with BB Boss

FubazBBBoss222I have been using BB Boss since its release by the BDHP team to help with the shrinking of OS6 for more free memory on my 9700.  It is a wonderful tool that keeps getting updates making it better and better as an all in one PC app for BlackBerry’s. Before we continue with BB Boss let me throw in a DISCLAIMER, if you are not comfortable removing OS Files, and even maybe bricking your BlackBerry (if you shrink or delete the wrong stuff) please use the app with caution.

BB Boss allows the user to Shrink the OS to a reasonable size, removing all bloat like fonts, languages, applications and more.  They have added Hybrid installation, File system, and also the ability to help create OTA downloads in the JAD/ALX creation.

For today, we will just stick with OS Shrinking.  As you can see from the image above that BB Boss lets you really customize what files will be installed when upgrading your OS or just even freeing up space.

I personally shrink out everything except for BBM and Memo Pad in the normal menus.  I have been able to get my install files down to 36.3MB Pre Install.


I am using BB Boss 1.1 right now because i do not use the other features.

From the image you can see that my starting folder size was 146MB and I was able to remove 109.6MB of unwanted install files.  Also note, that what you shrink out will not directly add to that many MB in file free, but when i load my 9700 for the first time with no apps, I have 110MB File Free and after all my apps are installed I am down to 95MB. Everyone will want to shrink out different things, and I would stay away from the ‘Advanced’ section, until you read up on what those functions do.

We can start by downloading BB Boss (Download links will be posted at the bottom of the article) and install which one you wish to use, as I stated above, I use 1.1 as it has all the features I need for now.  Second you will want to uninstall all unneeded OS’s for your device off of your computer, and make sure the one you want to use is install.

Run BB Boss, and at the top you will see that it lets you select which OS you are wishing to work on, and from there you can start removing things that you will not want to use.  You will see that I take out the default ringtones as well, I use MP3’s as my ringtones or custom tones saved on my media card and don’t need them.  From here, click carefully before you shrink, unlike the OS5 tool Shrink a OS, BB Boss does not(not at least in 1.1) save the deleted CODs for future addition and you will need to re install the OS on your computer to restore the deleted CODs.  Once you have your selected items, click Auto Add/Remove and after 30 seconds it will tell you how much you have shrank out. This will be the button ‘OS on Disk’ in Version 2.2.2.

The Next step is determined by what you’re looking to do.  If you are upgrading your OS, you can continue by clicking File and Launch AppLoader, this will launch RIMs AppLoader.exe and continue through the upgrade process.  If you are looking to shrink out the OS that is on your phone (only do able in version 2.2.2) click Direct Shrink on phone, and follow the prompts.

With version 2.2.2 you can really play around and have fun with shrinking, as you can directly modify the OS on the phone, and it eliminates having to Wipe and Reload the OS if you want to shrink it, as has had to be done in the past.

As mentioned above, please be cautious with your removal of items in the ‘Advanced’ section and have fun!

DOWNLOAD LINKS – Windows only

BB Boss 1.1

BB Boss 2.2.2

You will also need the Desktop Manager USB drivers installed to complete these operations.

48 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Very helpful article, Fubaz. Thanks for writing and posting this one.

  2. i use this all the time and i can get about 121Mb of unused space

  3. on my 9700 sorry i left the out

  4. I wonder how this compares to lyricidal’s Shrink-A-OS? It looks very similar.

  5. Def gonna give it a shot. Looks nice!

  6. i remember i used to do this manually. Went to the shared folder and delete all that i wanted, this does make it much easier.

  7. I had the prog, but never used it yet. I will give it a go.

  8. Wow!! Nice guide!

  9. Awesome rundown of BB Boss, I’m itching to d/l os6 to my 9700. Haven’t had the time to play with BB Boss but the screenshots and review are very helpful.

    • if you are looking for a first time load and want a very stable os6, I would go with .448 or .461.

      If you use Visual VoiceMail use .448 as 461 does not include the CODs. BUT with BB Boss you can install the .448 CODs on .461. Play around and have fun.

  10. How easy is it to brick the phone with this app?

  11. Hah. Thanks for this. I remembered seeing this link on twitter.

  12. Jym, I’ve never bricked when shrinking out simple stuff.

    I have bricked a few times playing around the CODs making a hybrid.

    You can shrink out anything you want out of the main section and be fine, just stay out of the ‘advanced’ section.

    Good luck!!

  13. nothing to be worried about if you have a back up…. i usually wipe and reload my phone a few times a month just trying stuff.

    Next wipe will be for fun, then fresh install and a restore from BB Protect to see if it is still necessary to do a DM back up, or will BB Protect put all my needed info back on my phone.

  14. I installed on comp and hooked up phone but it didn’t do anything. Is everything that I delete suppose to still be on my phone?

  15. did you use the Direct Shrink on Phone feature?

  16. please re read through the instructions again and download 2.2.2 if you are trying to shrink items off of your phone.

    also make sure you have desktop manager installed for the USB drivers needed.

  17. no problems, 1.1 only shrinks the OS pre load.

    2.2.2 has the ability to shrink the OS while on your phone.

  18. Do you have to donate to use this app?

  19. I deleted my calculator by mistake, is there anyway to get it back?

  20. Great article. To be honest, never been quite game to do this, but now giving it a go for my Torch 9800.

    Donated to the developer as well, as I think it is important to do so….. #payingitforward


  21. I no longer see the point in shrinking os in the newer devices…

    • Yes it is probably true for the 256MB+ devices there’s no real need other than “geek cred” (yo, I shrunk my OS) and possibly making the OS a bit more efficient.

  22. I shrunk my leaked os6.xx.499 for my Bold97 and now have 60MB app mem back compared to 35mb! woohoo! But I am getting a error after start-up 🙁

    uncaught exception: ApplicationRegistry.waitFor (0x70170be9d2fc292) timeout

    uncaught exception: java.lang.NullPointerException

    Please help!

  23. The start up error is because you shrunk out Visial Voicemail(VVM)

    I get it too, it does. Not hinder device performance

    • Oh I see.. I don’t mind it then as long as I get another 30mb back on app memory, I can deal w/ having to click OK when these errors come up.. As long as it doesn’t affect performance then I am happy.. Thanks for this article!

      • You can always re-do the shrink but not take out VVM if you don’t want the annoyance. Not like VVM is gonna chew up 30MB. Maybe 2?

        What’s weird is I don’t have VVM on either of my BlackBerry and I don’t get that sort of error. Must be a OS 6 thing, my OS 5 doesn’t complain.

  24. Yeah, its just because the OS is looking for it, think of it as a bad shortcut on a desktop.

    I’m glad I was able to help you.

    • Hahaha! And I’m one of those who love a clean desktop hence would delete any unnecessary shortcuts 🙂

      Thanks again! Esp for letting me know what those errors are for since I googled it and got nowhere..

  25. How can I re-install VVM so that I don’t get the error message when my phone reboots?

  26. you can re add it using BB Boss 2.2

    or you can re install the OS on your computer, run App Loader and install VVM from there.

    • How do I do that? Just unclick it? & since we are talking about adding & removing apps I removed my password keeper& I would like it back. When I refresh all my apps through bb boss 2.2 it shows up but its not on my bb…???

  27. did you shrink live on the phone, or did you shrink and then load?

    • I did a live shrink.

    • To shrink directly on your phone, is it a matter of simply connecting your device to pc via BB Boss and checking/unchecking options? Or is it another process? I just upgraded to OS 6 (.524) a few hours ago and used BB Boss to shrink OS on my pc before installing to 9700, so far so good, Im just being cautious so as not to brick my 9700

      Thanks in advance

  28. okay so youre going to have to re download the OS, install it on your computer and then re add it.

    do you have the OS on your computer right now?

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