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How To Recover Phone Memory On Your Nokia N97

By - On 2 July 2009 36 Comments

One major oversight on Nokia’s part when they created the N97 was the paltry phone memory on the handset. I am not talking about the 32GB storage, but the actual phone memory where contacts, notes, email, messages and other things are stored. The phone memory is limited to a grand 74 MB, out of which only about 45 MB is available because the rest is taken up by the pre-installed application and so on.

How To Recover Phone Memory On Your Nokia N97

Next if you install some applications or themes of your own, you will find yourself with very little storage left. Within a few days you will notice that the free memory has fallen even further and you are getting low memory warnings. Therefore I felt the need to write this guide to help recover some of your phone memory.

  • If you use Nokia Messaging and MFE on your handset, or even have a normal mailbox configured you will be loosing phone memory pretty fast. The solution is to uninstall/reinstall or delete and reconfigure your mailboxes. This will usually get you at least 10MB back, possibly more depending on your usage.
  • If you use POP email, which you shouldn’t since there is IMAP, then go into your mailbox settings and set it to enable POP for email that arrives from ‘Now’ on, this will reduce the number of old emails it downloads. I know this seems petty.
  • Next, install a third part file manager like Y-Browser and delete the ‘Cache’ folder in C:/System. This will really help.
  • Follow that up by deleting the ‘dmgr’ folder in C:/System. That folder holds the files that are downloaded by the Browser, on most occasions it is automatically cleared but sometimes files get stuck.

How To Recover Phone Memory On Your Nokia N97

  • Now lets move on to the pre-installed applications and widgets, uninstall as many as you do not need. On most occasions you will be able to find the ones you really need again, then simply install them to the 32GB drive on the N97. For example, I wanted the ‘Psiloc Traveller’ application, so I simply downloaded it from the Ovi Store, same with widgets.
  • Open the Ovi Store application settings and make sure it is set to install applications on your E: drive. To do this navigate to Options>Account>Settings>Installation Preferences.

How To Recover Phone Memory On Your Nokia N97

  • If you install any application/theme, make sure you install it onto the E: drive. However, if you are going to be using a particular theme install it onto the phone memory. This is so that your phone doesn’t switch to the default theme everytime you connect it in the ‘Mass Storage’ mode. Same for ringtones. Make sure you keep it down to one theme only.
  • You may also change your default ‘Messaging’ memory to either the 32GB inbuilt storage or a Memory Card. To do this, enter ‘Messaging’, hit Options>Settings>Other>’Memory In Use’.

How To Recover Phone Memory On Your Nokia N97

If you follow these steps, you should be able to reclaim quite a bit of the phone memory on your N97 and keep if working without it having to bother you about the phone memory. Have any other tip? Please share in the comments below.

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  • dwane said:

    ok i know u say about the email and so forth but cant u just change the default memory like u can do for the messenger instead of keep on cleaning on and on?

  • ratkat said:

    great guide, huge oversight for nokia to put such a small amount of device memory in the N97. It seems they never learn from their past mistakes.
    The 32gb needed to be the c: drive, non techy people are not going to understand the need to clear space or why they are getting low memory messages.
    The’ll just think it’s broken.

  • Farhan said:

    Another problem I faced was right after installation of N-Gage and Ovi Contacts update memory dropped down to 25 mb and after a while with emails being downloaded fell to 5 mb only .

  • Vaibhav Sharma (author) said:

    Dwane, for the inbuilt client yes, but Nokia Messaging installs itself on the phone memory by default.

    Ratkat, can’t agree more. People will not be able to understand how did their 32GB get filled so quickly when they didn’t even fill it completely.

  • Jas said:

    Can I save/transfer contacts to E:drive?

  • Jas said:

    This is a very good piece of info Vaibhav. Thanks for this!!

    After changing the storage source for Messages, I checked out the c: drive memory details in file manager:

    Memory in Use: 52MB
    Free memory: 21MB
    SIS application: 8875KB
    Other Files: 43MB
    Calender, Contacts & Documents amount to very little space

    Which are these other files occupying a huge 43MB? Can anything be deleted amongst the “other files” to free up more memory in c: drive?

  • Vaibhav Sharma (author) said:

    Jas, contacts only take a few KB’s so don’t worry about them and no you can’t transfer them there, you can only make a backup.

    These other files include anything from the cache to the files applications generate. The problem is that a lot of these files are in the ‘sys’ directory which is inaccessible.

  • juwlz said:

    There seems to be a firmware bug. I keep changing my messaging settings to use E:, and at some point (haven’t identified how/when yet, but it could be related to changing Profiles), it gets switched back to C: again. So, every so often (every day?) I have to change it again.

    Unfortunately, if you use the transfer option to transfer stuff from another phone (an E90 in my case), the transfer seems to stick everything on the C: drive :-(.


  • noob said:

    hey guys, is there any way to access the c:\system\dmgr to delete some files ?

  • Increase your C: phone memory | Nokia N97 User said:

    [...] are more ways to increase the phone memory from TheSymbianBlog. tweetmeme_url = [...]

  • jared said:

    @ juwlz
    - if you connect the phone via USB Mass Storage Mode, all apps using the E: drive will exit and some (like messaging) will automatically note that E: is inaccessible and therefore switch to the default drive (C: of course).
    - solution: don’t connect via mass storage mode. on a mac, use nokia multimedia transfer to get stuff to/from the phone. on windows? i don’t know, maybe pc suite doesn’t do the job for you? there’s enough storage, get it all on there once, then set the usb mode to automatically use PC Suite mode.

    @ noob
    - there is a free app called Y-browser that allows you to access the system folders. I used it no more than 10 minutes ago to delete the dmgr folder you asked about. you can get it here:
    - there are, of course, other apps for this too. this one is free and well respected and the only one i’ve tested with.

  • tony said:

    thanks for the tips, much appreciated.

    but in all honesty, why didnt nokia give us the phone all sorted out like this before we bought it?

  • Linda said:

    Brilliant advice, just did everything you said and I know have almost 40mb free on the phone memory.

    Thank you very much!

  • Vaibhav Sharma (author) said:

    I’m glad it was useful.

  • Tips for your maintaining your Nokia N97 in great shape said:

    [...] continue reading also you may want to check out a great post on how to recover memory. [...]

  • mbrett said:

    For a few more tips and tricks on C: drive reclamation go to:

  • lauren said:

    when i clicked the download link for Ybrowser, it said not compatible with my phone….. “huh”?? !!!

    I just restored factory settings, and have 22mb free…43mb used by “other”. is annoying me immensely.

  • Jan Michael said:

    Open the Ovi Store application settings and make sure it is set to install applications on your E: drive. To do this navigate to Options>Account>Settings>Installation Preferences.

    for that step…. i can’t locate the settings for the OVI STORE application…..

    that is the settings for the ovi store on the phone right? Thanks!

  • alcapone23 said:

    it does work jane michael.
    many thnx

  • Ravdula said:

    I’ve not been able to use Y-browser, but have found that Xplore works well!


    I am still, however, finding it impossible to locate the ‘Cache’ or ‘dmgr’ folders? Can anyone help?

  • V20 problem - C: memory full? - Page 2 said:

    [...] was able to find a part answer tpo the question in this blog (How To Recover Phone Memory On Your Nokia N97 | The Symbian Blog) along with some other tips, so hopefully I am on top of it now. I really cant understand [...]

  • kubas said:

    i dont get it

  • Muyi said:

    Hi, When I tried to redirect ovi to install in the 32gb mem (options/accounts/settings/installation preferences) there is no drop down to select 32gb mem. The only option is phone memory.

    Any ideas as I’m down to 7.9mb phone mem at the moment!

  • Michael H said:

    Really wish someone could come up with a small app which would script cleaning up these folders and directories on a scheduled basis. Would make life a lot easier.

  • tadger said:

    great tips, really cleared up space. thanks !

  • Hafez said:

    Hello Guys
    Im using Nokia N97.Have had it for almost 2 months. Today all of a sudden, my General Profile settings changed to the actual factory settings. So I had to personalize. Now unfortunately i just found out that my contacts have all been lost….
    I checked memory… and its mass memory that ive always have used.
    C: Phone memory
    free: 51.5MB
    E: Mass memory
    free: 29.1GB
    Is there a way I can restore…. What could be the cause….

    Please help me out here… Almost 500 contacts lost

  • Michiel said:

    Thanks! Finally cleared up some memory!

  • sid said:

    can u send me a snap of nokia 97 xplore
    i want to see dat does it shows 5 drives in it???
    plz as fast as possible..

  • hassan_algeria said:

    i have n97 and n958gb
    when i used x_plorer i get in n97 32gb :
    z :0 mb

    c :Phone memory
    e :Mass memory
    f: card memory
    d: ram phon it used for whrking application and games and other appl

    but i get it in n95 8gb [ 90mb ]whey … ??! a cant understand n95 quiqley then n97 can someone explique for me thenks
    i am sorry for wrating . http://www.hassan.kyo@live.fr

  • Rahul said:

    I wish u can help me vaibhav… I downloaded many new apps from ovi store… My installation place mass memory as u told… But still i got low memory mesages and the phone just switched off after showing some green and blue dots… Is virus or something…

  • gingerfrog said:

    Hi, I have an n97 and
    Does anyone know the actual hardware setup of the phone, are the drives partitioned or actually separate? Long shot but what if repartitioning was an option.
    Food for thoughts

  • refjohnson said:

    nokia n97 is best cell phone this cell phone is very fast and use ful I downloaded many new apps from ovi store… My installation place mass memory as u told
    C: Phone memory
    free: 51.5MB
    E: Mass memory
    free: 29.1GB
    Is there a way I can restore…. What could be the cause
    choli ke hukhi fi legle

  • rexhep said:

    I want to make my nokia N 97 empty,,,,, so , to have my mobile as new , how was for the first time used by me .
    so pleasse , help me …………..thanks a lot

  • Utsav Saikia said:

    Is there any guide like this for nokia N8?My phone recently prompted for a mandatory software upgrade after which i am unable to view my phone memory contacts. Is there any way to recover them?I did not take any backup before the upgrade, which the nokia people told me, should have prompted…Please advice

  • Kazuyuki said:

    So, is this Y-Browser capable of clearing out the cache files in the “memory used by the other” category? If that’s the case, it would be a great lifesaver–memory down to 5.7 MB…

  • Manjinder said:


    my phome memory is 2.3MB left

    ovi store it is set to install applications on your E: drive.

    ‘Messaging’ memory is also to the 32GB inbuilt storage

    but when i install any software from ovistore i lose some phone memory why it is like that?