How to free up space on disk C on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

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Click here for a complete list of All About Symbian's Nokia 5800 XpressMusic tutorials


Starting out with 88MB of flash memory on its internal disk ('C'), you'd think this would be enough for the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. And it would be, in a perfect world. But intensive use (e.g. installing, trying and removing third party applications, web browsing of Flash-based web sites, map-using, using the built-in 'Device updates' system to upgrade the firmware over the air)  means that it's easy for these 88MB to disappear. From my own experiences, as much as 40MB (i.e. almost half the entire disk space) can be, apparently, 'lost'.

[text updated 10am Fri 15th May 2009, thanks to commenters on the piece who have contributed ideas!]

Before we get to the most drastic step, here are some easy ways to reclaim space (do make a note of your starting figure, as quoted in 'File Mgr' and then compare at each stage)

  • delete any known large attachments from Messaging and/or Nokia Messaging
  • delete any direct downloads you've done 
  • remove any trial applications you've installed to 'Internal memory'
  • use Y-Browser (or similar) to delete the '\cache' folder on C: (deleting the cache from inside Web isn't as reliable)
  • (if a Google Maps user) use 'Options | Tools | Reset' - this frees up memory used for cached maps
  • again in Y-Browser, delete 'C:\system\temp' , there are sometimes Megabytes of .SWF (Flash) files here




The text below is for situations where you've run through the list above and deleted everything non-essential that you can think of and yet you know you're still (potentially) tens of Megabytes 'short'.

Here's how to reclaim as much space as possible of your Nokia 5800's internal flash memory.

  1. Go into 'File Mgr'. You'll find this in the 'Applications' folder. Note the current free disk space on 'C' (often labelled 'Phone memory').
  2. Double-tap on 'Backup' and check that 'Backup contents' is set to 'All'.
  3. Use 'Options | Back up now' to do a backup (to card). You can say 'Yes' to the prompt about overwriting a previous backup, if applicable.
    Nokia 5800 Screenshot Nokia 5800 Screenshot
    It's also now a good idea to check that you know which applications you've installed to disk C and that you know where to download/restore the SIS files from - in case you have to reinstall at the end of the procedure.
  4. When finished (the backup takes a couple of minutes to run), go to the dial pad (on the home screen) and tap out *#7370#, the 'hard reset' sequence for S60 phones. Effectively, this completely wipes the C disk and forces the Operating System to start its system folders from scratch. Your phone will restart as part of this sequence and note that the startup will take a bit longer than usual.
    PS. The 'lock code' for a Nokia handset is '12345', unless you've changed it or unless you have a
    network-branded phone and the network has changed it!!
    Nokia 5800 Screenshot
  5. Once restarted, go back to 'File Mgr', to check free space on disk C again (about 88MB, but this will vary according to the exact 5800 variant you own)
  6. Tap on 'Backup' again, but then tap on 'Options | Restore'.
  7. Check all the content boxes and then tap on 'OK'. Wait while your data, settings and applications are restored from the backup.
    Nokia 5800 Screenshot
  8. Restart the phone.
  9. Go back into 'File Mgr' and you should see that you now have significantly more free disk space on 'C'.

You should now be up and running, but may have to complete the following steps:


  • Reinstate your Bluetooth pairings (e.g. with your headset and desktop
  • Re-organise your application folders again, if needed, as the assignments of apps to folders will have been reset to the default. So you'll need to fiddle with these.
  • Re-install any applications that had been installed to disk C, if needed. Google Maps is one that you will need to do.


Phew! Depending on how much you had to do, you've still earnt yourself a coffee or beer! Most importantly, you've had a good spring clean and have a lot more space to play with on your phone's internal memory.

(C) Steve Litchfield, All About Symbian

Click here for a complete list of All About Symbian's Nokia 5800 XpressMusic tutorials