Bleachbit is a free tool that allows you to free disk space and delete Internet history. It has a few advantages over comparable tools: It is Open Source, supports many applications, is portable, has a command line interface, and helps you to wipe disk space.

BleachBit is a free tool that allows you to clean disk space, on Windows (and Linux). For many third-party applications you can free disk space and to delete compromising files such as Internet history data.

Free disk space and delete Internet history - BleachBit

Thus far, CCleaner has been my favorite cleaning tool. I haven't yet had much experience with BleachBit, but the free tool has a good chance of getting a permanent place in my toolbox. Like CCleaner, BleachBit allows you to free disk space by deleting unneeded files from various applications. However, there are a few differences between the two free cleaning utilities.

BleachBit is Open Source ^

I don’t really intend to debug the source code; however, Open Source tools have a higher chance of remaining free. It appears that CCleaner is no longer free because there is only a "Buy and Download" link at the top of the page. However, if you scroll down you'll find  links to third-party sites where you can still download CCleaner for free. It is as if the publisher wants to hide that the tool is free. Not that I think that CCleaner isn't worth a donation; however, it is poor practice to trick people into "donating" this way. By contrast, BleachBlit is listed at SourceForge.net where you won't be confronted with such little tricks.

BleachBit supports more applications ^

BleachBit supports about 70 applications while CCleaner can only free disk space for 5 applications (see comments below). Developers can contribute to the project by submitting new "cleaners", that is add code for new applications which can be cleaned with the tool. This makes it likely that there will be even more supported applications in the future.

BleachBit is portable ^

Cleaning up the mess that users have left on a workstation is a common task for administrators. A portable computer cleaner comes also in handy whenever you want to delete your own temporary files on a server or user PC after you have finished your administration task. Update: CCleaner is also available as portable version (see comment below).

BleachBit has a command line interface ^

Perhaps it is part of your security policy to regularly delete Internet history and free disk space on user computers. If so, you will like BleachBit's command line interface because you can use the tool in a script to automate the cleaning process on all your computers.

BleachBit allows you to shred files and wipe free disk space ^

At first I thought that these are just nice additional features. However, on second thought, these functions make a lot of sense for a computer cleaning tool. The point is that no computer cleaner supports all applications. Thus, in some cases you might have to delete files and folders manually. To ensure that those files can't be recovered, you can use BleachBit's shred feature. If you deleted files with Windows Explorer or another application, you can use the wipe-free-disk-space function to also securely delete his data. (Note: CCleaner support file shredding but not the wiping of free disk space.)

BleachBit supports 41 languages ^

Just in case you happen to speak fluent Asturian, you can change the language of BleachBit's user interface. The sheer number of supported languages demonstrates how many different people are involved with the project.

I have only one complaint about the tool: its name. When I wrote this review, I couldn't stop writing "Beachblit." This might be due to my affinity to beaches, but somehow I like this name better. 😉 I have tested BleachBit 0.8.4.0.

BleachBit ^

7 Comments
  1. User 12 years ago

    Well, CCleaner is still free. The download link is below that buy online and download add. Just some people will click that before viewing the whole page and actually buy it! so just keep that in mind.

  2. biff 12 years ago

    Some of your points are not valid in comparison to CCLeaner. CCleaner supports way more than 5 apps (only installed apps that it will clean appear in the GUI). CCleaner has a portable version available. CCleaner can securely shred deleted files (not HD free space though). BleachBit may be a great app but I wanted to make the comparison more accurate.

  3. Michael Pietroforte 12 years ago

    User, yeah that is just what I said.

    biff, thanks for your hints. I just counted the applications that are listed on the main page. I didn’t see the other application on the features page. But I didn’t find the download link for the portable version.

  4. JH 12 years ago

    All the Piriform applications have a portable version available on the app’s respective builds download page (e.g., for CCleaner – http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds. You can find the link to the builds page at the bottom of the downloads page of each app.

    Thanks for the info on BleachBit.

  5. Michael Pietroforte 12 years ago

    JH, thanks for the info. I have updated the article.

  6. Simon 12 years ago

    I’d also like to note that CCleaner *does* have a wipe free disk space feature, it has for some time. It now even has it’s own menu under tools where you can select which disk, what kind of shred (entire disk/just freespace) and how many passes.

    I’ll have alook at this tool though, it does look quite interesting and possibly more user friendly to automate.

  7. RoninV 12 years ago

    I tend to use both, since I find BleachBit’s option to “hide irrelevant cleaners” a bit confusing. If a user elects NOT to hide irrelevant cleaner, all cleaners that make up BB will be displayed, and if a user elects to hide irrelevant cleaners, it will ONLY display those cleaners that match the programs installed on the computer where it is installed or the portable version is being used. I take it BB does a registry scan prior to opening, to determine what is installed/not installed?

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