[Windows] BleachBit will clean your computer and protect your privacy, is an excellent alternative to CCleaner [Linux]

bb1When it comes to Windows, maintenance is critical. If you don’t take care of your system you’ll regret it later. Your computer will slow to an eventual crawl and you’ll get frustrated. All this can be avoided by installing a tool like BleachBit. I’m quite aware of CCleaner. I am also aware dotTech has reviewed it in the past, but in this review, I’m going to make the case as to why BleachBit is just as good.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

BleachBit is an open source, cross platform system cleaning tool. It cleans temp files, browser history, browser cache, browser cookies, logs, and more. It can do deep scans of your system and the data on your harddrive to clean it. BleachBit can also shred files, rewrite free disk space, and even has a command line interface.

BleachBit works on Windows and Linux. We specifically reviewed the Windows version here.

Pros

  • Cleans temp files, privacy traces, and more
  • Has features that increase system performance (e.g. decreasing the size of Firefox’s, Chrome’s, and Thunderbird’s database
  • 2013-03-19_234608Supports cleaning of all major browsers (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, and Safari) plus over 100 other programs (see list to the right)
  • If you want support for more programs, developer constantly adds support for more programs via an optional winapp2.ini file, a list that is 1200+ programs strong
  • Has an integrated file shredder (aka secure deleter)
  • Can overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted items
  • Easy usability
  • Has a command line interface that allows BleachBit to be automated with scripts
  • Cross-platform — works on both Windows and Linux
  • Open-source
  • Is portable

Cons

  • Underwhelming user interface
  • No registry fixing tool
  • Can sometimes run slowly when doing heavy cleaning

Discussion

bb2In the introduction to this review I brought up CCleaner. I used to be really enthusiastic towards CCleaner, but as it has grown popular and the installer comes bundled with crapware (Ask Toolbar, Google Chrome, etc.). Of course there is a ‘Slim’ crapware-less version of CCleaner and there is a portable version that doesn’t have the toolbar, but I just cant handle that kind of thing.

That’s probably why I’m so interested in BleachBit. It’s open source, community driven, to the point and powerful — with no crapware. I don’t have to deal with that kind of thing with BleachBit. I really appreciate how the program is open source, and another bonus is that I can also run BleachBit on my Linux systems.

The BleachBit feature that stands out the most in my mind would be the ‘file shredder’. I really like how this works and I really appreciate how the developer cares a lot about user privacy. System privacy is important, so it’s nice to see a tool that can take care of that sort of thing for you. An honorable mention would be the command line interface. I’ve already started writing scripts for my Windows machines to make this whole process of cleaning a little bit more seamless.

I didn’t have too many problems with BleachBit, but there were some. The user interface was really basic and not very attractive, but that’s a criteria I place in my reviews because I think that design is just as important as function. Another issue I have with BleachBit is the lack of registry fixing. That’s something that CCleaner has, and it’s a pretty decent feature. I hope that in the future the developer will add this to the Windows version. It’s really important.

BleachBit is a very humble cleaning program that I came to enjoy. I’ve already replaced CCleaner with BleachBit on my Windows machines and have installed BleachBit on my Linux systems. And Since the developer is always promising new features I’m pretty excited to see what it has in store next.

CONCLUSION AND DOWNLOAD LINK

If you’re not really a CCleaner person and you just want to try a new cleaning program out, do yourself a favor and grab BleachBit. It’s a great application, one that deserves a lot more recognition that it currently gets. BleachBit is a must have in my opinion.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 0.95

Supported OS: Windows and Linux

Download size: 6MB (Windows version)

VirusTotal malware scan results: 2/46

Is it portable? Yes

BleachBit homepage

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22 comments

  1. Andrew Ziem

    Derrik: Thank you for the review.

    You mentioned “I really appreciate how the developer cares a lot about user privacy.” There are some subtle ways this is implemented. For example:

    1. Before opening hyperlinks in a web browser (for example, to view info about the new release), BleachBit prompts to user to verify that is what he wants to do.

    2. BleachBit has a “self cleaning” option to shred its own settings (found in the file menu).

    3. BleachBit stores minimal usage history, such as not remembering the last time it checked for updates: in other applications, you can figure out when the last time someone used the application was by checking this information.

    4. I’ve wanted to survey users (anonymously) to find out what the most popular options are and how much space is recovered. This could help guide future development, but I think users value their privacy.

    5. Likewise, it would be nice to have the money from bundling toolbars, etc., but I haven’t for the same reasons.

    Along the lines of privacy and transparency, BleachBit is clear (through the preview or CleanerML XML files) what files and registry entries will be deleted.

  2. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@Enzo] It isn’t about questioning a reviewer. As I said, that has always been welcome and always will be welcomed (e.g. AFPhy6′s comment). Rather what pissed me off is the manner of which you did it.

    However, you are right. I could have (Should have) done without calling your attitude rubbish and you a jerk. I apologize for that.

    That said, please do provide feedback as to how you feel we can improve dotTech. While it may feel like dotTech took a nose dive — and I do agree we have changed a bit since the old changes — dotTech has actually never been as popular before as it is today.

    Thanks!

  3. Enzo

    @ Ashraf: I fail to see how questioning the reviewer over his statement is being a jerk. I’ve actually been visiting this site since 2009. And although not a regular commenter, I watched it grow and flourish for a few years and then … well … take a nose dive. It’s good to see that things are starting to improve with some decent program reviews, but calling someone a jerk for questioning something that has been written is uncalled for. Unlike your comment, at no point did I stoop to any personal gibes. That is low – about as low as this site has become, unfortunately.

  4. David Roper

    [@Ashraf]

    I completely missed the Opensource part. Those kinds are my favorites because they cannot die because there’s no company.

    To me, a portable, no source program is heaven.

    You’re right, Derrik did a fine job. I can’t read.

  5. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@Enzo] Firstly, the only thing rubbish here is your attitude. As anyone that has followed dotTech for a long time can attest to, I always encourage readers to provide feedback and correct mistakes we make. However, you don’t have to do a jerk about it.

    Secondly, I’m not sure what repackaged installer Derrik is talking about but it is a well known fact CCleaner comes bundled with crapware — the official download from Piriform, not some repackaged installer. It used to be Ask Toolbar but based on what Derrik is saying, it is now Chrome. The reason you got no prompt is probably because you already have Chrome installed on your computer.

    [@Derrik] Derrik, you did a fine job on this review. No need to be embarrassed. Your criticism of CCleaner including crapware is 110% valid although I have replaced the word “riddled” with “bundled”. Thank you for the review!

    [@Jeanjean] Thanks for the feedback!

    [@AFPhy6] I’m sure you know that I am not very pro-registry cleaners either. However, is it not better to have the option to use a registry cleaner than not have it? I suppose that fact is debatable; what is important that it got mentioned somewhere in the review, I think.

    Thank you for being courteous in your feedback!

    [@David Roper] Thanks for the feedback! You are right, CCleaner is excellent and people who are happy with it have no reason to switch. However, based off Derrik’s review, there are three major reasons to get BleachBit over CCleaner: BleachBit is open source, cross platform, and doesn’t come bunlded with crapware. Is that enough to make the majority of people switch? Probably not. But t is always good to have alternatives, right?

    [@Tom] Thanks for the feedback!

    [@Strahd] You are right, there is a crapware-free CCleaner (Slim version, and portable version). However, you have to ask yourself how many people actually download the Slim or portable version? They are hidden away and you have to know to look for them to get them. I personally feel Derrik’s criticism of CCleaner is valid, although I have updated the review to include a note about Slim and portable CCleaner.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  6. Strahd

    [@Derrik]

    Sure, if you download the regular download of CCleaner or any other of Piriforms software, yes it can come with some toolbar or whatever ( they need to make money some way). Looks like you don’t know that Piriform allows a “Slim” installer to be downloaded as well.

    This Slim installer is just the software alone and not bundled with anything else. You can find any of Piriforms software they offer with slim installers ( no crapware) on the softwares build page.

    CCleaner – Slim (bottom one)

    https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/builds

    Defraggler – Slim (bottom one)

    https://www.piriform.com/defraggler/builds

    Recuva – Slim (bottom one)

    https://www.piriform.com/recuva/builds

    Speccy – Slim (bottom one)

    https://www.piriform.com/speccy/builds

    Now seeing is that I have shown you the piriform software without any crapware what do you have to say about CCleaner now?

  7. Tom

    This is a bit of old news. BleachBit has been around for quite some time. It’s also less conservative than CCleaner, so there’s a greater chance that an inexperienced user can harm their system.

  8. AFPhy6

    (cons): “No registry fixing tool”

    While reading the start of this article, I was asking myself, and looking for the answer, “sounds OK… but can I forbid that this program screw around with my registry”.

    Got to your “cons” and was excited to see the above.

    Needless to say, I disagree with you that is belongs as “cons”.

    When it comes to registry, it has been my long-held and firmly-held opinion that registry cleaners can be good, but use only one or two. I use IObit almost exclusively, and occasionally scope out how things are going with CCleaner. Individuals may like others, but those are what I use. I will not allow any other screwing around with the registry other than what I do by hand… very carefully and keeping good notes!

    I’d put “No registry fixing tool” in a category “Good Information”, rather than as “Pro” or “Con”.

    PS – I don’t mind your warnings about “crapware” – whether it comes from the author or the distributor is irrelevant.

  9. Enzo

    Oh, so that’s what you meant by “riddled with crapware”. Yeah, it’s positively riddled alright. Funny thing is, I just downloaded it from Piriform and got no such prompt. Not that it matters – your statement was unwarranted.

  10. Derrik
    Author/Staff

    [@Enzo] I don’t have my facts wrong. Sure someone just repackaged the installer that I used, but when I downloaded the official installer from piriform.com it prompted me to download and install Google chrome. It might not be nearly as bad, and maybe my wording wasn’t as good as I should have put it, but this is the point I was trying to make.

    I am sorry that I could not properly articulate what I was setting out to say.

    http://image.bayimg.com/1b4bce8f7fe2512c9f3b4d77cb78317540a3e5a3.jpg

  11. Enzo

    So you downloaded CCleaner from some dodgy site that apparently has the ability to modify and repackage the installer and then made a blanket statement dismissive of that program? It wasn’t that you weren’t clear; just ill-informed. If you’re going to do product reviews – particularly that involve references to a high-quality program that has a good reputation – then please check your facts first.

  12. Derrik
    Author/Staff

    [@Enzo] The last few times I’ve installed CCleaner the installation was bundled with adware. Admittedly I shouldn’t be blaming the developer for someone repackaging an installer. That was the point I was trying to make. Sorry for being so vauge.