BleachBit 2.0 temporary file cleaner review

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 28, 2018
Updated • May 22, 2018

BleachBit 2.0 is a new version of the temporary cross-platform file cleaner that is often compared to Piriform's CCleaner application for Windows.

BleachBit 2.0 is a major release; the last stable version before version 2.0 was version 1.12 released in 2016.

BleachBit is configured to run checks for updates regularly. You can download the latest version of the program from the official website to upgrade the existing version, however, if you prefer that.

Tip: Bleachbit supports the integration of winapp2.ini definitions. You enable the option under preference and Bleachbit downloads the additional definitions so that you can clean hundreds of additional locations and programs.

BleachBit 2.0

One of the major changes of BleachBit 2.0 is that the update checker uses HTTPS encryption and that the BleachBit website uses HTTPS encryption as well. This improves the security of the update process.

BleachBit 2.0 ships with a bunch of new cleaning options and improvements. Users of the program can clean the site engagement history on Google Chrome and Chromium, and secure delete SQLite in the latest version.

The software includes quite a few operating system specific improvements. Linux users benefit from the integrated journald cleaner, support for software categories, fixed errors and support for new deb and rpm packages for select distributions.

On Windows, the secure wiping of files and handing of Unicode filenames was improved, and several issues such as the emptying of the recycle bin in preview mode, were fixed as well.

You can check out the full release notes on the official program website.

BleachBit 2.0 works for the most part just like previous versions of the application. Check the programs and locations that you want to clean and hit the preview button. This scans the selected locations and programs on the system and reports the findings without making any changes to them.

BleachBit displays the total amount of disk space that will be freed when you run the program, and all files and locations that will be cleaned if you do on top of that. You can rerun scans to include more items, or check out the the disk space that each item occupies as well.

The preferences give you options to add custom locations to the cleaning. Note that you need to select the custom option as an item for it to be included. There is also a whitelist to exclude files or locations from deletion,  and an option to overwrite locations to prevent recovery.

The file menu holds options to shred files or folders, and to wipe free disk space to prevent recovery of deleted files.

The developer of BleachBit created a video that visualizes the development of the program from its humble beginnings in 2008 to 2018.

How it stacks up

BleachBit is open source software that is available for Linux, Mac and Windows devices. This is a plus when compared to the popular CCleaner application.

CCleaner's interface is more streamlined in my opinion but both programs get the job done when it comes to the removal of temporary files on supported computer systems.

BleachBit supports adding folders to the application for removal, but the interface lacks options to do the same for Registry keys. You can add these manually by editing the ini file but it is not overly comfortable.

I'm not a fan of the Registry cleaning tool that CCleaner ships with and don't think it is a problem that BleachBit does not include one. The same goes for CCleaner's other tools like the startup manager or program uninstaller. There are better programs out there such as Autoruns that handle this better.

CCleaner comes with options to schedule cleanup jobs or keep some cookies which BleachBit does not support. Whether that is a problem or not depends on your use of the program.

BleachBit, all in all, is a powerful program that takes the backseat (a bit) in the interface department and some cleaning options when compared to CCleaner. It is cross-platform and open source on the other hand which CCleaner is not.

Closing Words

BleachBit 2.0 is a powerful program to clean temporary files created by web browsers, the operating systems, or programs that run on it. You can use it to clear browser caches and cookies, temporary files, or lists of recently run documents or files.

Now You: Do you use a file cleaner?

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  1. Tony said on July 31, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    If Bleachbit is good enough for Hillary it’s good enough for me.

    It cleans great.

    “You know, like with a cloth”.

  2. dick said on January 18, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    One of the Bleachbit features not detailed in this article is that users of Bleachbit can develop their own XML based cleaner files (See the application’s /shared/cleaners/ folder). Not only can you address honey holes of chaff files on storage devices, but the cleaner files can also purge specific registry keys in Windows. A dangerous feature in the wrong hands. But one that I have found to be exceptionally well adjusted in Bleachbit, as would anyone that knows precisely where unwanted data can be found. The developer site has additional cleaner files that can be downloaded, and nothing stops you from tweaking them to preserve data these might otherwise remove.

  3. Zen said on July 22, 2018 at 12:02 am

    And your point regarding Bleachbit 2.0 is? “…free software trolls…” And who do you work for exactly…?

  4. Steve F said on June 11, 2018 at 4:07 am

    The question with free software is always how does it get paid for ? With simple utilities that may be down to the natural generous spirit of the developer but anything that needs to be regularly updated or maintained is going to need to be paid for eventually. Even the most charitable developer will get fed up with free software trolls or just end up with a spouse who wonders why they spend all their free time on a project with no financial benefit (thats where most of the open source developer i knew went to the dark side) or wonder why everyone else is making money from their creativity. I just want vendors to be honest about what they gather. My position is that any vendor that claims they gather no personally identifiable data but then asks you to agree a multi page privacy policy is sharing data. That in the end will be personally identificable. If vendor A: hashes the image or names of the files on my desktop and my machine ID , vendor B collects my machine id and mac address vendor C collects my Mac address and desktop hash, and microsft facebook or google get my email and machine ID it takes no processing at all for all of them to know who i am.

  5. Dwight Stegall said on May 20, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    WARNING!!! Be very careful with this app. You can easily mess up your system and make it unusable.

  6. maxxxa said on March 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Ohh ! Thx for cool demoscene video ( i know someone BB devs ex demosceners ) !!!

  7. leanon said on March 3, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Solus just updated to v2 today, except for a couple extra entries I see no difference.

  8. Sebas said on March 1, 2018 at 10:24 am
    Interesting story about a C drive completely filled up with cab files in the C:\temp folder and the Windows>logs>cbs folder.

    1. quadchindotorg said on March 1, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      Cab files are just compressed files, It’s called a zip bomb. Microsft is one month early for aprils fools.

      Btw I’d like you to completely fill my C drive, baby.

  9. Sebas said on March 1, 2018 at 10:11 am

    It is indeed interesting to check every category with CCleaner, but I would never use a reg cleaner anymore. In the past all it did was giving problems, even CCleaner. In the worst case my computer would not boot anymore and therefore, if you want to use one, making an image of your system partition and creating bootable rescue media before doing so, is what I would do.

    With RegScanner from Nirsoft I find a lot of dead reg entries, but most of the time will not touch them:
    As far as I know they do no harm since Vista. Maybe I am too cautious, and people can benefit from using Regscanner, not sure about this. When uninstalling security software like Avast, one can use a dedicated tool like Avastclear.exe if needed.

    1. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      @Sebas: ” if you want to use one, making an image of your system partition and creating bootable rescue media before doing so, is what I would do.”

      That would work, but is overkill. All you really need to do is back up the registry. If the registry is hosed, you should still be able to boot Windows in safe mode, and from there you can restore the original registry.

      1. Sebas said on March 2, 2018 at 2:37 am

        Good to know, thanks for he tip.

  10. Mountainking said on March 1, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Martin, its hardly a review. You could have assessed a ‘dirty’ system, taken snapshots, cleaned it with both programs and see how much crap it detects and deletes.

  11. basicuser said on March 1, 2018 at 4:11 am

    Thanks for the heads up for Bleachbit. Was looking for a CCleaner replacement as I transition to Linux.

    CCleaner’s Reg cleaner is interesting and educational to see what is cleaned in each category, one category at a time, especially after removing software. Never had a problem.

  12. jasray said on February 28, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    Do you use a file cleaner?

    Naturally! Which one? Sort of a redundant question since most of the better ones have already been posted by Martin:

  13. microfix said on February 28, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Although CCleaner has a registry cleaner within, I don’t use it or any registry cleaner for that matter. Much prefer to manually check registry after an uninstall and then restart the system and use regedit to find and remove any leftover dead keys usually within HKLM.

    As for CCleaner, I have my own winapp2.ini script for additional settings which opens up multitudes of further settings to clean or remove.

  14. Tom Hawack said on February 28, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    — File & Registry cleaning (regularly) :

    Piriform CCleaner
    Nirsoft CleanAfterMe

    — Registry cleaning (occasionally :

    Registry Trash Keys Finder
    Shellbag Analyzer & Cleaner
    Glarysoft Registry Repair
    Wise Registry Cleaner
    Alternate Data Stream Scan Engine

    More of a diet and my system could start suffering from rickets.

  15. Sebas said on February 28, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Thanks for this interesting update info!

  16. Gerard said on February 28, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    The Linux version of BleachBit has always done a good job since I first installed it three years ago. Linux users can run BleachBit as user or as root. The root option can be useful, but I wouldn’t recommend it to newbies.
    As always with this kind of software: only use BleachBit if you understand what you’re doing.

    1. asdf said on February 28, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Maybe it’s a good idea to have a decent cleaning tool for Windows but such a tool is redundant for Linux. It could be more trouble than it’s worth. Linux is not like Windows, there are few things you need to clean occasionally (if ever) and it’s easy and safe to clean it manually. Here are some solid instructions for the most popular distros:

      And you’re absolutely right Gerard: one should be careful should she/he decides to use BB (or any other cleaner for that matter).

  17. Stefan said on February 28, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    If You can’t clean up the registry manually never use a registry cleaner either !

  18. Heimen Stoffels said on February 28, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Martin, you’re right that you can’t schedule BleachBit to clean from within the interface, but at least on Linux you can create a cron job.

  19. jonathan said on February 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    I prefer Wise Disk Cleaner

  20. Franck said on February 28, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Awesome news, it’s been so long since 2016 !

  21. wybo said on February 28, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I’m using PrivaZer. It seems to do the job well. I run it in advanced mode.

  22. Chris said on February 28, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Does this clean registry too?

    1. Jessica said on February 28, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Cleaning the Registry is placebo and ends up doing more harm than good.

      1. TianlanSha said on March 1, 2018 at 9:58 am

        This statement is not valid, Windows is a very flawed OS and those tools exist for a reason – so you can maintain it until it completely stops working where your only solution is a complete reinstall.

      2. MSBob said on August 1, 2018 at 5:32 pm

        You’re correct. Your statement is not valid.

      3. Klaas Vaak said on March 1, 2018 at 6:09 am

        A placebo? In what sense? I have been using the registry cleaner for years on my Win PCs & never had a single instance of a problem. So I don’t understand either your or Martin’s comment.

      4. Jessica said on March 1, 2018 at 1:29 pm

        It’s a placebo because it doesn’t increase performance and many registry cleaning tools are advertised as such. A better solution to avoid cluttering the Registry and/or the filesystem is to use portable versions of software that you’re not familiar with and only install them normally after you’re sure you’ll be using them on a regular basis.

        The Windows Runtime (WinRT) and its current iteration as the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) can be used with traditional apps for packaging and distribution, which avoids the issue with installers and uninstallers leaving data behind by ditching them altogether.

      5. George said on March 2, 2018 at 12:52 am

        @Jessica, portable versions also tend to add stuff to the registry. In that case, they are not 100% portable but they are promoted as such (due to the lack of an installer) and anyway, it’s not so easy to find 100% portable apps.

        They should mostly be used as per their name: portable = if the user intends to move it around to other systems via USB stick etc. There’s not much point using ‘portable’ apps otherwise (except to avoid potentially nasty installers). The registry will be fine.

      6. Klaas Vaak said on March 1, 2018 at 1:55 pm

        Fair enough, but the way I read a registry cleaning app is that its regular use, i.e. cleaning, prevents your PC from slowing down.
        Whether it really prevents it from slowing down seems to be a moot point, but as far as I am concerned I cannot see the logic of letting the registry get ever more polluted by entries that no longer serve a purpose, and therefore the eventual slowing down must be a logical consequence. Bu then again, I am not an expert so in no position to have a proper technical discussion on it. I am just directed by my common sense, FWIW.

      7. John Fenderson said on March 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm

        @Klaas Vaak: “Fair enough, but the way I read a registry cleaning app is that its regular use, i.e. cleaning, prevents your PC from slowing down.”

        That depends on what you mean by “slowing down”. Technically, you can get a registry so large that it takes longer for the OS to find particular keys in it — but it has to be really huge before you’d ever notice the effect. For the vast majority of users, this would never become noticeable. And even then, the slowdown would mostly apply to how long it takes applications to start up, not how fast they run once started.

        Really, there is no case for “cleaning” the registry more than every few years, and the case there is for even that is a bit weak.

        Also, while you may not have had an issue, there’s a nonzero chance that cleaning the registry will break something. So, the risk/reward ratio really does not support the routine use of registry cleaners at all.

        My normal recommendation is to not use them at all. If your system has performance problems, cleaning the registry probably won’t improve performance by very much anyway. But, if you feel it’s worth the trouble, then you should only run a cleaner when you notice degradation, and make sure that you back up the registry first.

      8. Tom Hawack said on March 1, 2018 at 2:29 pm

        I agree. As we all know Windows’ Registry has to be treated with (extreme) caution : modify/remove the wrong key and it might be a nightmare on reboot (if not immediately). Backup the registry before any modification or cleanup. If changing manually this or that key, at least save it before modification (and save it once modified as well, hence a .reg file labelled as ‘default’ and the new one labeled as ‘new’ for instance).

        Registry cleaners can break a system as they can optimize it, even if as Klaas I doubt it may have any impact on a system’s velocity; rather it can participate to the system’s stability depending on the importance of what has been cleaned up. For instance, when I totally eradicated Adobe’s Flash from this Win7 I had quite many related Flash/adobe/macromedia entries remaining in the Registry; also, some software/applications don’t uninstall properly. In these cases cleaning up can be helpful, IMO.

        All depends of course of the registry cleaner. The ones I use and mentioned in my first comment below have proven to be secure. Whatever, I always thoroughly test a new Reg cleaner before adopting it and, of course, always backup that registry before testing.

        You just have to be extra careful when discovering and testing a new reg cleaner. If OK then it can, IMO, bring its contribution to a healthy OS. I’ll admit that in the ratio pertinence/usefulness Reg cleaners don’t have the advantage. It should *really* be handled accordingly.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on February 28, 2018 at 2:43 pm

      No, it is merely a search tool.

      1. KeZa_BE said on February 28, 2018 at 6:03 pm

        What is the problem with the Registry cleaning tool of CCleaner, Martin?

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on February 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm

        It is not particularly useful.

  23. Henk van Setten said on February 28, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Very interesting, thank you for this info!

    On my Windows system I still have CCleaner (not to gain disk space but rather for privacy reasons, to delete usage traces such as log files) and I had already been thinking of replacing it because of its ongoing commercialization.

    On my Linux system I have BleachBit and I’m happy with that. But to be honest, until seeing this review I never realized there also was a Bleachbit for Windows! So now I know what to do…

    1. Jessica said on February 28, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      BleachBit is cross-platform and open-source, which makes it a better choice than CCleaner so you should definitely switch apps! :)

  24. Michel Basilieres said on February 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention, but because it’s labelled as a review, I expected an assessment of the program, not a simple listing of features. Is it any good? How does it compare to the competition? Do you recommend it?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      You are right Michel, I added a new chapter to the review.

      1. Rush said on February 28, 2018 at 11:38 pm

        Martin, in advance, please forgive me. I sincerely apologize for going off topic, albeit just for a second. I have refreshed two systems in an attempt to problem solve flash installation issues in both FF and WF.

        It’s driving me nuts, has there been any other complaints that users have heard? I have scoured the internet and cannot find anything.

        Again, my sincere apologies.

        When I do use flash, a little more rare these day’s, but I have a couple of websites that exclusively still use flash that are important for my use.

        Thank you.

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