Operating systems, browsers, and even some installed software, accumulate a lot of data much of which is useless junk files that can safely be deleted. Many of you will remember when CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) was the ubiquitous tool for this purpose, mainly because it was the only such tool available at the time. Since then though, several alternatives have appeared on the scene which put CCleaner to shame. And CCleaner has really gone downhill since being acquired by Avast.
I’ve been reading favorable things about a comparative newcomer to the genre called BleachBit which is free, open-source, and available in a portable version– always an appealing combination. So I thought I’d take a look-see.
BleachBit Download And Usage
BleachBit portable consists of a 12.1MB download in ZIP format extracting to 16.1MB. Download direct from the developer: Download BleachBit for Windows
To run the software, simply double-click the extracted executable:
The above screenshot is how BleachBit’s main interface presents. Notice anything? The list of areas to clean is huge, much too long to display here, but note that no areas are enabled for cleaning by default. This is something I do not like because it means that all the decision-making is down to the end-user. I don’t see how your average Joe home can be tasked with this responsibility. Most of my clients, for example, would have no clue as to what areas are safe to clean and what areas involve a potential risk.
Admittedly, the software does display a warning popup message when an area of risk is involved. If you click to enable “Firefox”, for example, all of Firefox’s areas are automatically marked for cleaning, including “Passwords”, and a warning message will popup- –This option will delete your saved passwords:
To me, this is patently silly. If you’re using Firefox to save passwords, then why on earth would you want this option enabled. And, if you’re not using Firefox to save passwords, then there would be no passwords to delete. Either way, the option is redundant.
Most alternative similar software will enable all known safe areas for cleaning by default thereby alleviating the end-user of any decision making. This is how it should be. Provide a list of known safe areas for cleaning which are enabled by default with a subsidiary list of optional risky areas that can be enabled at the user’s discretion. That way, the inexperienced user will still be able to use the software to delete the vast majority of junk files without any decision-making on their part and with very little to zero risks.
Clicking the BleachBit logo in the top left-hand corner of the interface opens a menu to access additional handy tools:
Once you’ve selected (enabled) areas for cleaning you can click the Preview button to see what files will be deleted from what areas and then, when ready, click Clean. Or just click Clean to go straight into the cleaning process.
Frankly, I found the lack of pre-determined known safe areas for cleaning by default a total put-off and therefore did not bother to test BleachBit further. BleachBit is not the sort of software I would recommend in general. It should not be left to the end-user to make these sorts of decisions– which areas are safe to clean and which are not. For more advanced/experienced users, perhaps.
In my opinion, PrivaZer is a better option for advanced users, and for less experienced users Wise Disk Cleaner’s combination of sheer simplicity and optimum efficacy is the best option. Both are free and with portable editions available.