Review: Free privacy cleaner BleachBit for Windows and Linux

BleachBit is a free open source cross platform privacy cleaner, it works in Windows as well as Linux supporting CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE and it even has a NetBSD port.

BleachBit is multilingual, up to this date, it has been translated to thirty seven languages, including Chinese, Tamil, Japanese, Hebrew and Indonesian. Being an open source privacy cleaner also means that you can translate it to your own native language and submit your translation to be included in future releases.

Free privacy cleaner BleachBit good stuff

This free Internet and general computing tracks eraser will eliminate traces left in WinAmp, Winrar, Windows Media player, Wordpad, Windows Paint, Opera, Chrome browser, Skype,Team Viewer, Gimp, ThunderBird, RealPlayer, Pidgin, aMSN, aMule, Audacious, gFTP, KDE, Internet Explorer, KDE, Konqueror, Windows temporary files and logs,  Java cache, Flash cache cookies and many more applications.

You will have probably noticed from the list of supported software from where tracks are securely erased that BleachBit includes many Linux applications not normally mentioned by commercial vendors of Windows only privacy software.

BleachBit privacy cleaner

BleachBit privacy cleaner

 BleachBit can also free disk space and it will find and mark for deletion widely scattered junk such as Thumbs.db and .DS_Store files and broken shortcuts, before erasing your junk files BleachBit will tell you what files they are, where they are located and its size. In Linux only, BleachBit will also clear the memory and swap files, in Windows this free privacy cleaner will erase  Windows registry keys—often where MRU (most recently used) lists are stored.

Another security feature that this privacy cleaner has is the Shred Files option, it can overwrite chosen files securely to stop identity thieves from undeleting files with specialist data recovery software

Free privacy cleaner BleachBit bad stuff

I was using the portable version of BleachBit, version 0.8.0, presumably you might want to use this privacy cleaner at an Internet cafe or library but by default BleachBit connects to the Internet to check for updates every time you start it, this might indicate to a computer administrator looking at the logs of visited sites that you are using privacy software to delete your Internet tracks, you can disabled BleachBit automatic updates from the settings, which in my opinion should be disabled for the portable edition.

Another downside I found with BleachBit privacy cleaner portable version, is that help is only available online it would be much better if this could be read where the privacy software is installed.

Free privacy cleaner BleachBit conclusion

Besides being free, BleachBit does a good job at erasing your computer tracks, I found the customization settings a little poor and I did not like having to read the help manual online insted of being included with the download.

I would be very happy using BleachBit in its portable edition for deleting my computer tracks after using a public computer. You can find paid for privacy cleaners that are better than BleachBit desktop version, I think that CyberScrub has more features and customization, but if you want something free, or something portable and cross platform, then BleachBit computer privacy cleaner will meet your needs.

Visit BleachBit homepage