BleachBit is a free and open-source disk space cleaner, privacy manager, and computer system optimizer.
BleachBit was first publicly released on 24 December 2008 for Linux systems. The 0.2.1 release created some controversy by suggesting Linux needed a registry cleaner.
Version 0.4.0 introduced CleanerML, a standards-based markup language for writing new cleaners. On May 29, 2009, BleachBit version 0.5.0 added support for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. On September 16, 2009, version 0.6.4 introduced command-line interface support.
BleachBit is available for download through its Web site and the repositories of many Linux distributions.
As of October 15, 2009, BleachBit was more active than 99.972% of projects on SourceForge, and according to the Ubuntu Popularity Contest, BleachBit was more popular than 93.44% of installed packages.Identifying and removing Web cache, HTTP cookies, URL history, temporary files log files and Flash cookies for Firefox, Opera, Safari, APT, Google Chrome
Removing unused localizations (also called locale files) which are translations of software
Shredding files and wiping unallocated disk space to minimize data remanence
Wiping unallocated disk space to improve data compression ratio for disk image backups
Vacuuming Firefox's SQLite database which suffers fragmentation
Command line interface for scripting automation and headless operation
BleachBit is written in the Python programming language and uses PyGTK.
Most of BleachBit's cleaners are written in CleanerML, an XML-based markup language for writing cleaners which is an open standard. CleanerML does not only deal with deleting files, but also executes more specialized actions such as vacuuming an SQLite database (used, for example, to clean Yum).
BleachBit's file shredder uses only a single, "secure" pass because its developers believe that there is a lack of evidence that multiple passes, such as the 35-pass Gutmann method, are more effective. They also assert that multiple passes are significantly slower and may give the user a false sense of security by overshadowing other ways privacy may be compromised.
In August 2016, Republican U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy announced that he had seen notes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, taken during an investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails, that stated that Clinton's staff had used BleachBit to delete emails from her private server. After the announcement, BleachBit's company website reportedly received increased traffic.
The FBI released in October 2016, edited documents from their Clinton Email Investigation. In part 3 of this release, page 24 the FBI reports that Hillary Aide Cheryl Mills orders a technician to delete the emails and approves the use of Bleachbit.