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Screenshot of the Bleachbit User Interface on Trisquel 5.0 Linux
Screenshot of the Bleachbit User Interface on Trisquel 5.0 Linux
Initial release 24 December 2008; 8 years ago (2008-12-24)
Stable release
1.12 / July 1, 2016; 14 months ago (2016-07-01)
Development status Active
Written in Python
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Mac OS X
Size 83.65 MB
Available in 64 languages[1]
Type Disk cleaner
License GNU General Public License

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.[2] The 0.2.1 release created some controversy[3] by suggesting Linux needed a registry cleaner.

Version 0.4.0 introduced CleanerML,[4] 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.[5] On September 16, 2009, version 0.6.4 introduced command-line interface support.[6]

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,[7][citation needed] and according to the Ubuntu Popularity Contest, BleachBit was more popular than 93.44% of installed packages.[8]



BleachBit is written in the Python programming language and uses PyGTK.

Most of BleachBit's cleaners are written in CleanerML,[9] an XML-based markup language for writing cleaners which is an open standard.[10] 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[11] 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.[12]


In August 2016, Republican U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy announced that he had seen notes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 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.[13][14] After the announcement, BleachBit's company website reportedly received increased traffic.[15][16]

In October 2016, the FBI released edited documents from their Clinton email investigation.[17] In part 3 of this release, on page 24, the FBI reports that Clinton aide Cheryl Mills ordered Platte River Networks employee Paul Combetta[18] to delete the emails and approved the use of Bleachbit. When questioned by the House Oversight Committee, Combetta invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege and refused to testify.[18]

In tweets in June 2017, Donald Trump used the term bleached as a reference to the use of BleachBit by Hillary Clinton.[19][20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Features | BleachBit". BleachBit. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "BleachBit: BleachBit's public debut!". 2008-12-24. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  3. ^ "BleachBit: Does GNU/Linux need the equivalent of a Windows registry cleaner?". Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  4. ^ "BleachBit: BleachBit 0.4.0 released". 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  5. ^ "BleachBit: BleachBit 0.5.0 released". 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  6. ^ "BleachBit 0.6.4 released | BleachBit". 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  7. ^ "SourceForge: Most Active Projects for Last Week - Updated Daily". Retrieved 16 October 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Ubuntu Popularity Contest". Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  9. ^ "CleanerML". 
  10. ^ "BleachBit: Cleaner Markup Language". 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  11. ^ "BleachBit: Validating secure erase". 2009-06-04. Retrieved 2016-04-02. 
  12. ^ "Shred files and wipe disks". 
  13. ^ Nelson, Louis (August 25, 2016). "Gowdy: Clinton used special tool to wipe email server". Politico. Retrieved August 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ Newman, Lily Hay (August 26, 2016). "Security News This Week: Hillary Clinton Didn't Delete Her Emails, She Super Deleted Them". Wired. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  15. ^ Limitone, Julia (August 29, 2016). "BleachBit Creator Says Possibility of Finding Clinton's Wiped E-mails Exists". Fox Business. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ Shaw, Adam (November 2, 2016). "BleachBit selling 'cloth or something' -- in homage to Clinton | Fox News". Retrieved July 27, 2017. 
  17. ^ "FBI — Hillary R. Clinton". 
  18. ^ a b Pavlich, Katie (September 13, 2016). "BREAKING: Employee Who Used BleachBit to Wipe Clinton's Server Pleads the Fifth". Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ Day, Harvey (June 21, 2017). "Hillary Clinton is under investigation AGAIN over emails". Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Lara Trump: Nobody in Russia Probe 'Used BleachBit or Destroyed Cell Phones With Hammers' | Fox News Insider". July 24, 2017. Retrieved July 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]