Institute for Advanced Professional Studies

BleachBit: File Removal and Application Data Cleaners


While BleachBit is known widely for its role in deleting email from Hillary Clinton's server, it is used routinely to free up disk space on hard drives, improve system performance, and remove private files irreversibly.

Unlike physically destroying or overwriting an entire drive, BleachBit removes files in systems that must continue to work. It also wipes clean the free space on your drive that likely contains old, but recoverable data.

BleachBit is a free, open source program, built with a collection of cleaners for specific applications. It was created by Andrew Ziem, and released as a Linux utility in 2008. BleachBit cleans files created by the operating system and installed applications.

File Removal Services:

A simple "delete" of a file does not remove it from your computer. That is why deleted files can often be recovered, and free space is not always empty.

Numerous applications, e.g., text editors, create a backup copy of an existing file before saving the modified version. The current file, e.g., "datafile.html", is preserved with a new name, such as "datafile.html.bak" and "datafile.html.old". There is no standard naming convention for backup files; you have to know the backup designation your application uses.

Information you want to delete may also be contained in backup files in the cloud or storage media, recycle bins, and in free space on a drive. It is difficult to know what to look for, and where to find every instance of the data you want to remove. Different files, with the same filename, can coexist on a computer, as long as the files are in separate folders.

If you want to delete all versions of a specific file (with certainty), you need to know a lot about the operating system and application that created the file.

Do you have files on your hard drive that need to be shredded and removed permanently?

We can help you use BleachBit effectively on Linux and Windows computers.

Application Cleaners:

BleachBit is distributed with cleaners for popular applications such as Chrome, Flash, MySQL, and Skype. Programmers can write and incorporate their own cleaners, and submit their code for review and sharing with others in the open source community.

Application cleaners for the newest BleachBit releases are created in an XML-based markup language, CleanerML. An examination of the source code for an Internet Explorer cleaner shows how it removes cookies, form history, browsing history and temporary files.

System and Information Management Services:

Our customized consulting services include:

  • Creation of scripts to automate BleachBit cleaning operations
  • Remote system cleaning
  • Determination of which files are safe, or unsafe to delete
  • System security assessment
  • Encryption and other techniques for enhancing protection of private information
  • Information security management and implementation
  • Custom cleaner development with CleanerML

Further Information:

We welcome your inquiries and the opportunity to discuss your organization's information security and systems management requirements. We look forward to hearing from you.

© Copyright 2016 - 2019 Institute for Advanced Professional Studies (IAPS)