Use Bleachbit to Clean up unused files in your System

Sometimes you will notice that your computer has gotten slow. Web pages take awhile to load, programs freeze at random. You may be even surprised to find your hard drive with no space left at 99% usage, what could be consuming so much space? In any case, Bleachbit might be able to solve all your problems!

Windows Update

When Windows performs a update, files are downloaded to the “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download” folder. In most cases the files are cleaned up after an update has been completed, but in some cases it doesn’t especially when the update can fail resulting in corrupted update files.

Software Installation

When installing a piece of software on your Windows machine, files are extracted to a temporary folder under “C:\Windows\Temp” and C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\. Over time, these files tend to accumulate and unnecessarily consume hard drive space. Files downloaded using “Open” in Internet Explorer or “Open with” in Firefox are stored in the “Temp” folder as well. Google Chrome avoids this with perfection.

Full Hard Disk

Windows uses something called “Virtual Memory” to allocate additional RAM using space on your hard drive in the form of a “page file”. When it needs to tap into that space and the hard drive is nearly full, a significant slowdown will occur. It is imperative to have at least 10% of your hard drive’s capacity available to maintain a stable system.

Fortunately there is an easy solution towards cleaning up your system and freeing up unnecessary disk space.

Enter Bleachbit

Bleachbit is quite possibly one of the best PC cleaning solutions around. It is known for having support for both Linux and Windows operating systems, stacked with tons of features and specific software support. On top of that, Bleachbit is free, void of advertisements and spyware as well as being open source.

Let’s go ahead and get this cleaning business going, shall we?

Bleachbit Installation

Download the installer for Bleachbit here. You can also download a portable version of it without having to install, just extract the ZIP archive using Winrar in a folder of your choosing.

Open Bleachbit.

Bleachbit will now scan for available programs on your computer and give you a detailed list of what can be cleaned. To the right, you will be given a description for each program and what it will end up deleting.

You can also preview what Bleachbit will end up cleaning before you do the actual process. This helps prevent any important files from being deleted by accident. Make sure you back them up just in case!

On the list, look for “Deep scan” and click the check box right next to it. You will get a pop up box warning you that “This option is slow.” for every option selected. This is dependant on the state of your hard drive, speed, and CPU. In most cases it takes just 5 to 10 minutes on modern hardware.

Let’s go ahead and preview it. At the bottom, you will see how much space that can be recovered and the amount of files that will be deleted. When you’re ready click “Clean”. A confirmation will pop up, click “Delete” to confirm. You will notice that Bleachbit is “Wiping free disk space.”, this is a process that prevents files from being recoverable.

You can also shred files and folders by going to the File menu and clicking on your preferred method. Do note that anything shredded will most likely be unrecoverable.

There may be large files hiding within your hard drive. Click here to find out how to search for them.