Linux & Co.SoftwareWindows

Instructions: Clean up the system with BleachBit (CCleaner alternative)

Programs such as browsers, office suites and of course Windows itself accumulate more and more temporary files over the years. If you want to delete them, you can use the system's own tools - but they don't delete everything. For a long time, the CCleaner as the ultimate. Stupidly, since the takeover by Avast, the tool has repeatedly attracted attention due to dubious machinations. The solution comes once again from the open source corner: BleachBit, available as of this tutorial in version 3.0, reliably deletes cookies, temporary files and other residues without spying on you or installing questionable software.

Why I don't use CCleaner anymore

For years, the once developed by Piriform CCleaner as the first port of call when it came to cleaning temporary files on Windows – no wonder the feature list of the tool is unmatched. Unfortunately, the reputation of the once really great program has suffered various scratches and dents in recent years.

make windows faster
Hey Ccleaner, you were so nice once...

Pure PC cleaning with the CCleaner still works. Unfortunately, since the takeover by Avast, the program has tended to introduce new, extremely questionable "features" in what feels like every second version update.

Any examples? Well, the "classic" is of course the Malware, which shipped with version 5.35. If that can still be categorized as a mistake, the various times that updates have foisted nasty things on me are a no-go.

There would be, for example, the unsolicited installation of a permanently running system service, Recording User Data, the Display of advertising pop-ups etc.

In between, Microsoft even had the reference to the CCleaner homepage forbidden – the Windows inventors certainly don’t do that for fun either…

Yes, you can (like one or the other colleague) point out that it was always about individual versions and the developers backtracked quite quickly afterwards. But I'm fed up with this constant DP scam (South Park fans will understand ;-) and have therefore avoided CCleaner (and actually all Avast software) for quite some time good reasons).

Fortunately, there is the wonderful world of open source software. Exactly from this comes BleachBit, my top alternative to the outlaw CCleaner. The program is in no way inferior to CCleaner's core function of finding and deleting unnecessary files.

Well, it doesn't cover all features. But autostarts can also be included Windows on-board resources manage, the uninstaller from CCleaner has practically no special function and anyone who thinks that deleting registry entries brings any speed advantage with it also believes in healing crystals or the giving look... But enough snarking, let's get started.

BleachBit: Select items for cleaning

In addition to Windows, BleachBit is also available in a version for Linux and even for that Mac. However, we are concentrating on the Windows edition here. Load the program either as an installer or as a portable version down and installs it.

After starting BleachBit, the program will show you a list of all programs and system areas that it can clean. If you click on an entry, you get a small one on the right Summary about what it entails.

BleachBit tells you in detail what it cleans and why.

Simply tick all items that you would like to add for verification or system cleaning. Alternatively, you can also check the box next to the respective program to activate all sub-items.

As is the case with such tools, they can also cause damage if necessary. This is what BleachBit can do for example saved passwords delete from your browser. Although this increases privacy, it is certainly not always the best decision. Conveniently, the program warns you about such radical steps.

BleachBit warning message
Nice: Before you delete your passwords from Firefox and Co., to be on the safe side, BleachBit will ask you again whether this is really what you want.

Perform system cleaning with BleachBit

If you are satisfied with your selection, click on the small one at the top left magnifying glass icon. BleachBit will now crawl all selected areas, which may take a few minutes. Once the search process is complete, the program will display a Preview of all items to be deleted.

Unfortunately, it is not possible here to exclude individual files from the deletion process. If you are not sure about a certain file, it is better to deactivate the corresponding option or create a backup copy beforehand.

Delete BleachBit files

If you are satisfied with the selection, click on this broom icon in the BleachBit toolbar. Now confirm the deletion process to clean up your hard drive. Once the process is complete, you can look forward to more storage space.

BleachBit: More features

As I said, BleachBit can't do COMPLETELY as much as CCleaner, but the tool still has some nice features up its sleeve. To reach it, click on this BleachBit icon top left. The various ones are particularly useful here shredder functions. This allows you to safely delete individual files, folders or entire drives by overwriting them several times.

BleachBit can do more than just delete temporary files.

Fun Fact: According to the developers, the IT people at Hillary Clinton the tool to securely erase PCs. Okay, I assume that very few of our readers will be targeted by the highest investigative authorities. Nevertheless, you can also simply use the program, for example when selling a PC, to ensure that the new owner does not have any Restore files can.

So, all in all, BleachBit is a veeeeeery nice alternative to the messy CCleaner. If you know any other solutions of this type, please let us know in the comments. And if you want to take a look at the program's source code, you can do so at any time GitHub do.

We're collecting even more software tutos here for you, specifically about Windows this area.

Boris Hofferbert

Freelance journalist, enthusiastic about technology since the blissful Amiga days, Apple desktop fan and Android fan on the go, gambles on Windows, can’t do without music (from classic rock to ska to punk) and audio books, likes to take postcard photos, always has at least two cell phones and is very happy about one coffee donation ;-)


  1. Thank you for your recommendation, also good for switching to LINUX
    then you already know a program (less stress)
    continued success

  2. Thank you too, works perfectly!
    I just switched from Win 7 to Win 10 and was about to reinstall the CCleaner...

    1. I'm happy, thanks for the feedback :-) Had BleachBit on the screen for a while, but wasn't sure if the project would be further developed. Fortunately, a lot has happened with the latest updates.

      1. "For example, when selling PCs, to ensure that"
        Even if it is important, "worries" is written with a small initial.
        But on the subject of CCleaner and AVAST: So far I have only used CCleaner to securely delete data carriers and thus remove unnecessary apps from Windows 10. That worked very well. With the other functions, you have to know what you're doing anyway, otherwise it can happen that the software removes all favorites and other entries that you should have kept better.
        AVAST is a pretty annoying free scanner provider. Of course, the product has to pay off, but the advertising and in particular these subliminal hints (“we have found xx insecure passwords, everyone can see what you are doing on your device, blablabla) unsettle the normal user a lot. Certain functions cannot be switched off, and even after deinstallation there are still enough leftovers to be able to call home undisturbed. Just take a look at the task management.
        My conclusion was: Around 30 euros for a five-year license from ESET and since then things have calmed down. Never again a free scanner, because this is the best place to notice that free is definitely not for free. Incidentally, with Windows 10, the Defender is completely sufficient, so that there is no need to consider buying a cheap license.

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