System Cleaner BleachBit 2.3 Switches To GTK+ 3, Includes Much Faster File Scanning

BleachBit 2.3

BleachBit, a system cleaner (and more) for Linux and Windows, was updated to version 2.3 beta recently, receiving some major changes. The new version was upgraded from GTK+ 2 to GTK+ 3, file scanning should be much faster, and there's also a new dark mode, among other changes.

BleachBit is a free and open source tool to clean up your computer to free up disk space, with some privacy features on top. It can remove the web cache, cookies, URL history, temporary files and log files of popular web browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome / Chromium, Opera, Safari, etc., remove the cache, recently used and temporary files for many popular applications, remove unused localization (language) files, and much more. The tool may also be used to shred files to prevent data recovery, and wipe free disk space to hide previously deleted files.

The application comes with a simple GTK interface with checkboxes that allow selecting what you want to delete, but it also ships with a command line interface, useful for automation and headless operation.

The latest BleachBit 2.3 beta (that will lead to the 3.0 stable version) comes with an updated user interface, which now uses GTK+3. Under the hood it continues to use Python 2, which will reach end of life on January 1, 2020. For the next release though, the focus is to complete the transition to Python 3.

With the switch to GTK+ 3, BleachBit was also updated to use header bars, and there's also a new dark mode option.

Bleachbit 2.3 beta also includes a major new feature: chaff (from the AppMenu choose Make Chaff). This allows BleachBit to create files to confuse digital forensics, making the application even better at protecting private data. The term comes from aviation, where "chaff is a physical countermeasure that confuses radar by making it seem like there are additional aircraft in the sky, and chaff protects the aircraft by misdirecting radar-guided missiles", notes the BleachBit documentation.

Besides these changes, BleachBit 2.3 beta also includes:

  • Much faster file scanning; this should be most noticeable in the application startup, preview, deep scan, and when deleting many small files. The changelog mentions a ~50% speed increase on Ubuntu 19.04 and Windows 10 when doing a deep scan (with hot cache and without deleting any files)
  • New option for debug logging (--debug for the command line, as well as a new GUI preference for this)
  • Added stop button to abort the preview / cleaning process
  • The application window position, size and state is now saved when closing BleachBit, and restored on start
  • Improved many of its cleaners, and updated cache paths for VLC and Thunderbird cleaners on Linux
  • Various other improvements and bug fixes

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Download BleachBit

BleachBit 2.3 beta may be downloaded from (you'll find the source code or binaries for DEB and RPM based Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu/Linux Mint, openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS and so on, as well as Windows binaries).

If you wish, you may download BleachBit stable instead, by visiting the BleachBit downloads page. You may also find BleachBit in your Linux distribution's official repositories.

It's important to note that you should be careful when using BleachBit, especially when running it as root, unless you know exactly what you're doing / what the options you select do! I've read some comments in the past that BleachBit broke the system for some users, although I've personally never had any issues with it.