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Posted on Jan 22, 2014 in Data Privacy, Privacy Tutorials | 0 comments

BleachBit Tutorial 3 – Advanced options

In this final BleachBit tutorial, we will take a more in-depth look at some of the options we glossed over in the video. We will also look at how to automatically get more cleaning options for the program.

Deep scan options

After watching the video, you may be wondering what the Deep scan options do and how they affect your PC.There are four options under Deep scan, as shown in the picture on the left. What do these options mean? .DS_Store and Thumbs.db are special files that the computer creates to store meta data, or data about your data. In the case of thumbs.db, Windows caches thumbnail previews of your deep-scanimages in this file. .DS_Store is a file created by Apple computers. By deleting these files you remove any left over metadata. Doing this on a removable drive or memory card could be a good idea before you sell it or give it away.

The “Backup files” option will not delete backups you have made in a backup program such as Windows Backup, Genie backup or any other. What it will delete is backups that programs have generated themselves. For instance a program might make a backup of its internal database during an upgrade, and name this file database.bak. This cleaning option will find these files and remove them. It’s usually perfectly safe to do this, since any important information should be backed up properly anyway.

The “Temporary files” option will, as you might expect, delete temporary files. It does this simply by scanning for files with the .tmp file extension. Unless you are in the habit of storing important information in .tmp files, it’s perfectly safe to use. Running the deep scan options will not damage your computer though by deleting metadata files like Thumbs.db you may temporarily slow down File Explorer or Windows Explorer.

You can expand the cleaning power of BleachBit by using the community cleaners

You can expand the cleaning power of BleachBit by using the community cleaners

Obtaining more cleaning options

The default cleaning options that come with the program are entirely adequate for most users. If you want to go further however, it is possible to download more cleaning options that have been created by the community. These options can clear up temporary files left behind by many popular programs. To do this, click on the “Edit” menu and choose “Preferences”. Now, select the “General” tab and click on “Download and update cleaners from community (winapp2.ini)”. Close the preference window and restart the program, you should now see a whole list of new cleaning options. Go through each one individually and note any warning messages you see. If you don’t understand the message, don’t run the cleaner.

Why doesn’t BleachBit let me set the security level or number of passes?

BleachBit does not provide a facility to increase the number of times a file or folder is overwritten during cleaning. The authors of the software consider this unnecessary. Considering there is little or no evidence of anyone having successfully recovered a file that has been properly overwritten once, there does seem little need to include such a feature. For more information, see our guide to file shredders.

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