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How to Free Space and “Clean” Files on Linux, and Windows, Easily.

Maybe you don’t have much space on your hard drive, or you’re just a clean freak, or OCD kicks in and you’re pulling your hair out over all these random files that mean nothing to you. Enough said, we all want our PCs to perform to their fullest potential. (and)Believe me, clogged hard drives can impact the performance of a computer more than some think.

I’ve recently come across an all-in-one free spacer tool called BleachBit.

BleachBit quickly frees disk space and tirelessly guards your privacy. Free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn’t know was there. Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean 90 applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari,and more.

I’m going to demonstrate and share my thoughts.

Install BleachBit

Installing BleachBit was simple for me. I installed it through the Debian Software Center. You can probably install it on your distribution’s software center. Or download it from the website if you’re using Windows. Continuing on..

Start BleachBit (Normal. Not “as root”)

You’ll be presented with a pleasant screen asking which “drives” (directories), and if you’d like to overwrite these files after deletion. Basically, it’s going to not only delete, but will also shred them so it makes it a lot harder to recover them in the future. Valuable to those have crazy ex-partners. Kid, I kid.

I went ahead and also selected “Overwrite files to hide contents,” too. Then hit close.

The selections

Now is the part where you’ll need to decide what you wish to clear. You must do this carefully as you may accidentally delete all of your bookmarks. You definitely don’t want that.

I selected some simple elements. Notice I left out “places,” in Firefox, as that relates to Bookmarks. If you have your bookmarks backed up, then go ahead–Though that just defeats the purpose of keeping bookmarks inside of the web browser.

The more touchy

Now that you’ve selected the obvious files, it’s time to move onto the more touchy. System files, and Package files (for Linux).

I’m not recommending that you mess with any of these. Though I did select “Clipboard,” and “Recent Documents.”

Preview Your Deletions First

It’s time to review what you’ve did. You can click the “Preview” button at the top left to see what exactly this program will delete, based on your selections.

This is the basics. If you’re running Debian that is, or something similar. It’ll vary from distribution to distribution. Also it’ll most likely look different on Windows.

Permission Error Time

If you’re satisfied with the Preview, go ahead and select “Delete.” You’ll get this nifty-little screen..

You can safely click “Delete” if you have not messed with anything else in-between Previewing, and clicking Delete. If you have, then I recommend Previewing the deletion selections again, then coming back to Delete the files. Note: You’ll also need to have any programs that may be accessing these files closed. Aptitude, Synaptic, Google Chrome, Firefox, Pidgin, and any other programs you’re telling BleachBit to clean. As it can conflict due to other permission errors.

Re-open “as root”

Before, as I didn’t point out, I also selected an APT clean. Which, because I was not running BleachBit as root it did not work. You’ll need to close the current BleachBit, after everything besides the APT clean, and re-open it as root.

It’ll might ask you the same things, go ahead and select “Overwrite files,” too. Then re-select the APT fields (or whatever your package manager may be) again, and hit Preview. All OK? Good, go ahead and “Delete.”

If all goes well:

Nice? I hope so.

I’m shocked I haven’t came across this sooner! This is a great tool to have for the quick free’r. If you have any tips, suggestions, etc, feel free to let me know. Remember this is also on Windows.

Download BleachBit

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