Command line interface

Most anything you can do with the graphical user interface, you can do with BleachBit's command line interface which serves two needs:

  • Automating cleaning in scripts, batch files, and scheduled tasks
  • Running BleachBit headless in terminal-only connections.

This page includes some examples.

Microsoft Windows

In Windows, use the executable bleachbit_console.exe to console output. The executable isn't added automatically to the path, so you use the full path C:\Program Files\BleachBit\bleachbit_console.exe. Where acceptable, it is best to substitute the environment variable %ProgramFiles% for C:\Program Files\.


Running bleachbit (which is in the path) with arguments runs BleachBit in command line mode. Without arguments, BleachBit runs in graphical mode. The clipboard can only be cleaned under an X session (which is generally not available over SSH or in cron).

Listing options

To see a list of cleaners and their options, run:

bleachbit --list


To preview deleting Firefox cache, run:

bleachbit --preview firefox.cache

Multiple arguments are allowed. To preview deleting Firefox cache and Opera cache, run:

bleachbit --preview firefox.cache opera.cache

Wildcards are allowed for options (though not cleaners), so to preview deleting all of Opera, run:

bleachbit --preview opera.*

To select the same options as in the GUI, use --preset, which may be combined with other options:

bleachbit --preview --preset firefox.cookies

--preset requires BleachBit 0.8.7 or later

Deleting files

When you are ready to delete files and make other permanent changes, replace --preview with --clean. To vacuum Firefox, for example, run:

bleachbit --clean firefox.vacuum

Overwriting files

To overwrite the contents of files so they cannot be undeleted later, add --overwrite:

bleachbit --overwrite --clean firefox.vacuum

Without --overwrite, BleachBit checks the configuration set in the graphical user interface.

cron example (Linux)

To vacuum Firefox each night at 03:00, run:

crontab -e

and add this line:

0 3 * * * bleachbit --clean firefox.vacuum

Windows Task Scheduler

To vacuum Firefox each night at 03:00:

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Open Scheduled Tasks.
  • Click Add Scheduled Task.
  • Click Next.
  • Click Browse.
  • Choose C:\Program Files\BleachBit\bleachbit_console.exe.
  • Choose Daily.
  • Set the start time.
  • Click Next.
  • Click Next.
  • Check Advanced Properties.
  • At the end of Run, add --clean firefox.vacuum.
  • Click OK.