Please Wait. BleachBit 1.8 on Windows 7 never finishing


Short Version: BleachBit 1.8 on Windows 7 doesn't finish, stays stuck at "Please wait. Wiping free disk space. About 0 minutes remaining."

I hope this hasn't been addressed, but after about an hour of poking around on Launchpad and here I've come up blank, so here goes.

I've been using BleachBit for years on Linux machines and used to see a problem where the application just seemed to stall out on wiping disk space. That hasn't been an issue on Linux for some time, but I recently installed BleachBit 1.8 on a Windows 7 laptop, and am seeing that problem again.

Description: Last night at around 6:00 pm I ran BleachBit 1.8. In the preview it found about 3.5 GB of files it could clear out. So I hit clean. BleachBit ran through everything, and then said along the top "Please wait. Wiping free disk space. About 160 minutes remaining." That was at 6:00 pm.

By midnight, that message changed to "Please wait. Wiping free disk space. About 60 minutes remaining."

I let it go for another 8 hours, so a total of 14 hours now, and this morning for at least the last two hours the message has read "Please wait. Wiping free disk space. About 0 minutes remaining." It's also filled the 250 GB of free space on the drive, so the machine is pretty sluggish now. At that point I just closed BleachBit, which seemed to recovery the 250 GB of free space the drive once had.

What's a little annoying is that I turned off "Overwrite files to hide contents" in the preferences, so I don't think it should even be trying to wipe the files, let alone for 14+ hours.

I've only ran BleachBit 1.8 a couple times on that machine, and have had that same result each time. I don't believe this was happening the previous version. Should I go back to 1.6 or just wait for BleachBit to finish? Because if it'll take another 14 hours or more, I'll probably just pull the plug.

In the tree of options, the option System - Free Disk Space triggers the phase you are having a problem with labeled Wiping free disk space..

Wiping free disk space is not affected by the preference option Overwrite files to hide contents, which affects only deleting specific files (for example, Firefox Cache). However, disabling Overwrite files to hide contents will speed up deleting specific files.

You may consider unchecking System - Free Disk Space. It is an security precaution against recovering deleted files. I suggest disabling it unless you are pretty sure you need it, and even then, you may not need to use it often. If you do need it often, consider full-disk encryption instead. See also the documentation: Shred files and wipe disks .

BleachBit 1.8 fixed a bug on Windows for wiping free disk space: in many cases BleachBit 1.6 would finish this operation within seconds without actually doing anything.

How long this operation takes varies mainly depending on two things: how much free space there is and the speed of the hard drive. While most of a day for 250GB seems slow, it seems plausible. In the future I hope to make it faster.

Andrew, lead developer


Hey, thanks for the quick response. Un-ticking Free Disk Space under System seemed to do the trick. I made a note of that option for future reference.