black hole.pngDo you get a little paranoid when you walk away from your computer wondering what kind of information you left laying around on your hard drive? There are all kinds of reasons for wanting to keep a clean computer, and the free Black Hole app wants to help you with that.

When you start Black Hole for the first time you may think that this will do nothing more than what you can do yourself in a few clicks of the mouse. Once you start digging into some of the options for each of the various cleaning utilities you’ll quickly find that there is more than meets the eye:

  • Quitting Applications: Black Hole can quit any number of applications with a single click on the “Clean” button. If an application fails to quit after a set amount of time, Black Hole can force quit it for you.
  • Clearing Recent Items: Using this option you can clear recent items from the File > Open Recent menu of most applications. Black Hole comes with a default set of rules for popular applications, or you can create your own.
  • Emptying the Trash: Emptying the trash is a matter of seconds, even if the files inside it are locked.
  • Unmounting Volumes: Black Hole is able to unmount volumes from your Mac, be it a Mac or Windows share, a USB key, an external hard drive, or a mounted disk image file (.dmg and others). This can be very useful if you store confidential information in encrypted disk images, for example.
  • Clearing the Clipboard: The clipboard can be cleared without question or only if some keywords are found within it.
  • Deleting Files and Folders: Black Hole can delete files and folders for you, bypassing the Trash. There are several options for configuring exactly what files to remove according to your needs.
  • Closing Safari Tabs and Windows: Safari tabs and windows can be closed without question, or only if their titles contain one or more keyword(s).
  • Secure Deletion: Black Hole supports deleting files securely using three standard algorithms (1-pass random data, 7-pass US DoD compliant, or 35-pass Gutmann) that provide a good balance between speed and security.

According to the developer’s Twitter account a new version of Black Hole is also in the works, and it will feature a new log file cleaner. If you decide to install the app you can enable automatic update checking in the settings so that you’ll get the new version when it is made available.

Black Hole Homepage (Mac only; Freeware)