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How to Permanently Delete Files

permanently delete filesEvery day we delete a lot of files. Some of them are insignificant, like downloaded images or old homework. But there are some files that need to be deleted with extra care. I’m talking about files containing your private information. These files are confidential and should be protected even when they are deleted. That’s why the best way to permanently delete files is using a file shredder.

What does a file shredder do?

When you simply delete files, they get placed in the Recycle Bin. As you know, it’s very easy to restore files from there – all you need to do is select the file you want to restore and select the option to restore it. But did you know that even files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin are easy to recover?

When you delete a file, the file isn’t actually gone. Windows doesn’t remove it immediately but rather marks the space occupied by the file as free. The file remains untouched and can be easily recovered by anyone with file recovery software.

But when you delete files with a file shredder, the file gets overwritten with random numbers and only then the space occupied by the file is marked as free. This prevents the file from being recovered even if professional file recovery software is used. So, if you are deleting files that contain confidential information like your credit cards numbers, your address, and anything else that identifies you, you should use file shredding software.

Shred free space

Another way to permanently delete files is to shred free space using a special drive wiping program. Unlike a file shredder, a disk wiper will only overwrite already deleted files without touching anything else. In other words, all your previously deleted files will be gone and your free space will be wiped clean. This is a bit like formatting your drive without actually losing any of your data.

Shredding free disk space is a lengthy procedure, but it’s really worth it if you are concerned about your privacy. Generally speaking, the speed of shredding free space or shredding files depends on the algorithm you choose. Most file shredders and disk wipers offer you a choice of four or five different algorithms, from the most basic one to the most advanced method that overwrites data in 35 passes. While the fastest method works for most home users, it’s best to use the most advanced algorithm if you are shredding business data.

Now you know what you should do to permanently delete files. Get yourself and good file shredder and disk wiper, and your private information will always be safe.


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