Free Methods to Delete Files Permanently
Read time 6 min
When a user deletes a useless file from his system, it goes directly to the Recycle bin/Trash folder, and it remains there until the user either clears the whole Trash or deletes that specific file from the Trash folder. Now, it’s a general wisdom that when a file is deleted from the Trash, it gets permanently deleted from the system. However, it’s not exactly the case. When a file is deleted and even cleared from the Trash, it never gets truly deleted.
When you delete a file you just send instructions to Windows that the space the file occupies is now available to write again. In between deletion and over writing the space is the time you can easily recover the data with the help of any efficient data recovery tool. This, however, also comes with a risk of unauthorized access to your confidential data. One way to overcome this risk is to try overwriting the deleted files with appropriate methods. Enterprises and individuals with confidential data on their systems employ these methods to erase their data permanently.
In this write-up, we will discuss some free yet powerful methods to delete files permanently and overwrite the vacant space so that the file becomes completely irrecoverable. There are professional tools as well as manual methods to do the task. First, let’s look at some popular manual methods to delete files from your system permanently.
Method to Delete Files Permanently
- Delete Files Permanently Through Command Prompt
- Delete Files Via Formatting the Required Partition
- Automated Tool to Delete Files Permanently from Hard Disk
Method 1: Delete Files Permanently Through Command Prompt
To delete files permanently via Command Prompt, follow the steps given below:
Step 1: Go to Start and type Command Prompt in the search box.
Step 2: Right-click the Command Prompt icon and select Run as administrator.
Step 3: Type the following commands and execute them one by one as per the given order.
- list disk
- select disk ‘x’ (here, ‘x’ stands for the unique identification of the disk where the files that are to be deleted resides, typically assigned as numbers)
- clean all
When you execute the ‘clean all’ command at last, it will clear the complete data within the selected drive.
Method 2: Delete Files Via Formatting the Required Partition
A partition of your hard drive can be formatted using the Disk Management feature provided by Windows OS. Formatting clears the data in the selected partition and ensures that the memory allocation for the previous data also gets cleared with deletion.
Note: While formatting the partition through Disk Management, make sure to uncheck the ‘Perform a quick format’ option.
To format the partition containing the useless files, follow these steps:
Step 1: Press Win + R to launch the Run Command dialog box.
Step 2: Type ‘diskmgmt.msc’ and hit Enter.
Step 3: Select the partition which contains the files that are to be deleted. Right-click the selected partition and click on the Format option.
Step 5: In the Format partition dialog box, uncheck the ‘Perform a quick format’ option and click on the OK button.
Step 6: A dialog box asking to confirm the formatting process prompts on your screen. Click OK to initiate.
Automated Tool to Delete Files Permanently from Hard Disk
Instead of going for the manual approach, you can also use an automated third-party File delete software to perform the deletion. There are various paid as well as free tools available online that can help you delete files permanently. However, the quest for online search is quite tedious. Therefore, we have highlighted an efficient file shredder program that permanently clears the data from your hard drives and makes them completely irrecoverable.
Kernel File Shredder deletes your unwanted or confidential data stored on the hard drives and makes sure that it doesn’t get recovered by any means. The tool uses advanced file shredding algorithms to perform the shredding process on hard drives. Moreover, you can schedule shredding your hard drives at a specific predefined time. With its friendly interface and easy steps, it is the most suitable for normal PC users.
The trial version is free to download and you can upgrade it to the licensed version any time. Here are the steps one needs to follow in order to shred their data using Kernel File Shredder.
- Launch Kernel File Shredder and click on Add Files\Folder to add the directory or the files you need to clear permanently from your system.
- Once the required files or folders are added to the interface, select the shredding method as per your choice. Click on the Shred button to initiate the deletion of files.
- Once the process is complete, all the selected data gets cleared from their respective locations. Click OK to finish the process.
Software Working Video to Delete Files Permanently from PC
Permanent file deletion can be carried out easily if you know the right approach to do it. The methods we have stated above include both manual as well as automated ways to do the task. We recommend Kernel File Shredder as the foremost method to delete your files as it will save your precious time and effort. This tool can be used on personal as well as office systems for the permanent removal of confidential data.