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Read time 5 minutes

Summary: When deleting files, they’re not truly gone; they can be recovered. To securely erase sensitive data, use methods like Windows PowerShell, Recycle Bin settings, or professional tools like Kernel File Shredder. This ensures data remains unrecoverable, critical for selling or donating your computer.

WWhen you delete a file from your system, what actually happens is that the file’s address is removed from NTFS and FAT drives, but the file itself remains concealed on your system until it gets overwritten by other data. Consequently, it is entirely possible to recover these supposedly “deleted” files using data recovery tools. This presents a significant risk of data theft, underscoring the importance of exercising caution when handling sensitive information. Sensitive data includes items such as net banking passwords, private photos, credit card details, videos, emails, and chat messages. Therefore, it becomes crucial to securely erase your disk before selling or giving away your PC.

We will explore several effective methods for securely erasing your sensitive data. Below, we’ll highlight some prominent techniques to encrypt or obfuscate your confidential files irreversibly. Ensuring a thorough disk cleansing becomes increasingly crucial when you intend to sell or pass on your computer.

Method #1 Using Windows PowerShell and Cipher

This approach leverages a built-in Windows feature that allows for the secure erasure of deleted files.

  1. Launch Windows PowerShell by searching for it.
  2. In the command prompt enter: cipher /w:<filepath> as shown below in the snippet.
  3. The tool will now attempt to overwrite all the deallocated data in the filepath
  4. Note: your existing data in the file location will remain intact, and only the deleted files will be overwritten.

    Note: The process to overwrite the deleted files will take some time. So, be patient.

Method #2 Changing the Recycle Bin’s Properties

When you delete a file on your system, it gets dumped into the Recycle Bin, and from there, one can quickly restore files to their previous locations. If you would like to delete file permanently from pc, which means that files will be permanently deleted and will not go to the Recycle Bin. The detailed steps are outlined below:

  1. Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon.
  2. Choose Properties from the list.
  3. Next, choose the drive for which you want to delete the data permanently. Make sure to select Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted option. Click Apply > OK.

Note: This approach cannot ensure the full eradication of deleted files from your system. To achieve the permanent deletion of data from your computer or PC, you must overwrite them.

Method #3 Use a Professional Tool

If you would like a more secure way to dispose of your confidential data, then you should look for a professional file shredder tool. Kernel File Shredder is just the tool that you need. The Kernel File Shredder offers a robust solution for securely erasing both unwanted and sensitive data stored on your drive. It incorporates cutting-edge data encryption algorithms, including Zeros (1 pass), DOD 5520 (3 passes), US Army AR 380-19 (3 passes), USAF 5520 (3 passes), German VSITR (7 passes), HMG ISS Baseline (1 pass), HMG ISS Enhanced (3 passes), Russian GOST P50739 95 (2 passes), Canadian OPS-II (7 passes), Peter Gutmann (35 passes), and DOD5520 + Peter Gutmann. Users can also schedule file shredding tasks to run at predetermined times and receive comprehensive log files that detail the shredding process.

  1. Install Kernel File Shredder on your system and launch it.
  2. Next, click on the Add Files\ Folders tab to add files and folders to shred. Next, choose the shredding method from the drop-down menu, as shown in the snippet below.
  3. In a few seconds, your sensitive file(s) will be completely overwritten. Click OK to exit the current process.

Why Should you Use Kernel File Shredder Software?

  • It saves the unauthorized access of files by shredding them completely.
  • It creates log information for the shredding job.
  • It allows the selective shredding by choosing only File and Folders, Recycle Bin, and Useless files, etc.
  • It follows the standard shredding algorithms like DoD, US Army, German VSITR, HMG, etc.


It is essential to securely remove sensitive information from your computer when you intend to sell or donate it. A mere deletion is inadequate because so-called “deleted” files can easily be retrieved using various data recovery tools. To ensure permanent deletion, you must overwrite these files.Two manual methods are described in this blog post to permanently delete data from storage media or PC. These methods cannot ensure the permanent eradication of sensitive files since they lack advanced data scrambling techniques.So, one should only trust advanced file eraser software options such as Kernel File Shredder for getting rid of any sensitive data files, which might create havoc if it falls into the wrong hands.