We always worried about compromising our personal data online, so we do all the necessary steps to protect our online accounts. But we forget to safeguard our system offline. In this article, we are going to share some best tools that will help you to permanently delete files securely from your computer and make them impossible to recover by anyone.
Yes, sometimes without even hacking our online accounts, others can access our personal files. Did you know even if we delete files or format drives (no matter how many times) from our system, some powerful tools out there can recover most of our files?
Just imagine you sold your old laptop/PC and you make sure to delete your personal files and format drives multiple times believing that your system was cleaned before selling. Are you 100% sure still no one can recover your deleted files with any file recovery software?
Then you are wrong — about 50% of your files still recoverable. You didn’t know which files will come under that 50% — it may be your private photos or some important office documents or anything. So it doesn’t hurt to delete your files securely from your system. But how to delete them permanently?
In this article we are going to introduce some tools to help you with this process. These tools will permanently delete files from your PC and also make them impossible to recover with hard drive recovery tools.
Tools To Securely Delete Your Files And Make Them Impossible To Recover:
WipeFile is a portable app that erases files and folders secure and fast. It supports 14 different wipe methods, e.g. two US Navy standards, the standard of the US Department of Defence, US Airforce and NATO.
WipeFile overwrites the information completely, so there is no way to undelete the files or reconstruct the file content.
Eraser permanently delete files, folders and their previously deleted counterparts. It overwrites the files being deleted with random data. Works with an extremely customizable Scheduler. There are several options for the number of times the files being deleted are overwritten with random data, including two versions of the US DoD 5220.22-M standard (3-pass and 7-pass) and the Gutmann method, which overwrites the file with random data 35 times.
Eraser works with Windows XP (with Service Pack 3), Windows Server 2003 (with Service Pack 2), Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7,8,10 and Windows Server 2012. A portable version is also available at PortableApps.com.
FreeRaser is a free portable tool that can be used to shred, destroy and permanently delete files from your computer. FreeRaser allows you to select from one of three methods to shred data.
- Method 1: Fast destruction utilizes a single round, filling the space with random data.
- Method 2: Forced destruction utilizes 3 rounds of filling according to DoD 5220.22M standard.
- Method 3: Ultimate destruction utilizes 35 rounds of filling with data according to Guttman algorithm.
FreeRaser is easy to use. Simply drag the file or folder you wish to shred and delete over the FreeRaser trash bin and the software does the rest.
4. EraserDrop Portable
EraserDrop Portable puts a secure data deletion tool in your USB toolkit. If you often work on different terminals and want to make sure you haven’t left anything there, EraserDrop Portable is at hand. It is a drop target (a floating icon on your desktop) that you can drop files onto to quickly erase them so they can not be recovered. Simply right-clicking on the EraserDrop icon brings up configuration options and the wiping services.
SDelete is a command-line utility that allows you to securely delete one or more files and/or directories, or to cleanse the free space on a logical disk. SDelete is made by SysInternals, the same people behind Process Explorer and AutoRuns. In addition to being able to wipe files and folders with the number of passes you choose, it can also clean or zero the free space on a selected drive letter.
To get help with how to use the command, type “sdelete” (without the quotes) at the command prompt and press Enter.
TurboShredder overwrites files, file names, directory names and the modification time of files up to 100 times before deleting the files. The data can be overwritten with zeros, ones, random data or with the Peter Gutmann algorithm. It does require the Java Runtime Environment to be installed which some users won’t have. TurboShredder does work in a way similar to most other tools allowing you to drop files and folders onto the main window or via the + button, but the number of erase cycles is completely configurable.
7. Blank And Secure
Blank And Secure is a small-sized, portable utility developed to permanently delete files from your system, in an effort to prevent unauthorized users from recovering sensitive data via specialized software. Files and folders can be loaded in the list of items up for deletion using the drag-and-drop support. Batch processing is featured, so Blank And Secure are capable of removing multiple items at once, but you can only insert one entry into the queue at a time.
8. DP Shredder
DP Shredder is a portable, the small program that allows you to erase files/folders securely and wipes disk free space using one of the following methods: zero, pseudo-random data, RCMP (DSX), US DoD 5220.22-M (E), US DoD 5220.22-M (ECE) or Gutmann 35x. Multiple wipe actions are progressively slower. All but the most security-minded users should only need a pseudo-random overwrite.
CCleaner is a program that removes unused, temporary files from your system, cleans up your internet history and cookies, contains a tool for cleaning the registry, and even allows you to clean up files from applications installed on your computer. The latest version offers a tool for wiping the free space on your hard drive. You can wipe the free space on a hard drive or the entire drive, securely deleting all data on the drive. There are four options for specifying how many times the data will be overwritten.
10. DP Wipe
DP Wipe, a very simple application, lends you a hand when trying to delete files once and forever. DP Wipe has been designed to be simple and to provide a quick way to delete files. You can thus add multiple files at once and pick from a total of six different wiping methods, as follows: Zeros, Pseudorandom data, RCMP (DSX), US DoD 5220.22-M (E) 3x, US DoD 5220.22-M (ECE) 7x and Gutmann (35 pass).
Zer0 is a user-friendly file deletion tool with a high level of security. With Zer0, you’ll be able to delete files permanently and prevent file recovery by a 3rd person. Zer0 has both a portable and installer version, installing will add a “Delete with Zer0” option into your right-click context menu. Make sure to use the “Lite” installer as the full setup package contains several items of adware.
12. File Shredder
With File Shredder you can securely delete files from your hard drive without fear they could be recovered. In File Shredder you can choose between 5 different shredding algorithms, each one gradually stronger than the previous one. It also has integrated Disk Wiper which uses a shredding algorithm to wipe unused disk space.
That’s it. Use any of these tools next time to permanently delete files from your system securely and make them impossible to recover.
If you know any other similar tools please share them with us in comments.