How can I erase files securely in Windows?

Aron January 11, 2011

How can I remove all traces of a file I’m deleting in Windows?

  1. nerotic
    January 15, 2011 at 1:57 am

    CCleaner is great but the problem is that you need to open up the app to use it which is very inconvenient.

    Eraser integrates into the context menu making it very effective.


  2. Nofear39427
    January 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I third the motion for Ccleaner.Its one of those programs that fullfills everybodies needs.

  3. Anonymous
    January 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm


    The best policy is to wipe the free space regularly.Since free space wiping takes so long, you may want to use file shredding in the meantime. For individual files and folders, note that the files can't "hide" as easily with an entire drive of erased random data, and some devices use wear leveling that may interfere with the effectiveness of wiping.

    To wipe a folder, open a Command Prompt window and type cipher /w: foldername, where foldername is the full path of any folder on the drive to wipe.

    Although Cipher requires the path of a folder, it actually wipes all the free space on the drive. This means that the commands cipher /w:c:UsersKakashi and cipher /w:c:UsersNaruto have exactly the same result.

    Freeware shell extension DeleteOnClick adds a Securely Delete entry to your Windows Explorer right-click menu so you can securely wipe files from your hard drive. How securely, you ask? Apparently it's U.S. Department of Defense secure (uses the U.S. DOD 5220.22-M secure file deletion standard).

    SDelete v1.51
    command line utility that securely erases using a default DOD 5220.22-M pattern at a specified number of passes. It can erase files/folders, or the free space of a drive. Like other erasers, it doesn't erase file names (instead it renames them 26 times).

    From Erik Pilsits at and the team behind Eraser.
    EraserDrop Portable is an easy-to-use secure data removal tool. 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. EraserDrop does away with the standard Eraser Portable interface and is packaged as a portable app so you can easily delete files on the go.

    free space cleaners
    R-Wipe & Clean

  4. Awillc1203
    January 12, 2011 at 10:14 am

    bc wipe

  5. Mike
    January 12, 2011 at 4:06 am

    I second CCleaner since most people already have it in use and it's a good addition to any system for general cleaning.

    Other than that maybe those will do:
    Ultra Shredder (
    Eraser (

    Just want to add that using (higher/more) secure delete methods on flash based storage like SDDs or Thumbdrives will shorten the life of those storage bits.

  6. smallant456
    January 12, 2011 at 3:00 am

    If your files are important and confidential, i recommend you to use third party software to help you solve the problem for windows cannot erase files thoroughly. Here i can advise you a free software easeus partition manager. I used it before. The most important point to me is that it's free! :)

  7. Kajankow
    January 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    You can also use a program that comes with Spybot called file shredder. I use CCleaner too but the other option that I found was the file shredder.

  8. Sonny Bass
    January 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    ccleaner go to options>settings then select how securely you want to delete it.The more secure the longer it takes.

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