Our day to day computer usage involves a lot of varied activities, such as listening to music, creating project reports, browsing the web, and stuff like that. Apart from all these, we all spend quite a chunk of time managing and organizing the files stored on our computers. This involves tasks such as copying/moving content from one location to another, creating new files, and, of course, deleting old and unnecessary ones.
Regularly deleting old and unwanted files from our PCs is such an ordinary task that we seldom pay any attention to it. But do you know that those files that you delete from your computer aren’t actually deleted? That’s right, they aren’t. When you delete files, the OS just removes any references to them. This means that they still remain on the hard disk, until the space consumed by them is overwritten by newly created files. And while there’s no problem with that, this is a bit of a security issue, as these files can be easily recovered by any of the multitude of file recovery software.
But not to worry folks, as there are some really great software applications out there, that can be used to delete files securely. These ensure that when these files are gone, they’re gone for good. Jumping in elation already? Let’s find out more about 4 best software to securely delete files in Windows 10.
If you’re on the lookout for a powerful and feature-laden application that not only deletes files securely, but looks good while doing so as well, look no further than Secure Eraser. Extremely easy to use and incredibly versatile, Secure Eraser sports an impressively designed user interface that makes using it a joy. Secure Eraser does exactly what it says on the box, and does it well. The program can be used to securely delete (or shred) all kinds of files and folders so that they cannot be recovered. It includes a number of highly secure file shredding standards, notably US DoD 5220.22M and Peter Gutmann. Secure Eraser can overwrite files to be deleted with random data up to an astounding 35 times, thereby eliminating any and all chances of recovery. But that’s not all. In addition to files and folders, this thing can securely delete drives/partitions as well. Apart from that, Secure Eraser also lets you clean the registry and temporary system files. The application maintains a log of all the operations and can automatically generate HTML reports of the performed operations as well.
There are some programs that are so good and have so many features crammed into them, that it becomes almost impossible to believe that they’re free. And Eraser is a perfect case in point. Boasting a truckload of goodies, Eraser is a dream come true for those looking forward for an easy yet powerful way of securely deleting files. Although the program sports a pretty basic (but functional) user interface, it more than makes up for it with its laundry list of features. Probably the standout feature of Eraser is scheduled erasure, which, as the name suggests, lets you specify a schedule for securely shredding your files and folders. It can be used to schedule files to be securely deleted immediately, on system restart, or on a recurring basis. You can configure what exactly needs to be shredded, and it can be anything from files to drives to unused disk space. There is a whole bunch of secure deletion standards that you can choose from, such as Psuedorandom data, British HMG IS5, and Schneier 7 pass. You can individually specify the default erasure method for both files and drives. Eraser can also shred locked files by forcibly unlocking them, and even lets you replace erased files with your own specified random files for plausible deniability.
Most of the applications that let you securely delete files include a gazillion different features. While that’s not a bad thing at all, it can often make things confusing for those who’re looking for something a bit simpler. If you belong to that group, you’ll love File Shredder. It’s a simple and straightforward file shredding (what else?) software that lets you securely delete files in a matter of few clicks, without drowning you in a sea of options and settings. But that’s not to say that File Shredder is any less capable than its competitors. It’s just that it has just the right number of features to hold its own. Shredder totes a simple and functional user interface that’s incredibly easy to work with. All you have to do is add the files/folders that you want to securely delete and hit the “Shred Files Now” button. In addition to files and folders, File Shredder can also be used to wipe free disk space. There are a number of shredding algorithms that can be used, including popular ones such as DoD 5220-22.M and Gutmann. File Shredder can be natively integrated into Windows Shell, which makes it even easier to use.
If you think that an application can’t be powerful and ridiculously simple at the same time, take a look at SecureDelete, and that thinking just might change. SecureDelete makes the whole process of securely deleting files and folders extremely easy, stripping it down to its bare essentials. The lightweight application has an incredibly straightforward UI that itself explains it’s whole working the moment you fire it up. Shredding files using SecureDelete is a piece of cake. Add the files and/or folders that you want to delete securely, and hit the Delete button. That’s all there’s to it. You can choose from a number of algorithms (multi-pass DoD 5220.22M, Gutmann 35 pass etc.) to be used for shredding the files. In addition to that, SecureDelete can also directly shred the files in the Recycle Bin using one of the available algorithms. Using SecureDelete, you can also configure Operating System to clear the paging file at system shutdown. All in all, it’s a simple application that does what it’s supposed to and does it well.
While the standard method of deleting files from the Recycle Bin works well in the majority of cases, it’s not exactly the most secure and effective way of doing so. But thanks to file and free space shredder applications like the ones discussed above, you can be sure that the files that you delete are deleted the way they should be. Try them out, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.