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13.08.2019 Technology

10 Free Tools to Permanently Delete Files on Windows

By Staff Writer
10 Free Tools to Permanently Delete Files on Windows
AUG 13, 2019 TECHNOLOGY

Data is a powerful tool. Projects like 'Data Science for Good' prove knowing how to use data the right way is a blessing. However, it's more often that data leaks, hacking, and privacy-related scandals make us think twice before sharing or storing something on a PC.

Windows usually doesn't allow PC users to delete files permanently. While it has more than a handful of benefits - simplified data recovery process, for instance, issues come to it as well. While you think you're saving a ton of system space by deleting files, the reality is, they are still stored on the computer.

In case you want to get rid of unneeded files once and forever, there are tools to help out. In this post, we'll review 10 promising junkware removal tool download options that'll help PC users easily delete files.

1. WipeFile

WipeFile is a tool that runs from a USB or a portable drive. There are 14 erasing modes supported by the platform. The methods range from easy few-minutes deletion algorithms to full-motion Gutmann erase that includes 35 stages, according to Wikipedia. Here's a detailed list of data erasing methods supported by the program:

  • Bit Toggle;
  • NATO Standard;
  • Gutmann;
  • MS Cipher;
  • Random Data;
  • DoD 5220 22-M;
  • Write Zero.

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A user will be able to filter which files are deleted by WipeFile. By default, all files in a selected folder are deleted. You can filter the list of to-be-erased files by the format, last modification date, etc.

WipeFile is a multilingual solution - the interface is available in 18 languages.

Main Features of WipeFile:

  • No installation needed;
  • 1 MB installer size;
  • Keeps logs;
  • Drag-and-drop navigation;
  • Windows Explorer integration;
  • Wide range of supported deletion arguments.

2. HardWipe

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HardWipe is another high-performance file eraser. You will be able to selectively clean folders and drives. There are 6 wiping algorithms varying by complexity. HardWipe allows users to delete:

  • Logical Volumes;
  • Physical Devices;
  • Windows Recycle Bin;
  • Folders and Files.

Other features of the product include audit logging and overwrite verification. The free version of HardWipe has built-in advertising PC users have to put up with.

3. Cyber Shredder

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Cyber Shredder is a user-friendly tool for deleting files permanently. It allows you to confirm file deletion before following through with it - this way, the risks of accidentally deleting a wrong file are reduced.

Cyber Shredder has a drag-and-drop navigation system. Any file you place into the program window will be deleted, with no way to restore it. All shredding methods are sorted by speed:

  • Very quick (a single zero pass);
  • Quick - a three-pass file erasing;
  • Normal - a 7-pass procedure.

Cyber Shredder Main Features

  • An easy-to-use interface;
  • A wide range of available shredding algorithms;
  • Overriding Windows API to delete files permanently;
  • Built-in system files erasing.

4. Eraser

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Eraser is a file shredding tool, packed with features for advanced PC users. You will be able to create a schedule according to which all files in the Recycle Bin are going to be deleted, restart a system after a shredding session, create automated tasks for file and folder deletion.

Eraser has 13 shredding algorithms you can choose from, a Windows Explorer integration, a free drive space erasing feature, and so on.

Main features of Eraser:

  • Supports scheduled data shredding;
  • Erases mechanical drives and SSDs;
  • Drag-and-drop navigation;
  • Internet Explorer support;
  • Deleted files can be replaced by custom ones.

Compared to other data management tools on the market, Eraser certainly makes a cut above most of them.

5. File Shredder

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Unlike other tools that had portable versions, File Shredder is a permanent solution that needs to be installed on your PC. The interface of the tool feels dated, at a first glance - at the end of the day, it's still quite easy to use.

File Shredder, too, has an Internet Explorer integration. You will also be able to create a queue of folders - all the files will be deleted automatically.

Main features of File Shredder:

  • Free space shredding;
  • Internet Explorer integration;
  • An easy-to-use file management system;
  • Drag-and-drop interface.

6. Zer0

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Zer0 is a simple, straightforward tool for file-shredding. There are little data regarding the list of argument the publisher uses for file deletion. However, according to the development team, the number of passes can reach 100 - this way, a file will be completely unrecoverable.

Keep in mind that a full setup of Zero is jampacked with adware - that's why it's recommended to install the 'Lite' version.

Main features of Zero:

  • Fast installation and the intuitive user interface;
  • File deletion logs;
  • Context menu integration;
  • Delete files in batches.

7. DP Wipe

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DP Wipe doesn't provide PC users with a portable version - that's one of the program's few downsides. Other than that, DP Wipe is a reliable tool that supports drag-and-drop navigation, comes with a wide range of algorithms - RCMP, 2 US DoD, Gutmann, and others.

Using DP Wipe, a user will be able to overwrite files and choose a fitting shredding algorithm based on the importance of the data that's to be deleted.

8. TurboShredder

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TurboShredder is a tool for thorough file deletion. You will be able to delete files permanently as well as remove their time stamps. TurboShredder is a small portable data shredder - however, in order to run it, you'll need to install Java Runtime Environment. The navigation system is drag-and-drop, common for most file shredders. However, you'll also be able to upload files by using the 'Add' button.

An advanced PC user will be able to use advanced shredding features - such as filtering files using regular expressions. Turbo Shredder is highly customizable - you will be able to use command lines to remove files permanently.

Main Features of Turbo Shredder:

  • Supported versions - Windows XP, Vista, 7;
  • Straightforward;
  • Data shredding methods vary by complexity;
  • High customizability;
  • The small size of the installer.

9. EraserDrop

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EraserDrop is a tool built on the base of the Eraser API. It's an easy-to-use portable utility. All it takes to delete a file is to drop the files you want to delete on the 'Erase' icon on the desktop. You will be able to move the icon all over the desktop by pressing and holding the 'Shift' button.

Eraser Drop has other convenient utilities - creating hotkeys, enabling and disabling warning and reports. A program allows PC users to permanently erase the free space on a chosen drive and wiping out the Recycle Bin.

Eraser Drop Main Features:

  • A wide range of configuration settings;
  • A detailed deletion procedure;
  • Each shredding session requires a confirmation;
  • High performance speed;
  • Minimal system resources usage.

10. SDelete

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Compared to other tools, SDelete is considerably different. For one thing, it's a command-line-only utility. It's useful for running scripts and deleting files in batch. SDelete is created by SysInternal, a development team that has started other famous utilities - AutoRun and Process Explorer.

The syntax for file erasing looks the following way:

SDelete -p {number of passes} {files and folders to erase}

Advanced PC users can go with such a command as well:

SDelete -p {number of passes) {-z for zero pass/-c for clean} {drive letter}

The second mode provides even more deletion specifications.

The main features of SDelete:

  • Command line-based file delivery;
  • Scheduled driver cleaning;
  • Low system impact;
  • A reliable publisher;
  • Satisfies all the needs of advanced PC users.

Conclusion

While Windows files are not deleted permanently by default, there's still a way to erase data once and forever. All the tools, reviewed above, are safe and secure ways to get rid of information that you don't want to be restored and free storage space.

Take your time to test several options before making up your mind. This way, you will be able to make proactive and informed decisions regarding system data management.

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