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How to Permanently Delete Files on Windows 10?

For anyone who stores sensitive data on their computers, it’s important to know how to permanently delete files from their Windows 10 devices. Deleting files from your hard drive is not enough, as they can still be recovered with the right software. In this article, you will learn the steps for securely and permanently deleting files from your Windows 10 device, and why this is important to do.

How to Permanently Delete Files on Windows 10?

Understanding File Deletion

When you delete a file on your Windows 10 computer, the file doesn’t actually go away completely. The file is only marked as deleted and the space it was using is now available for other files to occupy. This means that the deleted file can still be recovered until new data is written over it. To permanently delete a file, you need to overwrite it with other data.

To understand the concept of file deletion, it is important to know the difference between a file and a folder. A file is a single piece of data such as a document, image, music, or video. A folder is a collection of files and other folders. When you delete a folder, all of the contents inside the folder are also deleted.

Deleting Files with Windows Explorer

The easiest way to delete files and folders is to use Windows Explorer. To open Windows Explorer, click on the Start button and type “explorer” into the search box. Then, navigate to the folder that contains the file or folder you want to delete. Right-click on the file or folder and select the “Delete” option.

When you delete a file or folder, it is moved to the Recycle Bin. To permanently delete the file or folder, you must empty the Recycle Bin. To do this, right-click on the Recycle Bin and select “Empty Recycle Bin”.

Using Command Prompt to Delete Files

If you want to delete a file from the command line, you can use the del command. To delete a file, open the Command Prompt and type “del “. To delete a folder and all of its contents, use the rmdir command. Type “rmdir /s” to delete the folder and all of its contents.

Using a File Shredder to Permanently Delete Files

A file shredder is a specialized software utility that can permanently delete files and folders. File shredders overwrite the files multiple times with random data, making it impossible to recover the deleted data.

There are many free file shredders available for download. Some popular file shredders include Eraser, File Shredder, and Secure Eraser.

Deleting Sensitive Data

If you have sensitive data that you don’t want anyone to be able to recover, it is important to use a file shredder. File shredders overwrite the files multiple times with random data, making it impossible to recover the deleted data.

Deleting System Files and Folders

If you want to delete system files and folders, it is important to be very careful. Deleting the wrong file or folder can cause your system to become unstable or even crash. If you are not sure which files or folders to delete, it is best to leave them alone.

Deleting Files from an External Drive

If you want to delete files from an external drive, you need to use a file shredder. File shredders overwrite the files multiple times with random data, making it impossible to recover the deleted data.

Using a Data Recovery Tool

If you have accidentally deleted a file or folder, you may be able to use a data recovery tool to recover it. Data recovery tools scan your hard drive for deleted files and folders and can often recover them.

Using a Professional Data Recovery Service

If you are unable to recover the deleted files and folders using a data recovery tool, you may need to use a professional data recovery service. Professional data recovery services can often recover deleted data from hard drives, memory cards, and other storage devices.

Final Thoughts

Permanently deleting files and folders is important if you want to keep your data secure. The best way to permanently delete files and folders is to use a file shredder, which will overwrite the deleted data with random data. If you have accidentally deleted a file or folder, you may be able to use a data recovery tool or a professional data recovery service to recover it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I delete files from Windows 10?

In order to delete files from Windows 10, you can use the File Explorer to locate the file you wish to delete, right-click on the file, and then select the “Delete” option. You can also select multiple files and use the “Delete” button in the Home tab of the ribbon. You can also use the “Shift + Delete” keyboard shortcut to delete the file without sending it to the Recycle Bin.

2. How do I permanently delete files from Windows 10?

To permanently delete files from Windows 10, open the File Explorer and locate the file you wish to delete. Right-click on the file and select the “Delete” option. The file will then be sent to the Recycle Bin. Once the file has been sent to the Recycle Bin, you can open the Recycle Bin, right-click on the file, and select “Delete” to permanently delete the file from your system.

3. How do I permanently delete files from the Recycle Bin?

To permanently delete files from the Recycle Bin, open the Recycle Bin, select the file(s) you wish to delete, right-click on the file, and select “Delete”. When prompted, select the “Permanently delete this file” option to permanently delete the file from your system.

4. Is there a way to permanently delete files without sending them to the Recycle Bin?

Yes, you can permanently delete files without sending them to the Recycle Bin. To do this, open the File Explorer and locate the file you wish to delete. Select the file, right-click, and select the “Shift + Delete” keyboard shortcut. This will permanently delete the file from your system without sending it to the Recycle Bin.

5. How do I permanently delete multiple files at once on Windows 10?

To permanently delete multiple files at once on Windows 10, open the File Explorer and locate the files you wish to delete. Select the files, right-click, and select the “Delete” option. The files will then be sent to the Recycle Bin. Once the files are in the Recycle Bin, right-click on the files and select “Delete”. When prompted, select the “Permanently delete these files” option to permanently delete the files from your system.

6. How do I delete files without leaving a trace?

To delete files without leaving a trace, use a data wiping software. Data wiping software is designed to permanently delete files from a hard drive, USB drive, or other storage device. Data wiping software will overwrite the file multiple times, making it impossible for anyone to recover the data. Be sure to use a reputable data wiping software to ensure your data is completely erased.

To conclude, if you want to permanently delete files from your Windows 10 computer, you can do so with a few simple steps. First, locate the files you want to delete, then right-click on them and select “Delete” from the menu. Finally, open the Recycle Bin, select the files, and click “Empty Recycle Bin” to permanently delete them. By following these steps, you can easily and securely delete unwanted files from your Windows 10 computer.