Make Windows files recovery impossible even for the top recovery software! No more sensitive data on the wrong hands. Delete files forever for your Windows!
It is a common occurrence for most of us – we want these particular files , not only deleted from our hard drive, but also swept away, completely removed, so that they can never be recovered. We want to delete files forever, but how do we do it?
Why would I want to delete files forever anyway?
Typical examples of files that might be not needed anymore but still have a sensitive nature are very personal photos, financial statements, business secrets or other kinds of files that should never be seen by an outsider or fall in the wrong hands.
Isn’t it why we delete them in the first place?
Actually, not many computer users know that when you delete a file, even when emptying the recycle bin, the file is not really lost – what actually happens is that the operating system “notes” that the storage space where the file existed can now be overwritten. However, until that space gets new data that will overwrite the previous, those deleted files can be recovered and used again. Would you like that to happen when you are dealing with data you want gone forever? That is why sometimes we want to delete files forever so they cannot be found ever again.
In this guide, we will showcase to you of a secure way to completely, totally eradicate sensitive files that you no longer need.
The first step
We are going to use Directory Opus, a file manager much like Windows Explorer, the default file manager of Windows, but with increased flexibility, security and many more options under the hood.
But I do not want to replace Explorer!
We will not ask you to replace Windows Explorer with it – but you do need to install it and run it. The reason is that Directory Opus has an almost hidden option which is disabled by default. This option allows you to delete files and sweep the empty space they leave behind many times, to make sure nothing can be recovered from that part of your hard drive.
Before we proceed, we feel like a disclaimer is needed. If you have not understood already the concept of this post, by moving on with the next steps, you will remove FOREVER the selected files. There is no chance at all that they can be recovered!
- Download and install Directory Opus. The process is straight forward. When done, select to Launch the program.
- You will be asked several questions about the settings of the program. You need to choose not to start Directory Opus on start-up, and not to replace Windows Explorer. We do not need these features for the guide shown here,. It would most probably confuse you, especially if you are not a power user. In general, in the setup of the program, do not let it handle anything. Keep your default programs for FTP, ZIP, double-click, etc.
- In the splash screen, select New Lister to view the file manager main window.
- This is the main window of Directory Opus. You can copy, paste, move files around and perform all kinds of file operations. However, all we need to do is open Settings>Preferences.
- At the left side, expand the Files Operations area and select Deleting Files.
- You need to tick the last check box, Use Secure Wipe, and then edit the Passes to 32. What this setting actually does, is it forces a Sweep on the space occupied by the file you deleted, 32 times. This is the setting which will enable us to delete files forever.
- Go back to the main window which lists your folder and find a file or folder you want to delete. Click at the Delete icon at the top, and the process will start. Please note that it will take a while, because it deletes the file and then empties up completely the space it occupied.
By now you have a method to safely delete files of sensitive nature, any time you want, without replacing Windows Explorer. You still need to launch Directory Opus when you want to completely delete a file, but the process is not cumbersome or time consuming, since the essential setup has already been done.
Have you used Directory Opus as your default file manager of just for the sweeping feature? How did it work for you? Share your feedback in the comments below.
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