How to: Delete files permanently

How to Delete files permanently

Many of you may be already aware of this, but just few words about the Delete option. The delete option normally will neither remove the data from your system nor it will overwrite when you delete it. It will just remove the pointer which will point to the file. It will allow the space to be used to store other files after this. But before an overwrite happens you can recover the files using software created to do this. This can be done from a formatted disk or even you delete the partition itself.

When you give your Laptop, Computer etc. to service centers, or even sell them the receiver can simply recover your personal files you believe it is gone for ever. So we advice you to do any of the following free utilities to delete your files permanently.


cipher delete

First utility we will cover is an inbuilt utility on windows named cipher. This is a command line  utility which will overwrite the free space with 0 and which will make it impossible to recover the files.

To use this

1. Open Command prompt

Run => CMD

2. Type the following, you can give a specific folder or the drive letter

cipher /w:Drive letter


cipher /:Folder path (like cipher /w:i:\geek\test)

You will need administrative powers to use this features. You can read more about this windows utility from Microsoft Support

Free software

There are many free software available to do the same. They allow you to overwrite the free space with random values so that the file recovery will be impossible.

File Shredder

File shredder can delete files, folders and its contents or even clean the free space of one or more drive with 5 different algorithms. This application support drag and drop for easy deletion. The current version available is 2.5 and you can get this software from here

CCleaner delete files permanently

CCleaner is a very famous and handy utility which helps you to remove crap files and registry entries easily. The Ccleaner also provides a tool to wipe the free space so that the deleted files cannot be recovered. you can choose 4 different algorithms to overwrite. If you are going to use this tool to delete files permanently make sure you choose the “Wipe” option as “Free space only”, the second option will remove the existing data also from the drive. That will be a handy option to choose when you sell, or give the disk to someone else.

You can get the CCleaner from here.