How to permanently delete files on a hard drive using Eraser application

Here is a tutorial to delete the files on Windows 10 or 7 permanently so that they can’t be recovered using any third-party software.

If you are satisfied deleting every single file on your computer’s hard drive before giving it off to someone, don’t think, they can’t get back the files on your hard drive. If you are using a magnetic storage device, the files can still be recovered using specialized, yet easily available tools, as the files are not deleted in the true sense of the term. As only the indexes are deleted, it is very important that you delete all the files on your hard drive permanently before you hand it over to someone, only if you think the data that was there on your hard drive was private, and you don’t want that it is seen by others.

Downloading and using Eraser to permanently delete files


There are a plethora of tools available on the internet, which can help you recover deleted files on a hard drive, and there is an equally good number of programs that can help you permanently delete files, with hardly any chance, they can be recovered later. So, today I will talk about a program for Windows called ‘Eraser’, which can help you delete files on your hard drive permanently in the easiest way. Unlike most other programs that you can download, to accomplish the same task, the Eraser application comes with additional options to configure, before you permanently delete files.

Step 1: Download File Erase Installer


You can download the Eraser installer from this link, or use this link to download the portable version of Eraser. The installation of the Eraser application is simple and is just like the installation process of other Windows programs.

Step 2: Run the application


After you have downloaded and installed the Eraser application, click on ‘On-Demand’ on the left, and then click on ‘+’ to create a new task.

Run the application

Run the application

Step 3: Create Task to delete files at a low level


Now, you create 3 different types of tasks. The first option will wipe the free space on one of your drives. The second option will delete all the files within a specific directory, and the third option will delete an individual file chosen by you. You can also use wildcards to delete files.

Just choose the appropriate option, and click on the triple-dot button to choose the location for deleting files or folders.

Let me choose the second option that will delete all the files and folders within a certain directory or location. You can even choose, whether you want to delete all the files within the location, or you want to delete everything including the folders. Finally, click on ‘OK’ after you have made all your selections.

Create Task to delete files at low level

Create Task to delete files at low level

Step 4: Start deleting the sensitive files Permanently


Choose the task, and click on the green run button to start deleting the files. A warning will also be displayed to you that says, you can never get the files back. You can take this warning with a grain of salt, as you are here to delete all the files permanently. Just click on ‘Yes’ to proceed.

Start deleting the sensitive files Permanently

Start deleting the sensitive files Permanently

Step 5: Data can hardly be recovered


Now the files will be deleted, and the spaces will be zeroed out 35 times, as per the Gutmann process so that the data can hardly be recovered. After the process is complete, small information about the complete operation will be displayed to you. Just click on ‘Close’ to start a new process or exit the program.

Permanently delete files on Windows 10

Permanently delete files on Windows 10

Set file Erasing Preferences (optional)


Depending upon the size of the files, the process might take longer, and you can even reduce the number of times, spaces will be overwritten. The Gutmann process that overwrites the spaces 35 times is more secure, but you can even change the number of overwrites if you need to do that. Just click on the ‘Edit’ menu, and then choose ‘Erasing…’, under ‘Preferences’. You can even use the ‘Ctrl+E’ shortcut key to open Erasing Preferences.

Set file Erasing Preferences

Set file Erasing Preferences

Now you can choose any of the available erasing methods among those available and click on ‘OK’, or create your own new erasing method.

Choose existing or create your own new erasing method

Choose existing or create your own new erasing method

Just choose the appropriate erasing method as per your requirements. The ability to delete files and folders permanently is available in a number of security suites, but the options aren’t enough customizable like the one available in dedicated programs like Eraser. You can even schedule the process of deleting a particular directory or its contents if you don’t want to do the task manually. But the Eraser application should be running in the background.

So, that was all about, how you can delete files permanently on your Windows computer using Eraser. Do you have anything to say? Feel free to comment on the same below.

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