How to Delete Files and Prevent Data Recovery

Today we will see how you can delete a file safely leaving no way to recover it. There are applications with which you can recover deleted files, so if you want a deleted file to be unrecoverable you need to carry out a secure deletion with a special application.

The programs to erase files in a safe way are based on overwriting the place that occupied the file a certain number of times, making the recovery practically impossible. We will use Eraser, one of the most popular applications for delete files.

1. Get Eraser

The first thing you need is obviously the application that we are going to use. Eraser is free and you can download it from its official website, here. Click on the most recent version that appears listed to go to the download page. After a countdown, the download of the installation file will begin.

Open the file to begin the installation. It is an easy installation where basically you only need to press Next, accept the agreements and accept the standard configuration (Typical). It is a light application, so it takes less than a minute to finish installing.

Eraser installation window

2. Delete files safely

Eraser tutorial

You don’t need to open Eraser, you can use it directly from the Windows File Explorer or the Desktop. Rightclick on the file you want to delete and you will see that there is a new menu entry called Eraser (1). Click on it and choose the Erase menu (2).

You will need to confirm that you want to delete the file safely. Press Yes to start the secure erase process. You will not really see anything else other than receiving a notification advising you that it has been added to the to-do list. Although, if you open Eraser from the Start menu you will see the percentage.

Secure deletion assumes that the file will be overwritten 35 times (according to the default option, the Guttmann method) so it will take longer when the file is larger. In small files such as a text document, it will take a few seconds, while a 2 GB ISO image will take several minutes. The default configuration of Eraser is the safest.

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