Windows includes a large number of tools to do anything that comes to mind, however, we will not find many of these easily, without being forced to navigate through the control panel, the configuration options of Windows or run specific applications. One of these functions allows us delete files safely from our PC so it is not necessary to resort to third-party applications as usual.
When we delete a file from the computer, and after deleting it from the Recycle Bin, there are many methods and applications that allow us to recover the file, which can be a problem for the user who has deleted it if they are not using their own computer or if you don’t want to leave any trace even on your own computer. However, if we securely delete the file, we also eliminate the possibility of being able to recover it since the computer overwrites the section of the disk where that file was located, so there is no method or application that works miracles and allows us to recover the file.
File recovery applications analyze storage drives to look for traces of files, indications that a file was found in that sector in the past and apply different techniques to recover it, as long as that space has not been used by other data.
The tool that Microsoft makes available to us to securely delete files can only be found through the Command line and it’s called sdelete. We can use this command with different parameters to delete entire folders and directories, the content of files in flat format (txt), and make several passes to eliminate any trace that may have remained on the storage unit.
If we are not used to using the command line, we can use the application SDelete GUI. This application, as we can deduce from its name, is nothing more than a graphical interface (Graphical User Interface) of the application available natively that is integrated into the Windows context menu, so we will always have it at hand through of the right mouse button.
When we want to delete a file in a completely safe way, we just have to select the file and use the right mouse button to select the option secure delete instead of Delete. By default, the application is set to perform 10 passes over the file, eliminating any chance of recovery. This number can be increased up to a maximum of 100 and a minimum of 1.
This app has two negative points. The first is that it does not warn us that the file is going to be deleted without the possibility of recovery through a warning message, so if we make a mistake in selecting the option in the context menu, we will have a serious problem if we don’t have a backup. The second negative point is that we cannot take advantage of all the functions that the application offers us through the command line. We can download SDelente GUI directly from its GitHub web page through this link.