In this article, you will learn how to permanently delete already deleted files in Windows. Sometimes we delete files from our PCs, but who will ensure that the files are permanently deleted from your PC. Is it confusing? Maybe yes, but it is a fact that files that we delete don’t actually go away permanently.
When a file is deleted, it frees up some storage space, but the files don’t actually vanish completely. The file breaks into several fragments and divides into whole memory. And, the fragments are overwritten by other files. This is the reason why we can still recover our deleted files in our PCs.
But if you are someone who is looking to ensure complete deletion of the files, you can do it using the Command prompt. For completely deleting the files, you can use the Windows in-built utility known as Cipher. However, Cipher is a great tool to completely delete the files, but it is quite heavy for the system. Therefore, if you are going to run Cipher, make sure to exit other apps on your PC.
How does Cipher work?
Cipher is a Windows inbuilt utility, widely used for deletion of files permanently. The process of deletion of files completes in three passes. At the first pass, Cipher fills zero data in all the free spaces. In the next pass, 0xFF numbers take places of the zero data at the free spaces.
And, in the last pass, all the spaces are filled with random data. As it is a long process, it takes time to permanently delete the data.
Steps to permanently delete already deleted files in Windows:
- Firstly, you’ll need to open the Command Prompt. To open the Command Prompt, you can search for it in the Windows 10 Taskbar.
- Make sure to run the Command Prompt as Administrator.
- In the cmd window, type “cipher /w:C” command, and hit the Enter key.
- If you want to delete already deleted files in a particular drive, type the command “cipher /w:drive”.
- This will delete all the deleted files permanently from the particular drive.
- In case you want to delete files permanently from a specific folder, type command “cipher /w:drive:\folder_name”
- Type the commands properly as given in the instructions above.
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