How to delete files from PC without a trace

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references



Eraser (Windows)


For Windows, the first program I'd like to tell you about is Eraser. In this case, it is a software that works through the system menus: once installed, in fact, it adds an item to the Windows context menu, which allows you to delete files from your PC without leaving a trace with a single mouse click.


How does it work? Simple! First, download Eraser for Windows by connecting to the program's website and then pressing the menu Download, placed at the top, then on the first clickable link you find in the column Build Name located on the left: in this way, you will definitely download the latest version of the program.

Once the download is complete, start the executable you just downloaded, press the button Yes, wait for the installation of the . Net Framework Windows (essential for the correct execution of the program) or click on the button Close if an error window should notify you that the add-on is already installed, then complete the setup by following the instructions provided on the screen.

To be precise, all you have to do is press the button Next, put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms in the License Agreement, click the button again Next e press the buttons in sequence Complete (to install all the program features), install Finish to finish the setup.


Once this is done, launch the program by calling it from menu Start Windows (the flag-shaped icon located in the lower left corner of the screen), presses the button Yesminimize the main window by clicking on the appropriate button located at the top right.


At this point, the game is practically done! To erase all traces of a file (or folder), bearing in mind that theoperation is irreversible and that the it can no longer be recovered, do click destroy on it, select the item Eraser from the context menu and then click on the item Clear and then twice on the button Yes: after a few seconds, the selected file or folder will permanently disappear from your computer.

If you need to schedule the safe deletion of files and folders, the emptying of the recycle bin or the reclamation of the agolable disk space, you can make use of some advanced program settings: all you have to do is open the main interface of Eraser through the icon located in the Start menu, click on arrow pointing down placed next to the item Cleaning schedules, choose the item New operation from the proposed menu and define the details of the operation through the next screen.


EraserDrop (Windows)


An excellent alternative to the program I told you about is definitely EraserDrop: downloadable for free from Interenet, it is a software capable of delete files from your PC without leaving a trace with a simple drag and drop operation. To carry out the deletion, in fact, it is sufficient to grab the file / folder of interest with the mouse and drop it on the program icon.

To get EraserDrop, connected to the download page dedicated to it on Portableapps.com, press the button Download Now e wait for the file (eg. EraserDropPortable_2.1.1_English.paf) is completely downloaded to your computer. Once this is done, start the setup file just obtained, press the button Yes e Next, choose the folder in which to save the program and finally click on the buttons install Finish to complete the installation procedure.

At this point, go to the folder where you installed the program, make a click destroy on the EraseDropPortable.exe file and select the entry Run as administrator to start the program immediately and create the icon on the desktop. If this appears in an "uncomfortable" point, you can move it to any other part of the desktop by grabbing it with the mouse while holding down the key Shift / Shift of left.


To safely delete a file, drag it to the program icon you just added to the desktop and click on the button Yes to confirm the will to proceed, always bearing in mind that it is an irreversible operation. If you wish, you can customize the deletion method by doing click destroy on the Eraser Drop icon, by selecting the item Options > Eraser Method from the proposed context menu and subsequently choosing the algorithm you want to apply.

Also, you can safely delete files already in the recycle bin by doing click destroy program icon, selecting the option Tasks e then the voice Wype Recycle Bin. To reclaim the space agolable on the disk, thus making previously deleted files irrecoverable, you can instead use the item Wipe Free Space….

CCleaner (Windows/macOS)

Find the solutions for Windows that I pointed out a moment ago, but you would like a software that allows you, in addition to delete files safely, to also clean up external drives (USB sticks and disks, microSD, and so on) and to erase all traces of the browser history?

Then, without a shadow of a doubt, CCleaner is the program for you: belonging to the category of janitor, ie those software that help to keep the operating system clean and tidy, it allows you to clean files safely and in an extremely simple way. CCleaner is agolable in both a free version and a paid Professional version (with prices starting from 14.95€), which allows you to perform an automatic cleaning of the PC. After the first installation of the program, you will still be able to use a Pro license for 14 days for free.

To download CCleaner, connected first to the main web page of the program, click on the button Free Download and click on the link CCleaner.com attached to the box Download of the page that opens next. Once this is done, open the file you just downloaded (eg. ccsetup544.exe) e, to install it, press the button Yes, set the drop-down menu located at the top right and finalize the program setup by clicking on the button Install.

Ccleaner is also agolable on macOS. To download it, connected to this web page and click on the green button Download. A download complete, apri il dmg package got it, drag CCleaner in the folder Applications macOS and start it by double clicking on its icon, then on the button apri. From this moment on, the procedures to follow are almost identical on Windows and macOS (except for the fact that on Mac the program is in English).

Once the installation procedure is complete, start CCleaner by calling it from the Start menu Windows and click on the button Start my trial / Start my trial to start the free 14-day Professional license period.

As you can see, the program interface is structured in sections: by clicking on the button Cleaning, you have the option to delete all traces relating to both the navigation of the browsers installed in the system (including Microsoft EdgeInternet Explorer) and automatic completion of forms.

To do this, put the check mark next to the appropriate items placed in the tabs Windows Applications, press the pulsating Analyze to search for the references to be deleted e, subsequently, presses the buttons Start cleaningContinue to finalize everything.

As I have already explained to you at the beginning of this section, CCleaner allows you to perform the operations of reclamation, i.e. the secure deletion of the files stored within them and the cleaning of free space, even on external disks, USB sticks and storage devices in general: in this way, it will become almost impossible to recover previously stored files, even specific programs should be used for the purpose (if you remember well, I have provided you with further details on recovering deleted files in a specific study of mine).

To do so, click on the button Instruments of the program, access the section Drive remediation, put the check mark next to the devices you want to act on, select the deletion mode from the drop-down menu Quenching and tempering (you can reclaim the Free space only or destroy the data on theEntire drive), choose the number of times to overwrite the data from the drop-down menu Safety (the higher the number, the longer the procedure, the lower the chances of data recovery) e, aware that this operation will make the files unrecoverable, press the pulsating Quenching and tempering to start the process immediately.

Permanent Eraser (macOS)

You have read carefully the solutions given so far, but you have not found any benefit from them because you are using a Mac? Then this is the section for you. Specifically, I recommend that you rely on the application Permanent Eraser.

This utility, agolable for free on the Mac App Store, allows you to delete files irretrievably by overwriting them 35 times and applying other alteration operations (e.g. reshuffling the names and truncating the original size) during the deletion process. Additionally, Permanent Eraser can be used on individual files, on the macOS Recycle Bin, and on rewritable CDs and DVDs.

To use Permanent Eraser, start the Mac App Store by recalling it from the bar Dock of your Mac (the A), search for the name of the app using the search bar at the top e, once you have identified the most relevant reont, click on Ottieni / Installa and type, when prompted, the Password of yours Apple ID. Alternatively, if you are reading this guide on your Mac, you can connect to this website and click on the button See in the Mac App Store to quickly access the required section.

Deleting the files, at this point, is child's play: all you have to do is move them to the Trash as usual, then start Permanent Eraser by recalling it from the folder Applications of Mac or from Launchpad and click on the button OK to confirm the willingness to proceed, always bearing in mind that the operation is irreversible and involves the permanent loss of deleted files. Once the process has started, you will see a window appear indicating the progress of the operation.

If you intend to act on a single file, on a CD or DVD, all you have to do is drag the icon of the file or device onto the Permanent Eraser icon located in the folder Applications And that's it. Simple, isn't it? If, on the other he, you want to reclaim an entire drive, you can contact Disk Utility, which you can find "steard" in the folder Other of the Launchpad.


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