11 Free Tools to Permanently Delete Files and Prevent Data Recovery in Windows 11/10

Even if files are permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, they can still be recovered using the built-in recovery tools as long as they have not been overwritten. When a file is deleted, Windows simply marks the space as available for new data and does not immediately erase the file. Therefore, it is possible to recover deleted files using a recovery program. However, to prevent data recovery permanently, you may need to use a free tool to delete the files securely.

Although data recovery tools can be easily accessible, they may not always be effective when it comes to recovering private or personal files that have been permanently deleted. Free tools may not always be reliable because they can be used by anyone to recover deleted data. Once the deleted data has been overwritten, it becomes difficult to recover the readable data, and more professional methods may be required to recover the lost data.

Top Free Tools to Permanently Delete Files


WipeFile is a lightweight and portable file eraser program that allows users to permanently delete files and prevent them from being recovered. Users can drag and drop files onto the program window to erase them. The user interface of WipeFile is straightforward, and the program offers 14 data removal methods, including the Gutmann method.

WipeFile is a useful program to include in a USB toolkit, and it can erase files using various methods, including a quick one-pass zero or a complete 35-pass Gutmann erase. Users can add whole folders or individual files to the program, and they can use the editable folder file feature to filter erased files by extension or name. The program also offers a .doc mask that ignores all other files by shredding the Word documents.

Users can customize WipeFile by creating a “Send to” menu entry or context menu in the settings, which allows them to send files to the program by right-clicking on them. The program also offers logging and the ability to build a defined erase string for users. Users can change the cover by double-clicking the folder. Overall, WipeFile is a useful tool for securely deleting files and preventing data recovery.

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Permadelete is a simple and user-friendly tool for permanently deleting files and folders. Users can drag and drop files and folders into the program window or use the two browse buttons to select them; when files are selected for deletion, a pop-up box appears, allowing users to choose the number of passes made during shredding. Users can also change the default access of random data in the options.

However, it should be noted that Permadelete does not shred files on SSDs, but instead relies on garbage collection and TRIM. This can result in data wiping after a period of time. Therefore, if immediate shredding of a file on an SSD is required, Permadelete may not be the best option. Nonetheless, Permadelete is a free, open-source program that comes in both portable and installer versions and requires the NET Framework 4.5+. Its simple interface and basic options make it a suitable tool for most users who do not need a wide range of shredding options.

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HardWipe is a data-erasing program that offers the option to wipe the contents of the Recycle bin on selected drives and the free space of a drive. However, the other programs included in HardWipe are designed for completely wiping a volume or drive or shredding files and folders. Unfortunately, the portable version of HardWipe is not available for free, so users must install the program to use it.

HardWipe offers six wiping algorithms, ranging from zero pass or random to 35 keys, allowing users to delete files and folders securely. To do so, users simply need to click on the left of the File Data. Shift or Ctrl is supported in multiple sections, and users can also rename files up to nine times to prevent data recovery. Additionally, the program offers a speed mode to improve system responsiveness during extended wiping operations, and users can choose to turn off the auto-power of the system once the operation is completed.

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Alternate File Shredder

Alternate File Shredder is a tool that can be used to delete files and also erase free space if needed permanently. It offers up to 100 overwriting pass options, which can be helpful for those who are concerned about security. Users can choose to overwrite data with zeroes, random data, or predefined patterns, and they can also customize the design in the options window.

To add folders and files, users can drag and drop or use the toolbar buttons. Alternate File Shredder also offers security options, such as shredding files’ original sizes and names. Additionally, it has a binary viewer feature that allows users to edit files directly by adding, inserting, removing, or replacing bytes.

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File Shredder

While File Shredder lacks a portable version, it offers valuable features that make it worth considering for securely erasing files and folders. However, it is not recommended for permanent erasing and preventing data recovery.

File Shredder provides various erasing algorithms, including the DoD three-pass method, simple one-pass or two-pass methods, and Gutmann 35-pass methods. Additionally, its Explorer Integration allows for the direct erasing of files and folders, and users can even add files or folders to a queue for later shredding.

By using File Shredder to remove files securely, recovery of the data becomes impossible. The tool offers several shredding algorithms, with each algorithm being more robust than the previous one. Furthermore, the integrated Disk Wiper of File Shredder uses the selected shredding algorithm to wipe out unused disk space.

Adding files and folders to File Shredder is simple, with the option to use buttons on the left or drag and drop. The default shredding method is DOD 5220.22, which uses random data, zeros, or ones in its three passes. However, users can select alternative algorithms in the Shredder Setting > Algorithms menu, and there is even an option to shred free space for the complete deletion of deleted files.

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Moo0 File Shredder

Moo0 File Shredder is a software tool that allows users to delete files or folders from their computers permanently. When a file is deleted normally, it is not actually removed from the hard drive. Instead, the operating system simply marks the space where the file was stored as available for new data to be written over it. This means that with the right tools, someone could potentially recover the deleted file.

Moo0 File Shredder uses various erasing algorithms to overwrite the data in the file so that it cannot be recovered. By default, the software uses a simple one-pass overwrite, but users can choose to use more complex algorithms such as Gutmann, which overwrites the data 35 times.

When a user drops a file or folder onto the Moo0 File Shredder window, they can choose the erasing method they want to use and then click the “Shred” button to start the process. The software will overwrite the data in the file or folder with random characters, making it impossible to recover.

It’s worth noting that while Moo0 File Shredder can make it very difficult to recover deleted files, it’s not foolproof. There are some data recovery tools that can still potentially recover overwritten data. However, for most practical purposes, using a file shredder like Moo0 File Shredder is an effective way to delete sensitive or private files permanently.

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Freeraser is a free, portable tool that allows users to permanently delete files from their computers. The tool has a very simple interface, resembling a trash bin. When users click on the Freeraser icon, a contextual menu appears with additional options.

One downside of Freeraser is that it does not have an erase option in Windows contextual menus. Therefore, to permanently delete files, users must drag them onto the Freeraser icon. Once a file is dropped onto the icon, users can select from three shredding algorithms, including Gutmann, which overwrites data 35 times.

Freeraser is designed to make file deletion easy and convenient, but it’s important to note that deleted files cannot be recovered. It’s recommended that users exercise caution when using this tool and ensure they do not delete any files they may need in the future.

Method 1. Rapid destruction fills the space with random data by utilizing a single round.

Method 2. According to the DoD 5220.22M standard, Forced destruction serves the area using three rounds.

Method 3. According to the Guttmann algorithm, Ultimate Destruction loads the data using 35 rounds.

In summary, Freeraser is a free, portable tool that allows users to delete files from their computers permanently. The tool has a simple interface and three shredding algorithms to choose from. However, it does not have an erase option in Windows contextual menus.

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SDelete is a command-line utility program developed by SysInternals for permanently deleting files or directories from a computer’s hard drive. Unlike simply deleting files using the Windows operating system, SDelete ensures that the deleted data is unrecoverable by repeatedly overwriting it with random characters.

SDelete can be used to clean the logical disk’s free space, which ensures that previously deleted files are completely overwritten and cannot be recovered. When using SDelete, it’s important to note that it does not overwrite the name of the deleted file. As a result, someone could potentially recover the names of deleted files by performing a low-level analysis of the file system.

SDelete also provides an option to delete all data from a directory using the command sdelete64/p5. However, as of 2018, this option was no longer functional.

Overall, SDelete is a powerful tool for permanently deleting files or directories from a computer’s hard drive. It’s important to use this tool with caution and only when necessary, as deleted data cannot be recovered once overwritten by SDelete.

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EraserDrop is a user-friendly and secure tool designed for permanently deleting data from a computer’s hard drive. It has a portable interface and can be used to delete files quickly by dropping them onto its icon. Once a file is deleted using this tool, there is no option for recovering it.

EraserDrop accepts any combination of files and folders, which can be moved on the screen by holding the left SHIFT key, dragging, or left-clicking on the target files. The tool also supports transparency and allows users to select their preferred PNG graphic using the Open File dialog, which is then saved in the images/data directory, and the window is sized accordingly.

EraserDrop provides a feature to hide files by clicking right and selecting hide or pressing the hotkey, and the files can be brought back using the hotkey or clicking the tray icon. The tool can also wipe the drive’s free space and the Recycle Bin, and users can define the hotkey from the context menu.

Overall, EraserDrop is a versatile tool for permanently deleting data from a computer’s hard drive. It provides various options and features to ensure that the deleted data is unrecoverable, and its user-friendly interface makes it easy to use even for those who are not tech-savvy.

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If you only delete your secret files by pressing the Delete button, they can still be recovered. Therefore, it is important to use a secure wipeout tool like Turbo Shredder to erase and prevent data recovery permanently. To use this tool, make sure you have JRE7 installed on your system.

Turbo Shredder not only permanently deletes files, but it can also overwrite data up to 100 times to ensure that directory and file names cannot be recovered. Additionally, it can overwrite the timestamps of directories and files and supports several deletion algorithms. Its primary feature is to delete private files securely.

While you can overwrite deleted files in various ways, it is crucial to be careful while permanently deleting them, as once they are overwritten and deleted, you won’t be able to recover the data.

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Eraser is a powerful software program that can securely wipe all data and make it unrecoverable by any data recovery tool. This free program is available for Windows 10 and 11 and uses modern technology to delete files and overwrite them.

One of the great features of Eraser is its ability to bypass file-recovery programs. It supports several sanitization methods and allows you to schedule data-wipe tasks for specific files, folders, Recycle Bins, unused drive space, and partitions. Additionally, Eraser can erase unused disk space, drives, and partitions. Once a scheduled task is set up, you can run it immediately, manually, every restart, or regularly, according to your preferences.

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In conclusion, even if files are permanently deleted from the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, they can still be recovered using built-in recovery tools as long as they have not been overwritten. It is important to note that when a file is deleted, Windows marks the space as available for new data and does not immediately erase the file. Therefore, to prevent data recovery permanently, it is recommended to use free tools that securely delete the files.

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