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Windows Eraser: Permanently Deleting Files

When you delete files in Windows, they are usually considered gone forever. However, under some conditions, a few files (or segments of files) might still be recoverable using special data recovery software. If you work with sensitive information on your computer, you should know that these files could be recovered.

For this reason, this tool allows you to securely and permanently delete files.

Installing the Eraser tool

  1. Download the Eraser installer.
  2. Double-click the install_eraser file, typically located in your Downloads folder.
  3. When prompted to continue with the installation, click Yes.

    prompt to continue with the installation of Stanford Eraser
  4. Follow the instructions in the setup wizard.

Using the Eraser to permanently delete files

  1. To erase a file or folder, right-click the file or folder, hover over Erase, and then click Erase or Erase on Restart.
    Note: Files deleted in this manner will not be recoverable by Data Recovery software or undelete programs.
    Eraser command in Windows Explorer menu
  2. A notification will appear in the system notification area when the task is complete.

    status notification

Note: See the Eraser online help for more information about using Eraser. Right-click the Eraser icon  Eraser icon  in the notification area. Click Open Eraser and then click Help in the toolbar.

Last modified January 25, 2013