How to Permanently Delete Files from Windows 10/11 PC


The best way to permanently delete evidence of manual paperwork is to put it in the shredder. But can the same be done for soft copies? Yes, using a tool that can securely delete documents, photos, and other files that stay on your PC even after they are removed from the Recycle Bin, you can eliminate them forever.

Why Should You Permanently Delete Files?

When a file is deleted, using the Delete key it is moved to Recycle Bin, which can be restored.

If this makes you think pressing Shift+Delete will do the work then sadly, you are wrong there too. This is because even if the file is no longer visible to you, it still exists. Therefore, if you want a sure-shot way to delete files securely, you need a secure way. This is what we will discuss in this post.

Read Also: How to Clean Invalid Registry Entries on Windows

How To Permanently/Securely Delete Files from the Computer

Not many people know that by using Windows’ built-in tool Cipher, you can wipe files from Windows 11,10. The tool was launched with Windows XP.

Here’s how to use it.

Step 1 – Go to the start menu and open Windows Powershell as administrator.

click on run as administrator in Windows PowerShell

Step 2 – In the opened Windows, use the command Cipher w C, where C is the drive’s name where your recycled files usually stay.

command Cipher w C in opened powershell windows

Remember, the command won’t delete any other data. It will only wipe deleted files on Windows 11,10.

Besides this, you can use Secure Delete, which Advanced System Optimizer offers. Using this module, you can wipe out substantial data permanently from the system, leaving no room for recovery. This means even when you use the finest data recovery software, you will not get back the deleted data.

Important : Emptying Recycle Bin does not permanently delete data. To do so, you need a tool like Secure Delete to delete files from your PC for always.

What is Secure Delete?

ASO Secure Delete select file

Secure Delete is the most stable and reliable way to permanently delete deleted files from a PC. The tool overwrites the disk space with random patterns, thus reducing the chances of data recovery. This allows the permanent wiping out of the data from selected files, folders, directories, and drives and the deletion of temporary files in Windows 11 and 10.

How To Use Secure Delete?

Designed with a user-friendly and comprehensible interface, Secure Delete is designed with novice users in mind. The tool completely wipes out previously deleted files and folders, the contents of the Recycle Bin, or some of the contents of a specific drive, leaving no probable chance for retrieval.

Note : Secure Delete should be used with full caution, as files and folders deleted once cannot be retrieved using even the finest recovery utilities.

Secure Delete – Interface

The module to permanently delete files on Windows has a very simple interface. Here, we will explain each tab and the functionality of each button.

Files and Folders Tab

The whole process of securely deleting items from the system can be summarized in 4 steps:

ASO wipe file and olders

1) Welcome

2) Selection

3) Wipe

4) Finish

Step1: Welcome

The Welcome screen guides walk us in a self-explanatory manner. Firstly, you must select the files you want to wipe completely. To do this, you can use Windows Explorer.

On clicking the “Select Files” button in the middle of the screen, you move to the next step, wherein you may select items to be deleted for all time from the system.

The System Summary is displayed in the lower half of the screen, giving you details such as Last Wiped, Items Wiped, Space Recovered, and Items Wiped to Date.

Step2: Selection

ASO Secure dlt add file

Select Files and Folders to be Permanently Deleted.

Select the files and folders to be securely deleted. You may click the “Add File” and “Add Folder”. The “Remove” button allows removing added files and folders from the list.

To select the items, click the corresponding checkbox and click on the “Next” button.

ASO Add file

To delete selected files and folders, enter the confirmation code in the box and hit Next.

ASO file folder select

Change Wipe Method

ASO Change method

There are three types of wipe methods: Secure Delete is used to wipe out the data completely.

The Wipe Method used as the default method can be changed by clicking on the “Change” link. This opens a new window showing the three Wipe Methods. Depending on your choice, you may keep the default Wipe Method or change it to another. You may return to the default method by clicking the “Default” button if changed.

Note : We will explain the three types under Settings.

ASO select wiping method

Once you have made the choice, you may click the “Continue” button to proceed with secure deletion.

Step3: Wipe

Before permanently wiping out the selected files and folders, Secure Delete asks for the user’s confirmation to do so. The removal process starts if the user types “YES” in the confirmation box. (Note: Data deleted by Secure Delete is unrecoverable)

The “Cancel” button takes you to the previous screen, and the “Next” button wipes out the selected files and folders forever.

You may click the “Stop” button at any time to stop the process of secure deletion.

Step4: Finish

The last step summarizes the secure deletion process, showing the total number and volume of files and folders wiped from the system.

aso folder wiped out

To add more files for removal, click on the “Wipe More Files” button. By clicking on the “Finish” button, you can return to the main/welcome screen.

Recycle Bin Tab

aso wipe recycle bin

Removing items from the Recycle Bin that are in it is important. These items may hold critical personal information and can be easily recovered if not securely deleted.

Read Also : How To Defrag Disk Windows 10

Secure Delete destroys the already deleted data of the Recycle Bin in 5 simple steps (see left panel):

1) Welcome

2) Scan

3) Results

4) Wipe

5) Finish

Step1: Welcome

Items in the Recycle Bin or already deleted items from the Recycle Bin should not be accessible to others. To securely delete items from the Recycle Bin, click on the “Start Scan Now” button to initiate the scan process.

Step2: Scan

ASO scanning recycle bin

Scanning – Recycle Bin

Secure Delete from Windows 11,10 will thoroughly analyze the Recycle Bin and detect files and folders that should be permanently wiped out of the system to keep the user’s privacy intact.

The process may be aborted by clicking on the “Cancel” button.

Step3: Results

aso scan result

Scan Results

The scan results show the number and volume of items in the Recycle Bin that need secure deletion.

Clicking on the “Cancel” button stops the scan, and clicking the “Wipe Now” button initiates the removal process.

Step4: Wipe

Wiping – Recycle Bin

Before removing the items, Secure Delete takes the user’s confirmation and waits unless the security code is not typed in the confirmation box. The “Cancel” button will take you to the main/welcome screen.

ASO Wipe

Once done, clicking the “Wipe” button starts the removal procedure for the items of the Recycle Bin.

Change Wipe Method

ASO wipe found

Click on the link “Change” to change the default Wipe Method. A new window will open, showing the three different methods. You may keep the default Wipe Method or change it to another, depending on your choice.

If you change, you may return to the default method by clicking the “Default” button. Once you have made your choice, you may click the “Continue” button to continue.

Any time during the process, you may click the “Stop” button to terminate the wiping process.

Step5: Finish

The last step shows the summary of removal. It shows the number and volume of items wiped out from the Recycle Bin.

To rescan the Recycle Bin for more files and folders, click on “Wipe More Files.” Alternatively, you can click on the “Finish” button to return to the main/welcome screen and perform the same action mentioned above.

Drive Tab

aso wipe drive

Secure Delete assists in permanently removing the previously deleted items from the drives, wipes out the entire drive with all its contents, or securely deletes the free space of the selected drive.

The action is simplified into 5 steps (see left panel

1) Welcome

2) Scan

3) Results

4) Wipe

5) Finish

Step1: Welcome

Three actions have to be performed on this screen. The first two are numbered.

1) Select the Hard Drive for wiping:

You may select the hard drive from the drop-down list you wish to scan for deleted files and folders. This is important because deleted files are not removed from the drive and can be retrieved easily.

2) Select an option:

There are three options provided, which are explained hereunder.

  • Wipe deleted files onlyChoose this option to securely erase the files that have been previously deleted from the selected hard drive.
  • Wipe the entire driveChoose this option to delete all the contents with no recovery possibility (existing and previously deleted) of the selected drive so that nothing is recoverable.
  • Wipe free space Choose this option to identify the free space and overwrite data on it so that no chances of data retrieval are left.

Note: The “Settings” tab can change these settings.

Once you choose the hard drive and the kind of wipe, you can continue the process by clicking “Start Scan Now”.

Step2: Scan

aso scanning new volume


Secure Delete performs an extensive scan on the selected hard disk. The progress bar in the lower half of the screen shows the scan’s progress.

If you want to discontinue the process, click the “Cancel” button.

Step3: Results

aso scanning result

Scan Results

Once the scan is through, the scan results are put forth.

When clicking on the “Wipe Now” button, securely delete the files and folders found in the scan.

The “Cancel” button takes you back to the Welcome screen. You may then select another drive on the hard disk to conduct a scan on it.

Step4: Wipe

enter the code to wipe data

Before removing the items, Secure Delete requires the user’s confirmation and enters the code to proceed. The “Cancel” button will take you to the main/welcome screen.

aso wiping file progress

Clicking on “Wipe” starts the wiping process.

Step5: Finish

aso finish

The last step shows the summary of the wiping process.

Clicking on “Wipe More Files” will take you to the Welcome screen to begin the wiping process for the next drive.

The “Finish” button also does the same job. It takes you back to the Welcome screen to initiate a scan for the remaining drives.

Settings Tab

aso drive setting

Some settings can be changed using the option given in this section.

Drive Settings

Under this setting type, you may:

Set the default drive for the wiping process

Select the drive from the dropdown menu to set a drive for default scanning. This infers as you hit the button “Start Scan Now,” the default drive will be scanned

Set default option for wiping process

There are three options given for the wiping process.

  • Wipe deleted files onlyChoose this option to permanently erase the files that have been previously deleted from the selected hard drive
  • Wipe the entire driveChoose this option to securely delete all the contents (existing and previously deleted) of the selected drive so that nothing is recoverable.
  • Wipe free spaceChoose this option to identify free space and overwrite data, reducing the chances of data retrieval.

Wipe Settings

aso select wipe method

Secure Delete provides three Wipe Methods. Each method combines different levels of speed and security.

Read A complete review of the tool

You may choose either of the three. But one thing should be remembered: the faster the removal process, the less secure it is. This is because the data is overwritten numerous times, more time is consumed in doing this, and it becomes more difficult to recover.

  • Fast Secure Delete

This method is the fastest but less secure way of deleting data. Deleted data can be recovered by microscopic examination of disks. (Single Pass: data is overwritten once by random digits.)

  • Random fill data streams

This method is a little slower but more secure. There are remote chances of data recovery using microscopic examination of disks. (Three Passes – data is overwritten thrice by random digits).

  • Secure Delete

This method is the most secure but the slowest. There is hardly any chance of retrieving the data using the microscopic examination of disks. (Seven Passes – data is overwritten seven times by random digits). It is the safest mode and, therefore, is recommended.

This is it. Using these simple steps and Secure Delete, you can permanently delete temporary files and other deleted data from your PC.

Secure Delete module, offered by the best PC cleanup and optimization software, works flawlessly to shred deleted data. We hope we have made our point and that you have the answer to deleting files from the computer that assures no recovery chances.

If you have any questions regarding Secure Delete or Advanced System Optimizer, please get in touch with our technical support team at

Read Also :

How to Fix Undoing Changes Made To Your Computer In Windows 11,10

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About The Author

Preeti Seth
Preeti Seth

A UX writer who loves explaining technical details in a clear, crisp, and concise manner. She loves writing about technical troubleshooting, How-To's, product reviews, etc. In her free time, she loves reading, meditating, and traveling.

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