You are planning to sell off your old computer but you are worried that despite deleting everything, someone might use a data recovery tool and recover some files. In that case, you can run data shredder software on your PC. This utility will ensure that no matter what your deleted data will become irrecoverable.
|Top Software Reviews
|3.BitRaser File Eraser From Stellar
|4.Ascomp Secure Eraser
|5.Easy File Shredder
|7.iolo Drive Scrubber
|8.Free File Shredder
|10.McAfee Antivirus (McAfee LiveSafe)
Do you know when you delete files on your computer or even delete the contents of your Recycle Bin, you actually delete the references to it? This means the data is still there. As such someone using advanced file recovery software can easily recover all the data that is there on your computer.
Assume these scenarios – Let’s say, you are planning to sell off your computer which stored some very important files or you are leaving your current job and don’t want to leave any data on your work desktop. How would you ensure that the data you have deleted is irrecoverable?
Enter a data shredder utility. Once you have removed data using one such tool, it is next to impossible to recover data using a data recovery tool. In this post, we are going to discuss some of the best data shredder tools for Windows PC.
What Is A File Shredder or Data Shredder Tool?
A data shredder tool is software that lets you erase the data on your computer permanently. You can choose to erase entire hard disks, partitions, free space, or individual files and folders. In most cases, the data deleted by a file shredder software cannot be recovered. This means, that regardless of how powerful a data recovery software is, it won’t be able to recover data deleted by a file shredder software. That’s because file shredder tools use powerful wiping methods that make it impossible to recover data.
Why Use A File Shredding Tool?
A data shredder software is capable of rewriting files with a random series of binary data over and over again. This procedure is known as file shredding. Once a file shredder overwrites the data, there is no way the wiped-off data can be recovered.
Best File Shredder Software for Windows 11/10
Eraser is an advanced and free file shredder software for Windows that lets you completely erase sensitive data from your hard disk drive. It makes it next to impossible to recover data by overwriting the data several times. This means no data recovery tool, regardless of how sophisticated it is, the software will be able to recover data shredded by Eraser.
- Schedule erase tasks on a desired date, time, day, and frequency.
- Choose the type of data you want to remove.
- Choose from various erasure methods such as Gutmann (35 passes), Schneier, US Air Force, etc.
- Export and import task list.
- Select task type as in run the task manually, immediately, on the restart, etc.
Pricing – Free
2. EaseUS BitWiper
Another secure file shredding software that can help you shred sensitive data from your PC’s hard drive is EaseUS BitWiper. It is capable of not just wiping files but also permanently deleting an entire disk or separate partitions. It can be a great option if you are looking for data shredder software that destroys data with speed. It uses government standard data erasure algorithms to erase data.
- You can wipe – disks, partitions, free space, and individual files.
- Wiping methods include – One Pass Zeroes, One Pass Random, British HMG IS5, US DoD 5220.22, etc.
- Drag and drop files and folders that you want to shred.
- Functionality to even wipe the system drive or system partition.
- Wipe memory sticks, USB flash drives, memory sticks, and other external drives.
Pricing – Free trial available. Pricing starts at $29.95
3. BitRaser File Eraser From Stellar
BitRaser is a file shredder software that enforces specialized erasure standards defined by the US Department of Defense that further ensure that no tool or method can recover deleted data. It works well with hard drives of all major brands and it even helps you shred server files as well. Moreover, you can erase all kinds of files and partitions.
- Link all unwanted files and folders to a list. This way you can wipe them in one go.
- Schedule erasure tasks.
- Remove application traces such as Instant Messenger, News apps, Email apps, etc.
- Deleted traces are created during the usage of your computer.
- Wipe off internet activity traces.
Pricing – Pricing starts at $20/ drive you want to erase.
4. Ascomp Secure Eraser
As the name suggests, Ascomp Secure Eraser helps you securely erase data using the most renowned methods of data erasure. It overwrites information in a way that it can never be recovered. To be more specific it overwrites data up to 35 times immaterial of the file type – files, folders, traces of surfing, recycle bin contents, etc. It offers approved US DoD 5220.22-ME and MECE standards of the US Department of Defense.
- Securely ensure that deleted files can’t be recovered.
- Delete all information from drives and partitions on your computer.
- Choose the security level based on how you want to erase the data. For example, US DoD 5220.22-M ECE.
- Wipe off browser traces completely.
- Ability to save and load profiles.
Pricing – Free 14-day trial available. Pricing starts at $29.90
5. Easy File Shredder
Ease File Shredder is a file eraser app that goes beyond the limits of file recovery, i.e. it wipes off data in a manner that it can’t be recovered ever again. It doesn’t just help wipe off data from the internal drives on your Windows PC but also from SSDs, external HDDs, and USB flash drives as well. Last but not least, it stands true to its name, erasing data with this tool is as simple as 1-2-3.
- Shred data using DoD 5220.22 and DoD 5220.22-M shredding algorithms.
- Choose to shred hard drives or individual files and folders.
- Scan and shred deleted files and folders to be absolutely sure that files and folders are gone forever.
- You can track the recovery status in real time and ascertain if the file can be recovered again or not.
- Highly customizable interface.
Pricing – Free trial available. Pricing starts at $29.95/ year
6. Disk Wipe
Disk Wipe is a free file shredder for Windows that is aimed at permanent volume destruction. It is capable of deleting all kinds of disk data in a way that it can’t be recovered, thanks to the powerful algorithms it uses. It ensures that when wiping off data it is overwritten multiple times using binary data and not just once but multiple times.
- Permanently wipe off sensitive data from disk volumes and partitions.
- Multiple shredding algorithms such as US Army, Did 5220-22.M, Peter Guttman, etc.
- Prior to disk wiping it uses a quick format for faster performance.
- View data in binary form.
Pricing – Available for free
7. iolo Drive Scrubber
Iolo Drive Scrubber is a powerful file shredder program that uses strong data shredding protocols to completely destroy data. It also acts as a hard drive scrubber that cleans drives that have been damaged by viruses and spyware. However, in case, there has been an occurrence of virus or spyware, your first move should be to bring into force an Antivirus.
- Permanently wipe off images, documents, and private files.
- Uses strict military and government protocols to erase data.
- Batch wipe, pause, cancel, and resume data erasure process.
- Tools are customizable – from quick to electron microscopy and magnetic field residue.
Pricing – Starts from $29.95
8. Free File Shredder
If you want to securely wipe off files without spending a lot on a utility, Free File Shredder is a file-wiping tool that you can install. It is lightweight and easy to use and offers 5 shredding algorithms, each stronger than the previous one. It also comes with an integrated disk wiper which wipes off unused disk space using a shredding algorithm.
- Choose from 5 secure algorithms to shred data completely.
- Add files and folders for erasure.
- Facility to shred free disk space.
- Confirm when shredding files or when removing files from the list.
Pricing – Free
Keeping aside the dated interface, CyberShredder is a file shredder freeware that is quick and safe. It successfully erases confidential files completely by overwriting the space occupied by a file using random data. This way, no unerase utility will ever be able to recover the deleted data. It uses three distinct shredding methods for deleting files, folders, and other data.
- Drag and drop files and folders to delete them permanently.
- Shows the progress of each file operation.
- Choose to abort the shredding process in between the data shredding process.
- NSA-approved seven-pass file deletion method is also used.
Pricing – Free
10. McAfee Antivirus (McAfee LiveSafe)
While primarily McAfee LiveSafe is an Antivirus that protects you from all kinds of malicious threats, it comes packed with a file shredder module that is well capable of deleting sensitive files permanently. Despite not being as feature-rich as other utilities on this list, it still is very powerful when it comes to wiping off data. Here are some other Antivirus tools.
- Choose custom folders that you want to wipe off.
- Choose data shred type.
- Delete temporary internet files.
- Straightforward interface.
Pricing – Pricing starts at $39.99
Writer’s Tip – How About Using A Windows Optimizer That Doubles Up As A File Shredder?
Apart from a dedicated file shredder program that just wipes off data, if your goal is also to keep your PC in top shape, and get rid of common issues from time to time, what you need is a Windows optimizer.
Advanced System Optimizer is an industry-leading Windows optimizer that also offers a module with which you can securely delete data in a way that can’t be recovered. To delete data using Advanced System Optimizer, follow the steps mentioned below –
Step 1 – Download, run, and install Advanced System Optimizer.
Step 2 – Click on Security & Privacy from the left-hand pane.
Step 3 – From the right-hand side, click on Secure Delete.
Step 4 – Click on Select Files (files or folders) that you want to wipe off.
Step 5 – Once selected, click on the Remove button from the bottom right.
Once the process is finished your files are safely erased from your computer.
Wipe Off Data Before Someone Misuses
It’s quite natural for a user to breathe a sigh of relief after permanently deleting files. However, as has been established in this post, they are still recoverable. So, before you sell off your computer to someone else, give it for repairs, or even hand your laptop to someone else, ensure that there is no way that the next user can recover the wiped-off data. And, with that, we urge you to download a file shredder utility from the aforementioned list.
Do let us know if you found the post helpful. For more such content keep reading posts on Top10PCSoftware.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is data shredder software and how does it work?
A data shredder software is a utility with which you can permanently delete files in such a way that they can’t be recovered by any method or data recovery software. It works by overwriting data using random numbers multiple times.
Q2. What makes a file shredding software different from just deleting a file?
File shredding software goes a step further by overwriting the file’s data with random characters or patterns multiple times. This makes it much more difficult, if not impossible, to recover the original file
Q3. Are there any reliable free file shredders available?
In the above post, we have enlisted some of the best and most secure file shredders that are available for free. Some names include Eraser, Disk Wipe, and Free File Shredder.
Q4. What should I look for in the best file shredder for Windows?
When choosing a file shredding software, here are certain things you should look for – The protocols the utility uses to delete data, the interface, i.e. how easy it is to use. Also you should check the review to see if it is a reputable and safe utility.
Q5. Can file shredder programs permanently erase data from all types of storage devices?
Yes, File Shredder Programs are capable of permanently erasing data from all kinds of storage devices – Internal hard drives as well as external storage devices.