When you delete files from the hard disk or any other media (like USB keys), the files are removed from the file tables but their contents stay untouched. This means that the deleted files can be recovered easily using proper tools like Recuva. So anybody using tools like Recuva can un-delete your files (including the pictures, videos, documents that you thought you had deleted) and access them. If you want to securely delete your files so that no one is able to recover them, then you can use a freeware tool called DeleteOnClick. It integrates into Windows right-click menu so that you can easily shred any file you want just by right-clicking on it.
Here are some of the features of DeleteOnClick:
- Can securely delete any file except files that are being used by other programs.
- Follows the U.S. DOD 5220.22-M secure file deletion standard.
- Right-click context menu integration with File Explorer.
- Can delete NTFS compressed and NTFS encrypted files.
- Works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
DeleteOnClick is a freeware tool for Windows which can be downloaded from the 2BrightSparks website. The download is a setup installer that installs DeleteOnClick on your system. After the installation, you need to reboot your computer. Once Windows has restarted, you are ready to securely delete any files. Just right-click on any file that you want to securely delete and select Securely Delete from the context-menu.
You would be shown a confirmation message. If you confirm to delete the file, that file would be shredded using the U.S. DoD method and deleted. You or anyone else will not be able to recover that file using any of the known techniques. The right-click integration also works for wiping the contents of the Recycle Bin. In this case, you can right-click on the Recycle Bin and select Securely Empty to securely delete all the files and folders from the Recycle Bin.
DeleteOnClick also offers to wipe out the free space from a hard disk or other removable disks. Wiping out of free space from a hard disk means that all the already deleted files from the hard disk are shredded and removed. This way if you have already deleted some files and want to securely wipe them, then you can do so. To wipe free disk space, right-click on a disk icon in Computer and select Quickly Wipe Free Disk Space or Securely Wipe Free Disk Space. The difference between the two is that quick method just removes the deleted file pointers from the file table, while the secure method shreds the file contents first.
If you want to securely delete a file so that nobody is able to recover it later, then the DeleteOnClick tool is for you. It is free, integrates well in the Windows File Explorer and does the job quickly. The freeware edition has some limitations over the paid commercial edition. For example, the commercial version renames the files before deletion, the wiping of free disk space options are not available in the freeware version etc.
Conclusion: DeleteOnClick is a small and simple tool to securely wipe your secret files that you want to dispose of. It integrates into Windows and allows you file shredding and free space wiping features through the right-click context menus.
You can download DeleteOnClick from http://www.2brightsparks.com/.