Everyone knows how to delete files in Windows File Explorer – just right-click on the file and select Delete from the context menu. Keyboard lovers tend to delete files by selecting them in the File Explorer and then hitting the Delete key on the keyboard. And if you do not want to send the deleted files to the Recycle Bin, then you can use the key combination Shift + Del which deletes the files directly after a confirmation.
But Windows File Explorer does not have any secure erase feature using which we can completely and irrecoverably destroy a file in such a way that even data recovery tools like Recuva won’t be able to restore these deleted files. This is why I prefer open-source file manager Double Commander that comes with a wipe function built inside.
It is very easy and safe to securely erase or wipe files using Double Commander in the following manner:
- First of all you would need Double Commander. You can download and install Double Commander from https://doublecmd.sourceforge.io/ if you have not already done so. It also comes in portable format which also has the same features.
- Select one or more files or folders in Double Commander. It does not matter whether you select them in the left-side panel or the right-side panel.
- Now select File → Wipe from the menubar. Alternatively, you can press the hotkey Alt + Del.
- You will be asked for confirmation whether you want to wipe the selected files. In order to proceed, you have to click on the OK button.
- It will start securely erasing the selected files and will display the progress on your screen. If the files are only a few megabytes, then you will see the progress flash on your screen for a few microseconds. However if the files are large, then you can see the progress bar slowly complete the wiping of the contents.
Double Commander is an open-source and excellent file manager that can be used as a complete replacement for Windows File Explorer. Other than the secure file wiping, it also comes with many other useful features such as inbuilt compressing and decompressing abilities, split or combine files, or calculation of file checksums using a large number of hashing algorithms.