When you delete files through Windows File Explorer, they are sent to the Windows Recycle Bin. From the Recycle Bin, we can choose to restore these files or empty the recycle bin to finally delete them for good. But if you press Shift key when deleting the files, they are deleted permanently without any option to restore them.
There is also another way of deleting files through the command line interfaces offered by Terminal or PowerShell. Usually the del command, deletes the files without sending them to the Recycle Bin first. Similarly, rd command can remove an entire folder and delete all the files inside it.
In a similar way, there are other file management tools such as FAR Manager which are able to delete files from their user interface.
If you have deleted sensitive files containing private information already and want to make sure that they cannot be recovered, then you can use the Revo Uninstaller Pro in the following manner:
- Download and install Revo Uninstaller Pro from https://www.revouninstaller.com/. The free version does not have the features that we are going to use, therefor you should install the Pro version only.
- Launch Revo Uninstaller Pro and click on the Tools section.
- Under the Tools section, select Evidence Remover. Then select the partition from which you want to securely overwrite the deleted files (free space).
- Finally click on the Execute button and wait for it to finish overwriting the free space on the selected partition. Depending on the hard disk drive size and the computer hardware.
These steps ensure that all the files that you have deleted in the past many years, months or days, are overwritten and cannot be recovered using any data recovery software whatsoever. These steps are necessary for hard disk drives only. Most of the modern solid state drives (SSD) do not require or benefit from the traditional secure deletion methods.