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How to securely delete files in Windows 10

Hi! Deleting files and folders is one of the most common tasks we perform. Usually, you just have to right-click on the mouse and select Delete. However, when you delete an item, it does not disappear completely from the system. Since it remains in an area of the hard disk even if it is not shown. For that reason, today we will see the Sdelete application. This software uses the cleaning standard used by the Department of Defense. Consequently, when an element is removed, it disappears permanently. This happens because Sdelete safely removes the data from the item. Well, come with me to see how to securely delete files in Windows 10.

How to use Sdelete to securely delete files in Windows

The first thing you have to do is download the program from this link. It’s a zipped file with two executables in it. Then you have to extract them and put them in the following path: C:\Windows\System32.

Extract the two executable files
Extract the two executable files

First steps with Sdelete

Next we will see how Sdelete works. To securely delete a file, please use the following syntax:

sdelete.exe -p 3 -s "file or folder"
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The -p parameter indicates the number of passes Sdelete will make to destroy the data. In this example, we will use 3 passes. Additionally, the -s parameter applies to subfolders. Obviously, these commands must be run from a CMD with administrator privileges.

Deleting folder with 3 passes
Deleting folder with 3 passes

It is also possible to safely clean the free space on the disk. With this intention, overwrite the free space by running the following:

sdelete.exe -c d:

This command will delete the free space in order to prevent the files from being recovered. Please note that you have to replace d with the desired unit.


In this way, we have seen how to securely delete files in Windows 10. Undoubtedly, security is increased when a sensitive or personnel file is permanently deleted. Mostly if we share the computer or sell it. This will make the file deleted with this technology, can not be recovered by file recovery programs. Well, this is it! Before I go, I invite you to check our post about Windows 10 startup time. See you later!

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