Ask Leo! http://askleo.com The latest articles from Ask Leo!. en-us Mon, 20 May 2019 14:00:07 +0000 Mon, 20 May 2019 14:00:07 +0000 leo@askleo.com (Leo Notenboom) Tip of the Day: Permanently Delete a File https://askleo.com/tip-of-the-day-permanently-delete-a-file/

Permanently Delete File

When you delete a file in Windows File Explorer, it is typically not truly deleted, but rather moved to the Recycle Bin. Only when the Recycle Bin is emptied (or fills up) is the file permanently deleted.

There are several ways to force a file to bypass the Recycle Bin and delete it permanently from the start.

  • Click on the file and hold down the Shift key while clicking on the Delete menu item. You'll receive a confirmation that you're about to permanently delete the file.
  • Click on the file and click on the small down-arrow underneath the Delete ribbon item. You'll get a confirmation.
  • Click on the file and hold down the Shift key while typing the Delete key. You'll get a confirmation.
  • Delete the file using Windows Command Prompt. There will not be a confirmation.

In each of these cases, the file is deleted without being sent to the Recycle Bin.

Bonus tip

A recently "permanently" deleted file can often still be recovered using undelete or file recovery tools. To prevent this possibility, use a secure delete utility, such as SDelete, or run a free-space wiper (such as that found in CCleaner) immediately after deleting the file.

Originally published as Tip of the Day: Permanently Delete a File on Ask Leo!

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Mon, 20 May 2019 14:00:07 +0000 e26ae429164bb44ee9d680c3ffdb45dd