How To: Deleting Your Files Completely

Deleting Your Files Completely

What you probably don't know is when you remove a file on your system, it is actually still saved, and not entirely removed. Let me tell you how to get rid of it completely.


When you delete a file it is not removed entirely from your drive and can be recovered.

Not many know this, especially outside the hacking community, which is a major benefit if you ask me, as it comes as a good plus for me if I want to recover something on my friends PC that I know he recently deleted because he was émbarrassed or whatever the case may be.

Let's get to it.

How Is Your File Still 'Saved'?

It's saved because of how the operating systems nowadays work. When you download a file or create one, the OS creates a pointer to that file so it can access it much faster. When you then delete that file the OS removes that pointer, and doesn't remove the file itself, because if it did, a major speed difference would occur to the OS. And it's much easier for the OS to simply delete the file.

The 35 Times Method:

To actually delete it completely, you need t overwrite the file. A guy whose name I can't remember invented a secure way of doing this by literally overwriting a file 35 times, imagine the hard work you would have to do to recover it.

Don't even bother, because after the file has been overwritten 3 times it's already pointless to try. Overwriting it once is useful, but not as secure if you do it at least 3 times.

How Do I Delete My File Typo?

You actually want to delete the stolen government documents on your drive, because you are afraid feds are catching up? All right, i'll tell you.


There are a few software that deletes the file completely, and even an entire disk if you really are in deep.

  • CCleaner

A simple tool that offers you to delete your browser history, cookies and files you want gone forever.

  • Moo0 File Shredder (my favorite)

I like this one because it offers 4 right to the point ways of deleting your files.

  1. Shred Once (useful)
  2. Extra Careful (more secure)
  3. Into Ashes (very secure)
  4. Vaporize (good luck mate)

I like number four because it's got a funny name, and it's so secure that it's in a way unnecessary because Into Ashes does the job just fine.

Wiping a Disk:


DBAN is a very secure way to wipe your entire disk, especially if you just completed hacking sensitive russian documents.

  • CCleaner

Again CCleaner offers you to wipe your entire disk, however many would find DBAN easier and faster to use, plus it's pretty secure.


For Linux it's a different process, as it can be done in Kali Linux.

Hurry and Wipe Your Files Now:

Now that you know this, hurry and wipe your sensitive information before the feds bust in your door :)

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What method in Kali would you recomend for this process? Is there any issues when a file you are trying to permanately remove contains a hard link else where on the system or user group?

Here is a very detailed and useful guide on doing this on Kali.

Thanks for the link TRIPHAT!

how secure is secure erase in mac os x? it overwrites up to 7 times which is apparently the maximum legal amount of times you are allowed to overwrite by the american's. Just checking, might have a drive worth overwriting if proven not to be very effective (which i will do anyway just for the fun of it :D )

Dunno about macs, but 7 times is not the maximum legal amount, it's just a threshold that is considered enough for the file to be unrecoverable.

A briev description of most common steps can be found here

@TypoGuy "A guy whose name I can't remember invented a secure way of doing this by literally overwriting a file 35 times..."

I believe it is called the Gutmann Method,the person who devised it,his name is Peter Gutmann.
Source: WikiPedia

Thanks for pinpointing the name for Gutmann, appreciated.

So how do we do this on kali or parrot?

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