A file eraser software protects you from identity theft, safeguards your privacy, and conserves our environment.
If you think the private data that you just deleted from your PC or storage media is gone forever and you are safe—think again!
When you delete a file in Windows, Mac, Linux, or any other device such as a smartphone or camera, only the address (pointer) to the file is deleted from the Master File Table (in NTFS drives) or File Allocation Table (in FAT16/32 & exFAT drives). The deleted data remains on the drive unless overwritten. And that’s exactly what a file eraser software does—overwrites the existing and already deleted files beyond recovery.
Today, we are going to list down the top 10 free file eraser software that can help you protect your sensitive information such application traces, system traces, and internet activities that contains confidential data like browsing history, net banking password, credit card or bank account details, private photos, videos, documents, emails, chat messages, and more—in just a few clicks.
These file eraser software will help you safeguard your privacy and protect your data from unauthorized access—when you sell, donate, or share your PC or storage media with others. After eraser, the storage drive can be reused or recycled effectively, which helps conserve our environment.
So if you are concerned about your privacy and security of personal data, read on to find out the best file eraser software out of the top 10 listed below.
BitRaser File Eraser is a freemium secure file eraser and a privacy safeguarding program with dedicated options to get rid of your sensitive and private data stored and hidden on your Windows system or external drive.
BitRaser File Eraser features 17 International data erasure algorithms such as DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes/7 passes), NATO, etc. that you can use to destroy your private data beyond the scope of recovery.
The software is going to meet your daily data sanitization requirements—both manually and automated—since the BitRaser File Eraser works similarly as your system cleaner app such as CCleaner.
Most importantly, the software creates a tamper-proof and digitally signed report—also called ‘Certificate of Erasure’—that can be used to meet the data protection laws and regulatory compliances.
The certificate also is an assurance that the data can’t be recovered through any data recovery software or service including forensics. Try this software absolutely free for 30 days.
Eraser is a free file erasure utility that features 11 data erasure standards including DoD 5220.22-M to securely erase your private files from Windows and supported external storage drives. You can erase either individual files or the whole drive volume. It also facilitates the drag & drop feature for quick file eraser.
You can schedule data erasure tasks and erase all kinds of storage media such as traditional hard drives, SSDs, etc. Just select the storage media and overwrite the empty space on the storage drive to remove recoverable files beyond recovery.
However, the software does not generate any data erasure report or certificate of eraser. And it can’t wipe the volume containing Windows installation.
Overall, the software is easy to use and can erase any file without any limitation.
WipeDrive is a bootable file eraser software from WhiteCanyon. The software allows you to securely erase your personal and confidential data from all kind of storage media such as hard drive, thumb drives, SD cards, etc.
WipeDrive also generates a detailed report (certificate) of files that are erased and can be used to meet the regulatory compliances. It’s the only file eraser software that meets the NIAP EAL4+ certification.
WipeDrive also allows you to wipe only the empty storage on a drive volume to get rid of previously deleted (recoverable) files. It works with any x86 architecture including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
NOTE: To use WipeDrive, you need to burn/buy it on an external storage media and boot to erase files.
Blancco File Eraser is also a freemium secure data eraser software that guarantees file elimination beyond recovery. The drag and drop feature of the software allows you to destroy your private files with selected data eraser standard quickly. You can also erase the Recycle Bin folder, empty storage space, and system files such as temporary files, cookies, and more.
Be cautious while using Blancco as you may mistakenly end up erasing some important system file that can lead to issues such as system fail to boot or system crash—leading to data loss.
It features 22 international file eraser standards including DoD 5220.22-M and generates a tamper-proof data erasure report that can be used to meet data protection regulatory compliances and audits.
HDShredder is a freemium secure file shredding and file eraser utility, just like Eraser. The software can also destroy every file that you throw on its way.
You can use HDShredder either after installation on Windows PC or create a bootable CD or USB drive. The bootable version can destroy files from a Mac and Linux system drives.
The software is easy to use with its wizard-like interface. However, it doesn’t generate any erasure report or data erasure certificate. Also, more useful features required for data destruction are reserved for the paid version.
PC Disk Eraser is a bootable data erasure program that can destroy data from a Windows, Linux, or macOS system. The file eraser software is available as an ISO image file that you can burn on a CD or USB drive, and then boot software from it.
The program is quite easy to use and displays detailed hard disk information that helps user identify the right storage media.
You can erase either entire disk or specific drive volume including the one that contains Windows installation. So be careful.
It uses the DOD 5220.22-M data erasure algorithm to wipe disk, partitions, and folders. But the tool has some limitations such as it does not allows mouse inputs. The tool can be operated by using keyboard inputs only.
Hardwipe is a free file sanitization program that can be installed on Windows or used as a bootable file eraser utility, similar to HDShredder.
Hardwipe features a simple and intuitive user interface that helps users to sanitize their confidential and private files quickly. You can also combine the software with Windows File Explorer and Windows Task Scheduler for automation.
However, to use it as a bootable version, you need to purchase the software license for commercial use. You can choose from two portable versions—32-bit or 64-bit, one with a graphical user interface (GUI) and another with command line interface (CLI).
The software supports multiple languages and you can download your desired language pack from its official website.
You can use Disk Wipe to erase entire hard disk volume or other storage media. It is a free secure file eraser software for Windows that features 6 data erasure standards to destroys data from any storage drive beyond the scope of recovery.
The software is available as a portable version and hence, does not require installation. Just download and double click on the .exe file to start wiping your confidential files from a drive volume. The software can’t destroy individual files and folders.
Secure Eraser supports four standards of data erasure to erase your files and sensitive data with up to 35 passes. It’ a basic but easy, lightweight and safe file eraser software for Windows that can destroy individual files and supports drag-drop feature.
However, be careful while installing the software as it tends to install other programs and change browser settings when you install the Secure Eraser setup—a perk of using free eraser tool.
A free file eraser software can save you from grave situations such as data breach and privacy compromises. One way to keep your data safe is to encrypt it; the other way is by using a file eraser software, which is more convenient, reliable, and safe.
The top 10 free file eraser software we discuss features multiple data erasure algorithms such as DOD 5220.22-M, NATO, etc. that ensure file destruction beyond recovery. That too to an extent where even forensics can’t get back the data.
Plus, the top 3 file erasure software also generates tamper-proof report/certificate of erasure that can be used to meet the data protection regulatory compliances such as GDPR, ISO 27001, ISO 27040, etc. This certificate also works as an assurance that your data is sanitized, i.e. securely erased beyond recovery.
Aruna Attri is a Senior Data Recovery Expert at Stellar®. She is a technology blogger and Windows expert. She has experience in Windows data recovery domain. She loves to troubleshoot Windows issue and write technical tips and tutorials.