How to Permanently Delete Computer Files

The Recycle Bin is used as a catch-all for a computer's deleted files. Once the you decide you no longer need the files, you empty your Recycle Bin and assume that the files are permanently deleted. However, that file and many others can easily be recovered several ways, using simple procedures. With two simple keystrokes, you can bypass the Recycle Bin altogether and delete files so they are just difficult to recover, or you can use special software and erase them past recovery.

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Bypass your computer's Recycle Bin to delete files.

Permanently Deleting Files

Step

Browse to and select the file you want to delete.

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Hold "Shift," then press "Delete."

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Select "Yes" in the dialog box that pops up, to confirm your request to permanently delete the file.

Deleting Files Past Recovery

Step

Download and install the "Eraser" program. Choose the "Typical" install option.

Step

Click the "Run Eraser" check box, then click "Finish."

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Click the arrow next to "Erase Schedule" and select "New Task."

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Click the "Add Data" button. From this window, you can delete a file past recovery. Select "Recycle Bin" to delete files that have been or are still there. Choose your option and select "OK" on both windows.

Step

Right click on the added task in the "Eraser" window and click "Run Now" to begin the deletion process.