Is there a way to delete permanently "recoverable" files


  1. Posts : 138
    10
       #1

    Is there a way to delete permanently "recoverable" files


    Hi, I recently deleted some files from the Recycle Bin that were not on my backup. Thankfully, I was able to recover these files. However, in doing so I noticed many GB of "recoverable files"... All of these files already exist on multiple backups so I would rather delete them for good than have this take up space on my hard drive. Is there a way to clear this dedicated area back to zero?
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  2. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 3,761
    Windows 10
       #2

    Normally, this space is recovered when you empty the recycle bin. Right-click the wastebasket icon, then select "Empty Recycle Bin" from the pop-up menu. If this doesn't work, you can try third-party cleanup tools such as Piriform CCleaner (we recommend the "Slim" version from the Builds page because it includes no third-party toolbars nor other add-ins) to see if it will help. Josh Cell Software's Uncleaner (here's a download link from MajorGeeks.com) is also good at such cleanups. Both tools are safe and efficacious.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
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  3. Posts : 138
    10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    EdTittel said:
    Normally, this space is recovered when you empty the recycle bin. Right-click the wastebasket icon, then select "Empty Recycle Bin" from the pop-up menu.
    Hi Ed, emptying the recycle bin does not restore the space used by these files after the bin is emptied. Otherwise, 3rd party recovery software would never be able to recover anything, nor would there any point in creating those programs. Emptying the recycle bin does not actually forever remove the files. But in recovering what I needed I discovered a bunch of other ones that were taking up space and which I will never need to recover. That is what I was asking and perhaps did not explain properly. I already have CCleaner, I'll take a look and see if it offers such a feature.
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,416
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    orlando1974 said:
    ... in recovering what I needed I discovered a bunch of other ones that were taking up space and which I will never need to recover...
    No, they are not taking up space. The sectors they occupy have been marked as unused but the actual data hasn't been overwritten (yet). It's only the fact that nothing else has used those free sectors for another file that allows recovery software to find and restore them.

    If you want to make them truly unrecoverable then CCleaner can wipe the free space. It won't release any more free space though, those sectors are already marked as available to use.
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  5. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 3,761
    Windows 10
       #5

    @orlando1974: yes, you're right. I misunderstood what you seek to accomplish. I think @Bree has come up with one way to address your concerns. Over time, the file system will reclaim that space, though. My own personal choice it not to worry about it, unless I'm gifting the drive to a charity or something. In that case, I'll use one of the tools that writes "all zeros" to the disk 7 times to reduce the likelihood of successful file recovery.
    HTH, and thanks for explaining more about what you wanted to do.
    --Ed-
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  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 8,110
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint, Win7 Pro
       #6

    Since back in the days of DOS a deletion only erased/changed the first letter of the file name. That also marked the space as available if needed. With the smaller drives of those days it worked good to run defragging, would consolidate the parts of files contiguous to each other both improving access to them and appearing to do a final removal of deleted files. Defragging hasn't been as big a problem with the larger drives of the last several years.
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