Securely overwriting free space in Windows

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Whenever you delete a file, and even if you empty the recycle bin afterwards, Windows will just mark that file as free space. As long as this free space has not been overwritten with another file, the file you deleted can easily be recovered.

So, if you want to make sure no one can access your deleted files, you should use a build-in Windows tool to overwrite that free space.

Here is how to securely overwriting free space in Windows:

  • Open a command prompt (CMD) as administrator.
  • Type
cipher /w:<drive>

and hit enter. Replace <drive> with the letter of the drive you want to securely overwrite the free space on.

That´s it. It will take some time to securely overwrite the free space, but after that, your deleted files are really gone.

Note: This works in Windows 7 and above

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