How Do I Get Rid of All Deleted Files Permanently?

Written by william nagel
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How Do I Get Rid of All Deleted Files Permanently?
Delete files from your computer permanently. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When you delete files from your computer, the files are not immediately eliminated. Instead, they are sent to the Recycle Bin, where they remain until you empty the Recycle Bin or restore the files to their original location. The Recycle Bin serves as a buffer that helps prevent you from accidentally deleting data you want or need. Empty the Recycle Bin when you want to delete its contents permanently.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

    Permanently Delete Files in Windows

  1. 1

    Select the files you wish to delete and press "Delete." You can also right-click on a file and select "Delete" from the context menu.

  2. 2

    Right-click the "Recycle Bin" icon on your desktop. A context menu appears.

  3. 3

    Select "Empty Recycle Bin" from the context menu. The files are removed from your system.

    Permanently Delete Files in OS X

  1. 1

    Select the files you wish to delete and press "Command"+"Delete." You can also drag the file icons to the Trash icon in the dock to send files to the Trash.

  2. 2

    Select "Empty Trash" from the "Finder" menu along the top of the desktop.

  3. 3

    Confirm that you want to empty the Trash bin. Your files will be deleted.

Tips and warnings

  • Selecting a file in Windows and pressing "Shift"+"Delete" will bypass the Recycle Bin and erase the file immediately.
  • If you attempt to send an extremely large file to the Recycle Bin, you may receive a warning that the file is too large to sit in the Recycle Bin. Confirm that you want to delete the file to permanently erase it on the spot.

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