imageOn an NTFS volume when you delete a file it is still recoverable so if you want to really remove a file you need to do a secure delete of that file. You can use the Cipher tool, which is part of a default Windows install, to securely delete files. It is not as convenient as some 3rd party tools but it is nice to have an option for Windows RT and any Windows install.

The way it works is first you delete your file and then have Cipher.exe overwrite the free space with random bits.

Here are the steps to securely delete files in Windows.

  • Open and Administrative command prompt (Run as administrator)
  • delete the file (example: del c:\tmp\brianpasswords.txt)
  • Run Cipher to clean the free space (example: cipher.exe /wC:\tmp)


This is not the fastest process and not as easy as a third party tool but it works. If you are looking for more how to information on  deleting or undeleting files see my previous posts:

How to delete those pesky undeletable files

Recover lost Files even after a format! Free with PhotoRec tool (best undelete tool – and free)

Lastly if you want a great secure delete tool – I like the free sysinternals command line tool sdelete.exe which you can grab from the link below. It wipes a file or the free space on a drive.

Sysinternals Secure Delete – free tool to wipe data