Learn how to securely delete files in windows

Many users have the tendency of storing all their temporary files and notes on the desktops. File saved in the desktop are comparatively more easily accessible which makes it the preferred location for storing vital files and important icons. While some users do not mind having a flurry of files saved in the desktops, others prefer to keep it clean and tend to store only the essential programs. However, some users also complain of facing problems while removing items that remains stuck in the desktop.

This problem is pretty common and some users prefer seeking online computer services to fix this issue. Having excessive items on the desktop which do not seem to go away can not only be pretty annoying but it can also considerably slow down the computer. Fortunately, there are some reliable ways to fix this issue effectively in order to get rid of the unnecessary items from the desktop.

The first step that needs to be taken if you wish to discard unwanted icons from the desktop is sending the files into Trash. Select the unnecessary file and right-click on it. From the displayed option, click on ‘Move to Trash’ or any other similar alternative to fix computer desktop’s cluttered look. In most cases, this step should be enough to discard unnecessary files from the desktop. However, by any chance if the files do not get removed, an error message would be displayed carrying details about the ways to discard the item.

An effective way to get rid of the unwanted items on the desktop is by using the Add/Remove feature offered by Windows. Click on the Start menu and then select the Control Panel. Choose the Add/Remove Programs option. Highlight the file that you intend to discard by clicking on it and then hit the ‘Uninstall’ alternative.

In most cases, you can delete all the unneeded desktop items by using this feature. However, if it doesn’t work, use tools such as Wise Registry Cleaner or CCleaner to clean the desktop. To pick the right third-party tool, take online computer help.

If you are unable to remove any item from the desktop by simply moving it to trash, it indicates that the file must be in use. In order to discard the item, first of all you will have to cease its usage. Go to Windows Task Manager to get a detailed view of all the applications and files that are being run in your PC presently. Open the Task Manager to sequentially eliminate all those items that you do not require any more.

If you have a program that has partially downloaded, the possibility is high that you would experience trouble while deleting it from the desktop. An easy way out from this issue is to discard the file from your system’s web browser and look for downloads. Locate the file that cannot be deleted from the desktop. Select it and then hit Delete. Although these steps are simple, if you require technical assistance, visit any remote computer help site.

In this article, you will learn how to permanently delete already deleted files in Windows. Sometimes we delete files from our PCs, but who will ensure that the files are permanently deleted from your PC. Is it confusing? Maybe yes, but it is a fact that files that we delete don’t actually go away permanently.

When a file is deleted, it frees up some storage space, but the files don’t actually vanish completely. The file breaks into several fragments and divides into whole memory. And, the fragments are overwritten by other files. This is the reason why we can still recover our deleted files in our PCs.

But if you are someone who is looking to ensure complete deletion of the files, you can do it using the Command prompt. For completely deleting the files, you can use the Windows in-built utility known as Cipher. However, Cipher is a great tool to completely delete the files, but it is quite heavy for the system. Therefore, if you are going to run Cipher, make sure to exit other apps on your PC.

How does Cipher work?

Cipher is a Windows inbuilt utility, widely used for deletion of files permanently. The process of deletion of files completes in three passes. At the first pass, Cipher fills zero data in all the free spaces. In the next pass, 0xFF numbers take places of the zero data at the free spaces.

And, in the last pass, all the spaces are filled with random data. As it is a long process, it takes time to permanently delete the data.

Steps to permanently delete already deleted files in Windows:

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to open the Command Prompt. To open the Command Prompt, you can search for it in the Windows 10 Taskbar.
    cmd run as administrator

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  • Make sure to run the Command Prompt as Administrator.
  • In the cmd window, type “cipher /w:C” command, and hit the Enter key.
  • If you want to delete already deleted files in a particular drive, type the command “cipher /w:drive”.
  • This will delete all the deleted files permanently from the particular drive.
  • In case you want to delete files permanently from a specific folder, type command “cipher /w:drive:\folder_name”
  • Type the commands properly as given in the instructions above.
  • We hope that you have found this article useful. If you liked reading the article, please share it with your friends and family. Also, share it on social media as well. In case you have any queries, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

    Updated May 07, 2020

    Computer desktop icons can be convenient time-savers, allowing users to quickly access applications and frequently used files with one click. Unused or duplicate icons often clutter the desktop and result in more annoyance than convenience. Users can clean up the desktop by removing unused shortcut and file icons in a few steps.


    Identify the unused shortcut icons on your computer desktop. A shortcuts is identified by a small arrow in the lower left corner. If you delete a shortcut, the file or program it represents remains on your computer and you can access it from another place in your computer, such as the Start Menu or your Documents or My Documents folder.

    Learn how to securely delete files in windows

    Right-click the shortcut icon and choose “Delete” from the menu, or press the Delete key to remove the icon from the desktop and send it to the Recycle Bin.

    Learn how to securely delete files in windows

    Repeat steps one and two for each unused shortcut icon.

    Restoring Icons and Files From the Recycle Bin

    Double-click the “Recycle Bin” icon or right click the icon and choose “Open” from the menu.

    Learn how to securely delete files in windows

    Right-click the icon of the shortcut or file you wish to restore to the desktop.

    Learn how to securely delete files in windows

    Choose “Undo Delete” from the menu, removing it from the Recycle Bin and returning it to the desktop.

    Learn how to securely delete files in windows

    Repeat steps one to three for each shortcut or file you wish to restore.

    If you are sure you won’t want back any of the items in the Recycle Bin, you can empty it by right clicking on the Recycle Bin and clicking “Empty.”