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Drag and drop files to erase them permanently with EraserDrop

Deleting files doesn't remove then permanently from your computer. There are plenty of options for securely removing files, but EraserDrop makes it easy to drag and drop files to oblivion.

Every now and then, we need to make sure that the files we delete are really gone forever. Financial info, old work data, or poems we wrote in college all need to go down the memory hole with no chance of retrieval, and there are quite a few tools out there that get the job done. EraserDrop makes it easy, letting you drag and drop files to shred them for good. Here's how to use it:

  1. Download and install EraserDrop here.
  2. Run EraserDrop. A shredder icon should appear; its default is set to always on top so you won't lose track of it, but you can turn this off pretty easily if it gets annoying.
  3. Set up your wipe options. Right-click the EraserDrop icon, select "Options," select "Eraser Method," then select one of the options on the list. Each shows its relative security and speed; slower methods are safer, but do take quite some time, especially for large wipes.
    Step 3: Select deletion method.
    Step 3: Select deletion method. Rob Lightner/CNET
  4. Drag and drop files into the icon to start the permanent deletion process. You should see a notification in the system tray.
  5. You can also wipe the contents of the Recycle Bin or the free space on your computer by right-clicking the EraserDrop icon and selecting "Tasks." Wiping free space can take a very long time, so plan accordingly.

That's it! EraserDrop is incredibly simple to use, and it's portable. You can pop it on a flash drive and take it anywhere you want to use a computer without leaving a trace.

This piece by Nicole Cozma covers another tool for permanently deleting files that does quite a bit more. If you're a Mac user, this piece explains how to permanently delete files. If you're more concerned about your Internet traces, this piece covers deleting yourself from the Net.