Wiping free disk space
When you delete a file, Windows removes the reference to that file, but doesn't delete the actual data that made up the file on your hard drive. Over time, this data will be overwritten as Windows writes new files to that area of the drive.
This means that, given the right software, someone could reconstruct all, or parts of files that you've deleted. For privacy and security reasons, you can set CCleaner to wipe the free areas of your hard disk so that deleted files can never be recovered.
Note: Wiping free space can take a substantial amount of time.
Manually wipe with Drive Wiper:
- Select CCleaner > Tools > Drive Wiper
- Choose the type of wipe you require:
- Free Space Only - will leave your normal files intact
- Entire Drive - will erase all of the files on the drive.
WARNING: The whole of the partition will be erased. The drive will still be formatted, but all the data will be erased.
For safety reasons, this feature is disabled for the boot drive.
- Choose the type of security you require (Simple Overwrite is ok for most situations)
- Choose the drives you want to wipe.
Wipe Free Disk Space limitations
CCleaner can't wipe every deleted file from your free disk space. There are some limitations, because of the way Windows stores some files. Here are some examples:
- The file has been overwritten by another file (so no need to overwrite this again)
- The file had been overwritten by another file before you ran CCleaner, but the second file has now been deleted as well.
- The file was created almost exactly when you ran CCleaner.
Wiping an SSD
CCleaner Cloud doesn't currently support the wiping of SSDs as this can lead to the premature degrading of the drive.