I am looking for a free and portable tool for Windows that is able to secure-delete files that were already deleted from the file system (NTFS).

I know the usual solution for this is overwriting the free disk space, but this may require too long on a big HDD.

It may also be useful for files that where in the recycle bin.

  • 1
    Since you commented below that "no installation" is a requirement, you should edit your question to include what you mean by that requirement.
    – CPerkins
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


You can't find such portable tool.

More precisely, it can be portable as "no installation required" but it can't be portable as "no administrator privileges required". Direct disk access requires administrator on Windows.

The only way to erase free space without administrator privileges is create a new file taking all empty space on the partiotion and fill it by zeroes. But it doesn't satisfy you because of slowness point.

And a bit about software. I would've try Recuva.

  • I've never used it for erasing, but it has such feature.
    I used recovery there and it works great, so I expect erasing to be good too.
  • It has a setting for keeping all the setting in ini-file, so it can be considered as portable.
    You have to install it somewhere, switch to keeping setting in ini-file and just copy the folder.
  • Anyway, you still need administrator privileges to run it.

I tend to use AVG Free as my antivirus, and that has a "Shred files in recycle bin" option that automatically takes care of over-writing the files. But that's only "free as in beer."

However, I found a web-page that gives some open source file shredders. Be careful--the fourth option on the page is meant to securely erase an entire disk. http://ostatic.com/blog/four-open-source-file-shredders-that-delete-data-forever

  • free as in beer is ok as well, but it must be a portable tool (no installation required).
    – eadmaster
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 16:06
  • The fourth item in the list I mention above (Darik's Boot and Nuke) would qualify as "portable," but as noted, it erases the entire disk. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 18:24

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