How to Permanently Delete Data from Laptop in 6 Ways

Updated to Data Erasure Tips by Amy on May 25, 2022 | Approved by Coletta Teske Whitehead

How to permanently remove personal data from a computer can be a question that bothers many people. Why did people want to learn how to permanently delete data on a laptop? There are many reasons. Some of them are:

No matter what the reason it is, here are 6 ways how to permanently delete files off a laptop for your reference. Get the way that’s right for you.

Quick Navigation
Method #1. How to Permanently Delete Personal Data from Laptop (Never Recoverable)
Method #2. How to Permanently Delete All Data from Laptop (Erase All Files on Laptop)
Method #3. How to Permanently Delete Files on a Laptop by Setting Up Recycle Bin (Delete Files Once for All)
Method #4. How to Delete Files Permanently with Shortcuts on Laptop (Delete Files Quickly)
Method #5. How to Permanently Remove Files with File Explorer Ribbon (Delete Files in a Click)
Method #6. How to Use Powershell to Permanently Delete Data on a Laptop (Remove Deleted Files)

Method #1. How to Permanently Delete Personal Data from Laptop (Never Recoverable)

If you mean "permanently delete" as never recoverable, then you must make use of a professional data eraser or file shredder to permanently deleted personal files/destroy files. iBeesoft File Shredder is a great option. After using it, no one can recover the deleted files since it used the zero-fill in technology to remove files from the laptop permanently.

Permanently Deleted Files from Laptop and Make Them Unrecoverable

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  1. Install the File Shredder on Your Laptop
  2. Download and install the file shredder software on your laptop. It is virus-free and will do not any harm to your existing files. It only destroys the files you want it to delete permanently from a laptop.

  3. Permanently delete data from laptop
  4. After then, launch the software. From the first window, click the "+" to select a specific folder, partition, or drive to delete files or data on the laptop. After you select files, folders, or hard drives, click "Shred" to delete the files permanently on a laptop.

  5. Test deleted files on the laptop are deleted permanently or not
  6. It’s easy to learn how to delete all data from a laptop permanently. After deleting files from the laptop, you can try iBeesoft data recovery software to scan the laptop. Generally, if you used this file shredder software to delete files on a laptop, then the recovery software cannot find the deleted files at all.

Method #2. How to Permanently Delete All Data from Laptop (Erase All Files on Laptop)

If you’re going to sell or donate your computer, the first and most important thing is permanently deleting all data from your laptop which will get all your personal data removed. By doing this, only the original Windows system data will be kept. All your personal data, including software tools and software data, will be removed as well and anyone who gets the computer will not know what’s on your laptop. Here are the simple steps.

If your Windows OS is Windows 11/10, do the following steps:

  1. Click the Start Menu and select Settings.
  2. Find and click Update & Security.
  3. In the left-hand, click on Recovery.
  4. Go to Reset this PC > Get Started. Confirm the action.
  5. A prompt will offer you two options, Keep My Files or Remove Everything. Since you want to remove all data from your laptop, so please choose to Remove Everything.
  6. When it pops up, "Remove files and clean the drive. This may take hours, but will make it harder to recover files." Click Next.
  7. Click the Reset button.

For Windows 7, follow the steps below:

  1. Press and hold the F8 key.
  2. In the "Advanced Boot Options" > choose Repair Your Computer and press Enter.
  3. Select a keyboard language and click Next. Log in with your administrative account.
  4. In the System Recovery Options and choose System Restore or Startup Repair. Follow the built-in wizard to finish the whole process.

Factory reset your laptop will remove everything, including any changes made to settings, all apps, games, and personal data. This will make your computer looks clean and new in the system.

Method #3. How to Permanently Delete Files on a Laptop by Setting Up Recycle Bin (Delete Files Once for All)

When you delete a file by pressing the Delete button, the deleted file will be put into recycle bin for a couple of days (some are 30 days). It means if you want to permanently delete a file from laptop, you need first delete it, then empty the recycle bin. It’s a time waste. To change it, you need to set up "Don’t move files to the recycle bin, remove files immediately when deleted".

  1. Right-click on Recycle bin on your laptop and choose Properties.
  2. For Settings for the selected location, choose "Don’t move files to the recycle bin, remove files immediately when deleted".

By doing this, the deleted files will be deleted permanently from your computer. They will not be put into recycle bin at all which saves your time for emptying trash.

Method #4. How to Delete Files Permanently with Shortcuts on Laptop (Delete Files Quickly)

Do you know press Shift+ Delete simultaneously will delete a file permanently on a laptop? You just need to click on the file you’re going to remove from your laptop, then press Shift+Delete, and confirm the action when a pop-up appears. That’s it!

Method #5. How to Permanently Remove Files with File Explorer Ribbon (Delete Files in a Click)

You can find the file you want to delete in File Explorer. After then, make use of Windows File Explorer Ribbon to permanently delete the file.

  1. Press the Windows key + E on the keyboard to bring out the File Explorer window.
  2. Open the folder where the target file(s) is and click it to select.
  3. Click the "Delete" drop-down list in the menu > click "Permanently delete".

Method #6. How to Use Powershell to Permanently Delete Data on a Laptop (Remove Deleted Files)

Powershell is a command line that can be used to delete target folders as well as remove all deleted files. It depends on how you use it.

  1. Type in "PowerShell" in the search menu and run it as administrator.
  2. Type Remove-Item -path c:\[Filename] -recurse and press Enter. (this will delete the target folder and everything in it.
  3. Type cipher /w:<filepath> and press Enter. (This will remove all deleted files from the file path, namely overwritten deleted files.)

Frequently Asked Questions for How to Permanently Delete Data on a Laptop

  1. How do I wipe my laptop before selling it?
  2. Before you sell your laptop, you should factory reset it which will remove all your user account, software tools, and personal information.

    1. Find the Settings button on your laptop from the search box.
    2. In the Update & Security menu, navigate to Recover > find and click Factory Reset.
    3. Follow the built-in navigation to finish the factory reset process. After that, you can see all your personal files, system changes are removed.
  3. How do I permanently delete everything from my laptop Windows 11/10?
    1. Click the Start Menu and select Settings.
    2. Find and click Update & Security > Recovery.
    3. Go to Reset this PC > Get Started > click Remove Everything.
    4. Confirm the action and wait for the process to finish.
  4. Does a factory reset delete everything on a laptop?
  5. Yes, factory reset delete everything on a laptop, or at least make them invisible. However, if there are many personal files on your laptop, you’d better install iBeesoft File Shredder to overwrite all hard drives on your laptop. It will make all files on your laptop unrecoverable.

  6. How do I completely wipe my computer and delete everything?
  7. If you want to completely wipe your computer and delete everything, the first option is to factory reset it since it is free. However, if you want to keep your privacy, making everything unrecoverable, install iBeesoft File Shredder to clean up your computer.