How to Perform Windows Delete File Permanently and Securely [Windows OS]

Deleting a file means removing it from where it is stored and deleting unwanted files regularly can free up space. Here, you will learn five common ways to delete normal files on Windows 11/10/8/7 and get a professional file shredder to clean the files that are not easy to delete permanently and securely.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Why need to perform Windows delete file?

Deleting a file is the practice of removing files from their original location. If the file you delete is on your hard disk, it will be sent to the Recycle Bin. If the storage location is a disk, CD, or network location, the file will be destroyed.


The reasons for file deletion may include:
◉ Delete files to free up disk space
◉  Delete files that are no longer needed
◉  Removing duplicate or unnecessary data to avoid confusion
◉  Remove confidential files out of security consideration
◉  Erase files that are infected or destroyed
◉  Delete outdated versions of programs after upgrading

What kind of files need to be deleted?

Users usually perform Windows delete file themselves, so it's critical to figure out what type of files should be deleted on the computer. Generally speaking, you often delete those that are highly used in your daily work like pictures, videos, text, DOC, etc. But there are several kinds of files that are easy to ignore.

1. Junk files

The process of using the computer is constantly producing various junk files including cache files, temporary files, installer files, thumbnails, and so on. The appearance of junk files is inevitable. Thus, removing them at a regular time is a good way to save your disk space.

2. Corrupted files

Once the file is corrupted or damaged, you can't access it anymore. One of the best solutions is to force delete the corrupted files to make the room for new data.

3. Large files

There are many large files you stored inadvertently. Deleting them, especially those you no longer need can help you get much more space as well as manage your files better.

How to delete files on Windows 11/10/8/7 [5 common ways]

Each operating system has its own way of deleting files, here we'll mainly talk about how to delete files from Windows 11/10/8/7 computers in 5 common and useful ways. Please note that you can't delete a file that is in use, otherwise, you will receive the message shown as below:


► Way 1. Windows delete file by dragging to Recycle Bin

This is the basic way to delete files Windows and the steps are very simple. Choose the file you want to remove, long press the left mouse button, and drag it to the Recycle Bin. Before you empty the Recycle Bin, the file can be restored easily. Or you can delete the file permanently by cleaning up the Recycle Bin. Once the bin is empty, you can't recover the files unless you apply professional data software.

► Way 2. Windows delete file using right-click menu

Another method is to use right-click menu: navigate to the files you tend to delete, right-click it to call out the extended menu, and then choose "Delete".


The same as way 1, this action moves the deleted file to the Recycle Bin. If needed, retrieve the file from the bin or delete it completely.

► Way 3. Windows delete file using keyboard shortcuts

How do I delete files using a Windows keyboard? This is the third method we will display in the following content:

Step 1. Find the target file and click to highlight it.

Step 2. Press the Delete key on your keyboard. By default, Windows won't ask for your confirmation and send the file to the Recycle Bin directly.


Or Press the Shift + Delete keys at the same time. Then, a confirmation message pops out, click "Yes" to move on. This operation will completely delete the selected file without moving it to the Recycle Bin.


► Way 4. Windows delete file using File Explorer

File Explorer is the file management program used by Windows operating systems to browse folders and files. You can use it to delete files by following the steps below:

Step 1. Press the  Window + E keys to open File Explorer.

Step 2. Locate the file that you want to delete and click "Delete" on the Home tab of the ribbon. Then the deleted file will be moved to the Recycle Bin.


If you want to delete a file permanently, select it. In the Home tab on the ribbon, click the arrow beneath the "Delete" button and then choose "Permanently delete".


Tip: You can also delete more than one file at the same time by pressing and holding the Ctrl key. At the same time, click the files that you want to select with the mouse. Release the Ctrl key when done. To select all files in a folder, press Ctrl+A on your keyboard together.

► Way 5. Windows delete file using Command Prompt

Command Prompt (CMD) is a command-line built-in tool for Windows systems. To perform Windows delete file command, refer to the steps below:

Step 1. Press Window + R keys on the keyboard, type "cmd", and run Command Prompt as administrator.

Step 2. Change the directory to where your files are located by using the cd command. Then, type the following command and hit Enter:

del filename.type

For instance, if you want to delete a file named deleteMe.txt located at the desktop, then your command is like this:

del deleteME.txt

Use specialized software to delete file Windows 11/10/8/7

To delete an ordinary file on your Windows computer, you can use any one of the methods we described above. But if you want to delete junk files, corrupted files, or large files, the common ways may not work, and the best way is to use a professional file deletion tool.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a powerful file shredder that is specialized in deleting all kinds of files on your Windows 11/10/8/7 computers. To meet the different needs of users, it's featured different functions: scan and remove junk files, force delete a corrupted file, list and delete large files, wipe the hard drive to erase all the files, etc. All the process is well protected and won't do any harm to other data.

Now, download the freeware and see how to delete files permanently and securely from Windows 11/10/8/7 with a third-party tool.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Note: The files deleted by these featured are irrecoverable, please back up beforehand in case you will need them one day.

► Part 1. Clean junk files

This is not only a simple removal of junk files but also an effective way to fix the "C drive full" issue or other storage problems.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, and then click "Free up" > "PC Cleaner".


Step 2. In the pop-up window, click "Start Scan" to scan for junk files.


Step 3. Wait until the scanning process completes.


Step 4. After the scan is completed, all kinds of available junk files will be listed. Then, tick the options you want to clean, then click "Clean All" to begin the cleaning process.


Step 5. When you see a correct symbol displayed in the interface, you can click "Back" to exit the Window.


► Part 2. Force delete corrupted files

If you keep the corrupted files on your hard drive, you give the chances that the corrupted files infect other healthy files. Therefore, you’d better delete the corrupted files in time. Do as the steps below:

Step 1. Open AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. In the main console, click "Wipe" and select "Shred Files".


Step 2. In the small window, click "Add Files" or "Add Folder" to choose the file or folder you want to delete forcibly.


Step 3. Here you can only choose "Write Zero" as the shredding method. The other three shredding ways are supported in the Professional edition.


Step 4. Click the "Shred" button and you will be reminded of a confirmation note, click "Yes".


► Part 3. Delete large files

If you don't need the large files anymore or you think they occupy much space on your disks and want to remove them to make the room for other data, you have two options: move files/folders to a different drive or delete them.

In today's case, we'll show you how to perform Windows delete file. To remove large files completely and securely, you can refer to the following steps to make it. This function is available in the Professional edition, click the button and download the demo version:

Free DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, and then click "Free up" and "Delete Large Files".


Step 2. In the pop-up window, select the partitions that you want to find and delete large files, click "Start Scan" to scan for files larger than 16MB.


Step 3. When the scan is complete, all large files found are listed(the files marked in red are not recommended to delete). Tick the files you want to delete, and then click the "Delete" button.


Step 4. The next window will ask you to confirm the files you have just ticked for deletion. If it's correct, click "Delete Now" to begin the deletion process.



That's all about how to perform Windows delete file permanently and securely. If the file is normal and ordinary, there are five common ways you can use it on Windows 11/10/8/7 computers. If you wish to delete other files like junk files or corrupted files, a specialized file deletion tool should be your first choice.

With AOMEI Partition Assistant, you can do much more than delete file Windows. For example, extend C drive, convert MBR to GPT, migrate OS to SSD, upgrade HDD to SSD, etc. If you are a Windows Server user, you can use the Server edition.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.