1. Computing

31 Free Data Destruction Software Programs

Completely Free Disk Wipe and Hard Drive Eraser Software Utilities


21. Disk Tools Toolkit

Disk Tools Toolkit - Data Destruction Software

Disk Tools Toolkit is a portable software suite program that can shred files on an entire partition or just wipe free space.

Data Sanitization Methods: Random Data

The data destruction portion of Disk Tools Toolkit is located in a menu tab called Data wipe. From there, just select a drive and choose how many time the program should write data over the deleted content.

Disk Tools Toolkit program is really simple to use once you find the correct tool in the suite.

Note: During setup, Disk Tools Toolkit can be installed anywhere because the files are completely portable. Then just run the Disk Tools program. 

Download Disk Tools Toolkit for Free​

22. PCDiskEraser

PCDiskEraser - Data Destruction Software

PCDiskEraser is a free data destruction program that runs before the computer boots up, like DBAN, HDDErase, and MHDD from this list.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, VSITR

PCDiskEraser removes data from whole drives without the option to selectively keep some folders or files.

PCDiskEraser requires you to burn the program to a disc and then boot to the disc before the regular operating system starts. This is different than some of the other programs in this list that run from within Windows.

Using PCDiskEraser is really easy because you simply select the disk that should be erased, confirm the selection, and then PCDiskEraser immediately begins shredding the whole disk.

Download PCDiskEraser for Free

23. ErAce

ErAce - Data Destruction Software

ErAce is a bootable program that runs off of an ISO file you must burn to a disc. The program is very easy to use because you simply boot to it and then press one button to wipe all the data from a drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: Random Data

You must burn the ErAce program to a disc to use it. See How To Burn an ISO Image File to learn how to get ErAce on a disc so it can be used to shred data on a drive.

Something I didn’t like about ErAce is that it doesn’t provide any information about the drive you’re going to wipe, which makes it difficult to ensure you’re wiping the correct one.

Important: ErAce doesn’t ask you to confirm a disk wipe. It will begin the moment you press “Overwrite.” Take caution when using ErAce if you have multiple drives plugged in at once, so as not to wipe the wrong one.

Download ErAce for Free

24. MiniTool Drive Wipe

MiniTool Drive Wipe - Data Destruction Software

MiniTool Drive Wipe is a small, simple program that runs from inside Windows like a regular program.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Secure Erase, Write Zero

MiniTool Drive Wipe is easy to use. Just select whether you want to wipe a partition or whole disk and then choose a sanitization method.

Download MiniTool Drive Wipe for Free

25. Delete Files Permanently

Delete Files Permanently - Data Destruction Software

Delete Files Permanently is a free file shredder program that works with Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP. It supports more methods of sanitization than most of the other programs in this list.

Data Sanitization Methods: AR 380-19, DoD 5220.22-M, GOST R 50739-95, Gutmann, HMG IS5, NAVSO P-5239-26, RCMP TSSIT OPS-II, Schneier, Secure Erase, VSITR

You can add custom data wiping schemes from the settings.

Delete Files Permanently only supports shredding individual files, and not folders like most of the other programs in this list. It can also wipe free space on any attached drive, including USB devices.

Download Delete Files Permanently for Free

26. XT File Shredder Lizard

XT File Shredder Lizard - Data Destruction Software

XT File Shredder Lizard is another data destruction program that works in all the newer versions of Windows, like Windows 7 and 8.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Random Data, Secure Erase

You can add folders, files, or the Recycle Bin items to XT File Shredder Lizard to destroy data using any of the above sanitization methods.

Download XT File Shredder Lizard for Free

27. Free File Shredder

Free File Shredder - Data Destruction Software

Free File Shredder is a data wiping program that walks you through a wizard to delete either files, folders, or files in the Recycle Bin.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Random Data

This program is very easy to use, as you just have to choose what you want to delete and then which sanitization method to use. There are no extra options or confusing settings.

During setup, Free File Shredder asks to install additional software. You can easily stop this by click the  Decline button.

Download Free File Shredder for Free

28. File Secure Free

File Secure Free - Data Destruction Software

File Secure Free is a software suite with four tools, one being a file shredder. It can remove files from an entire drive or folder, but also can shred individual files.

Data Sanitization Methods: AR 380-19, Gutmann, Random Data

Something I didn’t much like is that after adding files or folders to the file shredder, you must click the individual items and then click Shred. This isn’t plainly stated, but really is just a small inconvenience.

During setup, File Secure Free tries to install other programs alongside the file shredder, but you can click skip or decline to stop them from installing.

Download File Secure Free for Free

29. Puran Wipe Disk

Puran Wipe Disk - Data Destruction Software
© Puran Software

Puran Wipe Disk is a super simple program that can wipe all the files and folders on a drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: DoD 5220.22-MSchneierWrite Zero

Both internal and external drives are compatible and you have the option to wipe just the free space or the entire disk.

Download Puran Wipe Disk for Free

30. MHDD

MHDD - Data Destruction Software

MHDD is another data destruction tool that utilizes Secure Erase.

The thing I like best about MHDD is the variety of easy-to-use forms that it's downloadable in. You can download an ISO file for disc booting, a floppy image, the program itself ready for your own boot disk, and more.

Data Sanitization Methods: Secure Erase

There is plenty of documentation, a FAQ, and even a forum for the MHDD data destruction program, all accessible from their download page.

Note: MHDD only utilizes the Secure Erase method for data destruction if you use the FASTERASE option available in the program.

Download MHDD for Free

31. hdparm

hdparm - Data Destruction Software

hdparm is a command line based tool that can be used, among other things, to issue a Secure Erase firmware command to a hard drive.

Data Sanitization Methods: Secure Erase

Using hdparm as a data destruction software program is risky and, in my opinion, unnecessary with a great Secure Erase based data destruction tool like HDDErase, listed above. The only reason I've included the hdparm method of issuing a Secure Erase command is because I want to have a comprehensive list of options available.

I don't recommend that you use hdparm unless you're very familiar with command line tools. Misuse of this tool could cause your hard drive to become unusable.

Important: This hdparm version runs from within Windows so you can't use it to erase the drive Windows is installed on. If that's what you want to do, you'll have to use a bootable data destruction software program instead.

Download hdparm for Free

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