Truly deleting files

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Michaelgtrusa, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #1
    I'm new to man I have a iMac. Help says to drag the file to the trash, I'm not convinced that this really removes files from my hard drive! Can someone give me some advice?
     
  2. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Location:
    Englandshire
    #2
    Click on 'Finder' in your menu bar, and then 'Secure Empty Trash'. :)

    Edit: Or, if they don't need to be removed for security reasons but just to free up space, simply right click the trash can and select 'Empty Trash'.
     
  3. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
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    Wisconsin
    #3
    Also, if you have already deleted files using the non-secure method, they indeed are still "on" your hard drive and could be recovered. Though they aren't taking up any space. If this is the case, I suggest use go to disk utility and "wipe free space" on the drive that the files were stored on.
     
  4. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Trash as a concept is nothing new. Same with Windows and every other system. Trash is ment to be a "midway place" to a Bit Heaven :)

    If you throw a paper in your real physical trash in your home, you still have the paper. Only after you empty the trash, will the paper really leave your home :cool:
     
  5. emt1 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 30, 2008
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    Wisconsin
    #5
    This is a bad analogy. Emptying the trash does not rid the files from your computer. They can still be recovered. This can be avoided by using the "secure empty trash" method or by wiping your free space after the fact.
     
  6. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
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    Finland
    #6
    Ugh. Like i didnt know :) I tried to keep it SIMPLE. :rolleyes: Every file is "recoverable" if not overwritten. Deleting files just "marks" the bit to be "free". This is computer science 101.
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #7
    Exactly. Almost every file system on computers does this. There are some systems that you can configure to really wipe things immediately, but for most systems all it does is return the allocation units to the pool and mark the file deleted. Nothing is actually erased at this point.
     
  8. justind.clark macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #8
    If you are saying that after you empty the trash you think that there are still files such as preferences or the like then i would suggest an app deleting app such as AppZapper or AppDelete. Personally I use AppCleaner (because it's free) just drag the app into the widow and it finds all the related files then you just hit delete.
     
  9. Michaelgtrusa thread starter macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #9
    Thank you for such awsome info. I will thy appcleaner.
     
  10. portent macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    #10
    It's a perfect analogy. If you throw your bank statement in the garbage, and empty the garbage, your statement is still there. It's just that the garbage collector has it; it's not taking up space in your house anymore, but someone could still read it.

    To truly eliminate it, you have to shred it, which is what Secure Empty Trash does. The corresponding Unix command is actually "shred."
     
  11. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #11
    Are you trying to completely remove an app or securely delete files?

    To remove apps I use App Zapper. Works great and is very simple to use. It doesn't cost much but there are free alternatives. After using a couple free apps I finally decided on App Zapper.

    To securely delete files use Secure Empty Trash from the Finder pull down menu then once in a while (monthly?) run Disk Utility and securely erase the free space. 1-pass is okay but files can still be recovered. 7-pass takes a while but recovering files is very difficult. 35-pass? Well, do you still want to use your computer in the same month? Yikes. That one takes a loooong time to run.

    The only time I securely erase is drive is when I sell it or toss it in the garbage. Better safe than sorry.
     
  12. Michaelgtrusa thread starter macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #12
    Will I damage/delete anything by erasing free space? How do I go about this?
     
  13. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

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    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #13
    Unlikely.

    The advice given earlier by emt1 - Disk Utility. There is the option to Erase Free Space. In DU, choose the second of the drive names > click Erase > Erase Free Space. Be advised that it does not always work, especially if your hard drive is close to full.
     
  14. cheapa55 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #14
    Anyone having trouble downloading appcleaner? I can't seem to get it to download from any website.
     
  15. hughvane macrumors 6502

    hughvane

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    Aug 25, 2008
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    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    #15
  16. emt1 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 30, 2008
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    Wisconsin
    #16

    He said that it's still there "until you empty your trash" which gives the impression that all it takes to remove a file is to empty your trash - which is not true.
     
  17. cheapa55 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #17
  18. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #18
    Looks like FreeMacSoft.net is down. VersionTracker, MacUpdate and the Apple download page all pull the file from that web site.

    mt
     
  19. cheapa55 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    #19
    Yeah, weird, wonder why. I need it for my new alum MB. Have AppDelete's old version on my iMac, but the new versions cost money too. :(
     
  20. cheapa55 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007

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