Secure File Deletion with Eraser


If you are deleting sensitive data on university data, you must contact the ITS Helpdesk first to ensure Eraser is configured properly for your sensitive data.

Intended Audience

This article is for the benefit of faculty, staff, and students who would like to know how to delete files securely.


To follow this article you will need a computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system mobile with Internet access
NoteThis software is for data stored locally on Windows computers. Data stored on Google Drive, Dropbox, macOS, and Linux, do not need to use Eraser.



Download and Install Eraser Software

  1. Navigate to
    The following screen will be displayed:

  2. Next, select and download the most current version of the Eraser software.

    Note: If you are using Google Chrome, the download may appear in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen. 
    If the download does not display, please check your download folder for the software installation file
  3. Double-left-click on the installation file. The Eraser Setup window will appear and the files will be extracted.

  4. Once the files are extracted, you will be brought to the following windows. Left-click on the  "Next" button. 
    Then left-click the "Typical" installation button.

  5. On the following window click the "Install" button.

  6. When the installation is complete left-click on the "Finish" button.


Configure Eraser to delete files securely.

Note: Before deleting any sensitive data, you must ensure Eraser is configured to delete files using a supported deletion method.
To set this to be your default erasure method, please do the following:

  1. Open the Eraser app.
  2. Click Settings then click the ‘Default file erasure method’ drop-down. Choose “US DoD 5220.22-M (8-306./E) (3 passes).
  3. Click Save Settings near the upper right.



Using Eraser Software to delete files.

Eraser features two main ways to delete files, detailed below.

Right-clicking files within File Explorer

  1. Navigate to the location of the file to be deleted in File Explorer.
  2. Right-click on the file to be deleted.
  3. When the dialog box opens, hover your pointer over the Eraser icon.
  4. Now left-click Erase from the secondary dialog box.  
  5. A message will appear asking"If you want to allow this software to make changes to your device". Click Yes.
  6. The file will be deleted.



Deleting within the Eraser app

  1. When the software opens, You will see the following screen:

  2. To securely delete a file left-click the drop-down arrow on the right side of "Erase Schedule"
    and left-click "New Task".

  3. The "Task Properties" dialog box will now open. Now Left-click the "Add Data" button.
    Note: If you are using multiple monitors, the "Task Properties" dialog box may open on
    a different monitor.

  4. Now the "Select Data to Erase" dialog box will open. Next, click the "Add Data" button.
    To erase the file using the most secure method, select US DOD 5220.22-M as the Erasure Method using the drop-down arrow.
    Now, Click "OK" and browse to the location of the file that needs to be deleted by clicking the "Browse" button.

  5. Next, Navigate to the location where the data to be erased is stored.
    Highlight the file to be deleted and click the "Open" button.

  6. You will now see the file path populate in the box next to the "Browse" button.
    Click the "OK" button.

  7. The "Task Properties" will open allowing you to name the task and select the task type. 
    Once the desired settings are selected, click the "OK" button. 
    Note: If you want the file deleted immediately, choose the "Run immediately" task type.

  8. You should now see the Erase Schedule dialog box appear showing that the task was executed.



If you have any questions or experience any issues with this article, please visit or contact the ITS Helpdesk for assistance.


Location: 206 Murchie Science Building


Phone: (810) 762-3123



Article ID: 11129
Fri 11/3/23 11:49 AM
Tue 12/12/23 6:05 PM