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Shred Files and Wipe Free Space

There are several methods offered within PGP Desktop to securely remove files or folders from your hard drive. These methods are described below within Section 1. You will find instructions on wiping clean the free space of your drives in Section 2.

Shred a File/Folder

Several methods can be used to shred files and folders. These methods are detailed below:

Using PGP Shredder on the Desktop

When PGP Desktop was installed, you were provided the option of placing a "PGP shredder" icon on your desktop. If you did not place a "PGP Shredder" on the desktop and would like to do so, do the following:

  1.    Open the PGP Desktop icon in the system tray. This will appear as a gray padlock.

  2.    Click Options.

  3.    Select the Shredding tab.

  4.    Under the "Desktop" section, check the box to Use a separate PGP Shredder on the desktop.

If you already have a PGP Shredder on the desktop, you may click and drag files into the PGP Shredder. Once you drag a file into the shredder, you will be asked to confirm the permanent removal of the file(s). Once these files are removed, they will not be recoverable.

Using PGP Desktop

To shred through the PGP Desktop window, do the following:

  1.    Open PGP Desktop.

  2.    Click the Shred Files icon, or pull down the Tools menu and click Shred Files.

  3.    When Windows Explorer appears, browse to, and double click the file you wish to shred.

  4.    Confirm the removal of the file by clicking Yes.

    view screenshot

Using Windows Explorer

To shred through Windows Explorer, do the following:

  1.    Right click on the file or folder you wish to shred.

  2.    Point to the PGP Zip menu and click Shred.

    view screenshot (Shred02.JPG)

  3.    Confirm the removal by clicking Yes.

Wipe Free Space

When you delete a file in Windows, the file may appear to be erased, but with the proper tools, it can be restored. PGP Free Space Wipe allows you to permanently remove any files that have been deleted. Commercial data recovery companies have been known to recover data that has been overwritten up to nine times. PGP uses highly sophisticated patterns during each wipe to make sure your sensitive data cannot be recovered.

Two methods are available to wipe free space. They are through the PGP Desktop main screen, or through windows explorer. These methods are detailed below:

PGP Desktop

To initiate the wipe through PGP Desktop, do the following:

  1.    Open PGP Desktop.

  2.    Pull down the Tools menu and click Wipe Free Space.

    view screenshot (Shred05.JPG)

  3.    After the "PGP Wipe Free Space Assistant" window appears, click Next.

  4.    Select the volume you wish to wipe and the number of passes you wish to perform.

  5.    Click Begin Wipe.

NOTE: The wipe session can be lengthy, depending on the number of passes you specified, the speed of the processor, how many other applications are running, and so on. If you are wiping the system drive (boot drive), it is recommended you close any unnecessary applications. This will shorten the time it takes to wipe the drive.

Windows Explorer

To initiate the wipe through windows explorer, do the following:

  1. Open My Computer.

  2. Right click the drive you wish to wipe free space on.

  3. Point to the PGP Zip menu item and click Wipe Free Space.

    view screenshot (Shred04.JPG)

  4. Select the volume you wish to wipe and the number of passes you wish to perform.

  5. Click Begin Wipe.