3 Tricks | How to Permanently Delete/Erase Files from USB Drive

Tracy King updated on Sep 10, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

Have you ever met this problem that when you deleted all files from your USB drive, part of the storage was still occupied by no reason, not displaying the full size on your computer? This page will offer you three handy tricks to effortlessly resolve this issue and permanently delete files from your USB drive, USB flash drive, USB 3.0 external hard drive. See how to bring the full size back to your USB now.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Erase Data on USB Connect the external devices to the PC. Set the number of times to wipe data...Full steps
Fix 2. Delete Existing Files Connect the USB drive to your computer. Wait till the USB shows up on your PC...Full steps
Fix 3. Remove Deleted Files Connect your USB to a healthy computer. Open This PC or My Computer, find the USB drive...Full steps

Permanently Clear and Erase All Data on USB Without Recovery

If you search online and you'll find that most deleted or formatted files can be restored from USB or other storage devices. Is there a way that can help erase and clear all data on USB or USB external hard drive without a recovery possibility? Sure! Mostly, a low-level format can do. But we do not suggest you take this method.

A low-level format can erase all existing data, but also may result in storage device logical structure destroyed. That is to say that when you commit a low-level format on USB, the existing or deleted data indeed will be removed. But the device will also corrupt, failing to function again.

Any other method can do this job? EaseUS partition manager software - Partition Master Free Edition can do it. With its Wipe Partition feature, you can permanently erase USB, SD card or other devices and wipe all data without a recovery chance in only a few easy clicks.

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 Windows 10 is supported

Steps to wipe a USB drive:


Step 1: Connect the external devices to the PC.

Before you wipe the SD card, USB drive or the external hard drive, you must connect them to the computer first. Then, launch EaseUS Partition Master and right-click the external device, and choose "Wipe Data".

select wipe data

Step 2: Set the number of times to wipe data.

You can set to 10 at most. Then Click "OK".

set the times

Step 3: Check the message.

A message tells you that the computer would restart after disk erase is recommended. Then click "OK".

click ok

Step 4: Apply the changes.

Click "Execute the operation" and then click "Apply" to start wiping data. All of the data on the external device will be deleted permanently.

start the wiping process

After this, wait for the wiping process to complete, and then you'll get an empty USB with the full capacity again.

How to Permanently Delete Existing Files from USB on PC

Speaking of permanently deleting the existing files from USB or USB flash drive, what comes to your mind first? To format the USB drive? No, formatting is a way to remove all existing files on the storage device completely. But when it comes to deleting some specific files only, an ideal way is to delete files on a computer and clear the whole Recycle Bin with the following steps:

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to your computer. Wait till the USB shows up on your PC.

Step 2. Open the USB flash drive in File Explorer and select the existing files which you want to delete.

Step 3. Right-click on them and select "Delete".

Step 4. Next, open the Recycle Bin on your Desktop, right-click on a blank spot and choose "Empty Recycle Bin".

empty recycle bin after deleting USB files

Question: Is it possible to recover the permanently deleted files?
Sure! When you start deleting files from the USB drive, make sure that you've moved or backed up essential data to another storage device. If you haven't, do it now. If you lost files permanently, utilize each method of the five to recover permanently deleted files... Read More>>

How to Remove Deleted Files from USB (Regain Full Storage Capacity)

How to permanently remove files that have been deleted from USB may become your next concern since most deleted files are not fully removed from the disk. The method to release your concern is also very easy. It is to format the USB drive. It is the best way to thoroughly remove all existing and hidden files from your storage devices under most circumstances. And usually, it is also an ideal way for you to regain the full capacity of your USB when it’s not showing the right size:

Method 1. Format USB Manually

Step 1. Connect your USB to a healthy computer.

Step 2. Open This PC or My Computer, find the USB drive.

Step 3. Right-click on the USB drive and select "Format".

Step 4. Set the file system as "NTFS" or "FAT32" and click "OK".

Step 5. Then click "Start" to begin the formatting process.

format a usb to permanently delete files from usb

Just wait, and you can permanently remove files that have been deleted from your USB.

Method 2. Format USB Safely with USB Formatter

If you have difficulty in USB flash drive formatting, you can turn to a professional USB formatting tool. Here I would like to recommend you EaseUS free partition software for its powerful formatting capacity and easy-to-use features. It allows formatting a USB flash drive from Sandisk, Kingston, Panasonic, Lexar, Samsung, Sony, etc. easily in all complex cases. Follow the steps below to format your USB drive easily.

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 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1: Select the USB drive to format.

Connect the USB drive or pen drive to your computer. Download and launch EaseUS partition software. Right-click the USB drive you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Set the drive letter and file system.

Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Check the warning box.

Click "OK" if you see the Warning window. If you have important data on it, back up the data in advance.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Apply the changes.

Click the "Execute operation" button first, and then click "Apply" to format the USB drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4


There are three methods for clearing data off of a USB flash drive - deleting USB files and emptying them, formatting the drive, or just wiping the USB flash drive or pen drive. These methods can be performed quickly the next time you need an empty drive.

People Also Ask

There are some related questions about USB formatting and erasing. You can read on to get extra help.

If I format a USB, will it erase data?

The formatting operation is a process of preparing a storage device like USB available for initial use, creating new file systems. Both Low-level formatting and Partitioning process will erase all data. And High-level formatting also removes the saved data on a hard drive, USB or memory card.

What is the best USB flash drive formatting tool?

In fact, there are many formatting tools for USB flash drive like HP USB Disk Storage Formatting Tool, MMC Formatting tool, Panasonic SD Formatting Tool, SD formatting software, etc. Among them, EaseUS free partition manager stands out for its easy-to-use features.

Can I protect USB data from formatting?

There are two ways to protect your USB data, one is creating a backup and the other is to check and fix USB errors regularly.

How to wipe a USB drive?

To wipe or erase a USB:

Step 1. Connect the external devices to the PC and launch EaseUS Partition Master.

Step 2. Set the number of times to wipe data.

Step 3. Check the message.

Step 4. Apply the changes.

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Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

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The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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