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

Tracy King updated on Jan 08, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

How to permanently delete existing files from USB
How to permanently remove files that have been deleted from USB
How to permanently clear and erase all data on USB without recovery

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.

See Also: 5 Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10/8/7
Before 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 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 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:

  1. 1. Connect the USB drive to your computer.
  2. Wait till the USB shows up in your PC.
  3. 2. Open the USB flash drive in File Explorer and select the existing files which you want to delete.
  4. 3. Right-click on them and select "Delete".
  5. 4. Next, open the Recycle Bin on your Desktop, right-click on a blank spot and choose "Empty Recycle Bin".

Question: Is it possible to recover the permanently deleted files?

Sure! If you mistakenly deleted wrong files after emptying the Recycle Bin, refer to: Recover Files Deleted from the Recycle Bin after Empty for help.   

How to permanently remove files that have been deleted from USB
(To regain full storage capacity on USB)

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 right size:

  1. 1. Connect your USB to a healthy computer.
  2. 2. Open This PC or My Computer, find the USB drive.
  3. 3. Right-click on the USB drive and select "Format".
  4. 4. Set the file system as "NTFS" or "FAT32" and click "OK".
  5. 5. Then click "Start" to begin the formatting process.

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

How to 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.

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 free partition manager software - Partition Master Free Edition can do.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

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:


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 full capacity again


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