Review of Eraser v6.2.0.2982

A Free Data-Destruction Software Tool

Screenshot of Eraser v6 in Windows 7

 Eraser v6

Eraser is a free data-destruction program that's able to wipe all the data off of an entire hard drive at once. Because it also can permanently delete individual files and folders as well, it's also a great free file-shredder program.

Eraser can be used to schedule data-wipe tasks and supports lots of sanitization methods, making it a great way to evade file-recovery programs.

Note: This review is of Eraser version 6.2.0.2982, released on January 3, 2018.

More About Eraser

Eraser works by scheduling tasks to erase certain files. You can set up a task to run immediately after it has been created, manually, on every restart, or on recurring daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.

Eraser can use any of these data-sanitization methods to securely remove data from a drive:

First/Last 16KB Erasure

This version of Eraser supports Windows 8Windows 7Windows VistaWindows XP, and Windows Server 2003-2012. It works well in Windows 10, too.

Eraser must be installed to your computer to use it. This means you can't erase your primary hard drive—the one that's running Windows.

For example, if you're using Eraser in Windows 8, you can't use it to remove all the Windows 8 files. For that, you must use a program that runs before the operating system is launched. See How to Wipe a Hard Drive for more on that. However, you can use Eraser against an external drive, any other internal drive, or any single or group of files/folders.

Eraser Pros and Cons

There's a lot to like about Eraser. but it does have a couple of downsides.

Pros:

  • Supports deleting files, folders, and whole drives
  • Easy to use
  • Able to erase data on a schedule
  • Can replace removed files with custom ones
  • Supports most common sanitization methods
  • Integrates with Windows Explorer
  • Supports drag and drop
  • Scheduled tasks can be backed up

Cons:

  • Can't wipe the drive that Windows is installed to

Eraser has a simple design, and the task creator couldn't be easier to use. It's easy to change the default delete method, and you can clearly see how many passes each method will do when chosen.

These are all the data sources Eraser supports file, files in folders, Recycle Bin, unused disk space, secure move, and drive/partition. This means you can set up Eraser to securely empty the Recycle Bin every day, for example, or to delete the files in your Downloads folder on a schedule. Eraser even supports include/exclude masks for when you're deleting files within a folder so you can explicitly decide what gets shredded and what remains.

You can schedule multiple data sets—such as wiping the free space, deleting folders, and wiping a drive—to run at once on a designated schedule. That way, you don't need to make different scheduling sets for each task when you're planning on running them at the same time anyway.

When adding files and folder to the delete queue, you can drag and drop them directly into the program, which speeds up the process of selecting the data you want to delete.

Overall, Eraser has more useful features and supports more data sanitization methods than most other data destruction programs. It should be your first pick if you're looking for a file shredder that doesn't run from a disc.