Eraser v6.2.0.2979

A Full Review of Eraser, 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 can also permanently delete individual files and folders, not just an entire drive, 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 6.2.0.2979, released on August 28, 2016.

Please let me know if there's a newer version I need to review.

Download Eraser
[Sourceforge.net | Download & Install Tips]

More About Eraser

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

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

Eraser currently supports Windows 8Windows 7Windows VistaWindows XP, and Windows Server 2003-2012. I also tested Eraser in Windows 10 without any issues.

Eraser must be installed to your computer to use it. This means you can't erase the primary hard drive 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 & 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

My Thoughts on Eraser

Eraser has a pretty 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 setup 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 get shredded and what remains.

Something else I like about the scheduling preferences is that you can add multiple data sets, such as wiping the free space, deleting folders, and wiping a drive all into one schedule that can run at the designated time.

That way you don't need to make different scheduling sets for each one 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 really speeds up the process of selecting the data you want to delete.

Overall, I liked Eraser. It 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.

Download Eraser
[Sourceforge.net | Download & Install Tips]