Secure Eraser v5.001

A Full Review of Secure Eraser, a Free File Shredder Program

Screenshot of Secure Eraser v5.000 in Windows 8
Secure Eraser v5.000.

Secure Eraser is a program suite that includes not only a file shredder but also other system tools like a registry cleaner. Because Secure Eraser can permanently delete whole hard drives and not just single files and folders, I've also placed it on my list of free data destruction software.

Common data sanitization methods are supported by Secure Eraser. It's also a very simple program to use.

Note: This review is of Secure Eraser version 5.001, released on July 27, 2016.

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

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More About Secure Eraser

Secure Eraser can scrub single files, folders, and partitions as well as whole hard drives by using the appropriate button on the start screen.

No matter what you need to delete, the following data sanitization methods can be used by Secure Eraser:

To change the method used when erasing a hard drive or partition, just click the small arrow next to the Start deletion button to pick from the drop-down menu.

When using the file/folder shredder, you can drag and drop data into the program window and even deselect subfolders and files that you wish to exclude from the wipe. Using Secure Eraser to destroy a whole hard drive or partition is as simple as selecting it from the list of drives.

Once a list of files and folders have been added to the queue, you can save the list as an SPR file and restore it again later to re-queue all the same data.

This provides a quick way to save what you're doing so you don't have to reload all the same files again later.

Some options are customizable, such as toggling the MFT from being cleared, disabling confirmation prompts to delete files even faster, ignoring errors, showing a deletion report, and choosing to exit Secure Eraser or shutdown, restart, or standby the computer when files, folders, or drives are finished being wiped.

Secure Eraser works in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP, as well as Windows Server 2012, 2008, and 2003.

Pros & Cons

I like Secure Eraser a lot, but there a few drawbacks that are common with free software of all kinds:

Pros:

  • Removes single files as well as whole hard drives
  • Supports drag and drop
  • Easy to use
  • Small download size

Cons:

  • Displays prompts to order the full version
  • Asks to install another program during setup

My Thoughts on Secure Eraser

Secure Eraser is an awesome program because it supports erasing both single files and whole groups of files in folders as well as entire partitions. The interface is simple to understand and none of the options are so complicated that they would scare away someone new to file shredding.

I think the only thing that would make Secure Eraser better is if it provided a way to delete files from the right-click context menu like several other file shredders allow.

When installing Secure Eraser, the very last window will, unfortunately, try to install the free BackUp Maker program. You can easily deselect the option and click Finish if you don't want the extra program.

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