How to delete files or folders in Windows 7

April 01, 2011 (updated 10 years ago) by Chemtable Software

In Windows 7 the operation of deleting files or folders is implemented in a very smart way. To begin with, a user can remove objects one by one, or with entire groups. For the first option, you should simply set the cursor to the desired file or folder. To perform group deletion you should select objects with your mouse and Shift and Ctrl buttons.

There are various ways to start the deletion itself, after you have selected one or multiple objects. In particular, a user can simply drag the selected files and folders and drop them to Recycle Bin on the Desktop.

The other option is deleting via the content menu. To use it, an operator should right-click the Explorer window, choose the “Delete” command in the drop-down menu, and then confirm this action in the opened dialog. Those users, who prefer working with the keyboard, can delete files using the Del key. This button does the same as the “Delete” command of the context menu.

Note that all deleting options described above are actually one operation. The main point about it that doesn’t remove objects from your hard drive, but instead moves them to Windows Recycle Bin. Later, a user of the computer may restore those files or folders at any time, and they will return to the locations where they were. In case if you need to finally delete objects, you should clear Recycle Bin by clicking it with the right mouse button and selecting the “Empty Recycle Bin” command in the context menu.

However, Windows 7 features a “direct” deletion too that actually removes objects, other than moving them to Recycle Bin. To use this method, select in Explorer the desired files and folders and press Shift+Del, then confirm your choice in the dialog window.

However, even the files that seem to be deleted completely can be restored by using specialized software. You should consider this feature of modern file systems when you delete confidential information. There are two ways of guaranteed deletion of data. The first one is more popular. It is based on single or multiple overwriting of the sectors that contained a given file. In this case, a true destruction of data occurs, instead of mere deleting a record in the file allocation table.

The second method of guaranteed deletion of data is preliminary encryption of information with the consequent deleting of the encryption key. After that, you can safely remove files as usual. Even if somebody will manage to restore them, decrypting them will be almost impossible. However, this method requires a user to have at least basic knowledge of cryptography technologies.

In conclusion, we should mention that it is impossible to delete files in Windows 7 completely, without the chance of their recovering, by means of standard deleting ways. Such deletion requires specialized software.