How to Permanently Wipe Flash Drive on Windows

Flash drives are used for quick data transfer between computers. It is also a handy and portable storage device which helps in taking your important data wherever you are going. However, if a flash drive gets misplaced then the data present on it can be compromised. Therefore, it is essential that you wipe flash drive after every use so that there is no trace of its former data left behind on it. However, do keep in mind that wiping the flash drive doesn’t mean simply deleting all of its data. Deleting the files stored on the flash drive won’t erase them completely and a good data recovery tool can retrieve them within minutes.

Part 1: How to Permanently Wipe Flash Drive with BitRaser for File

If you want to permanently wipe flash drive and ensure that its data can’t be recovered then even formatting the flash drive isn’t enough. There are some data recovery tools powerful enough to even piece together the data from formatted flash drives too. So, when you need to erase the contents of the flash drive beyond the scope of recovery, you need to use a data erasure tool. There are various such tools available on the internet but not all of them can provide you the desired results. Stellar BitRaser for File is among the few data erasing tools that actually work. It can help you in wiping clean your flash drive and prevent the erased data from ever being recovered.

The following is a tutorial with step-wise guidelines which can help you learn how to use Stellar BitRaser for File for wiping data from flash drive.

  1. Free download Stellar BitRaser for File on Windows computer, and connect flash drive to PC.
  2. Launch BitRaser for File, click the section "Erase Now" and select your flash drive.
  3. permantly wipe flash drive

  4. Click "Erase Now" button to start permanently wipe flash drive.
  5. You can reboot your system after erase complete.

You don’t need to take multiple passes to permanently wipe flash drive when using Stellar BitRaser for File. Just a single pass of this software would erase the data on the flash drive forever. However, if you aren’t satisfied then you can have two additional passes. This is just to ensure beyond a shadow of doubt that the flash drive is completely wiped and its former data is now unrecoverable.

part 2: How to Wipe Flash Drive with in-built Format Option

You will find a format feature in every Mac or Windows powered PC. You can use this feature for wiping the contents of the flash drive. Following these simple steps can help you permanently delete everything from your flash drive.

Step 1: Wait for the PC to recognize the USB flash drive after inserting it into the PC’s USB port.

Step 2: Locate the disk name of your flash drive in the My Computer window and then right-click it.

Step 3: Click the Format option in the menu that appears.

Step 4: A new window will open providing you a bunch of options.

You will see the file system and the storage capacity of your flash drive in this window. The file system can either be FAT32 or NTFS while the flash drive’s name would be shown as the volume label. Click Start without making any changes to the settings.

Step 5: Let the format process finish which can take a few minutes to complete. The flash drive’s size would determine the time taken by the format process. Don’t disconnect the USB flash drive until the format process is completed.

Step 6: Eject your flash drive from the USB port after the Format Successful message has been displayed on the screen.

Formatting will erase the flash drive’s data completely. However, do keep in mind that data recovery software can be used for recovering the data erased from the flash drive using formatting and deleting options. Simply deleting the files would be enough if the files on the flash drive aren’t worth much but using a data erasure tool becomes a must if the flash drive holds sensitive data belonging to your clients.

To sum it up, flash drives are extremely useful for quick transfer of data but need to be wiped from time to time to make space for new data. Moreover, wiping the flash drive is also necessary to prevent data leakage if the flash drive is lost or gets in the wrong hands. In order to wipe flash drive, you either need to format it several times or use a third-party data erasure tool. Since data erasing tools like Stellar BitRaser for File can permanently erase data from flash drives and ensure that it can’t be recovered, using them is a much better option.

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