Technology

How to Permanently Delete Files on Mac

We know that Macs are known for their reliability, and they last for a longer period of time. But we may want to switch to a newer Mac, if it is too old or is not capable to run the latest version of the operating system. The very first thing that we want to make sure before reselling or replacing our Mac is that all the important files are permanently deleted.

The need to permanently and securely delete important files from the Mac keeps us away from the risk of data theft. This even makes sure that our personal information cannot be accessed by the next owner. 

In this article we will discuss a few methods to permanently delete data from your Mac. 

Delete Files on Mac Using TRIM 

You can erase important data and files from your Mac permanently by following the steps below:

  • Reach to Application > Utilities and double click on the Terminal app to open it.
  • Now type “sudo trimforce enable” command on the Terminal app to enable TRIM.
  • After typing the command, an important notice will display on screen. After reading the warning message you can type ‘y’ and press ‘Enter’ if you want to proceed further.
  • In the next step, you will be notified that your system will reboot immediately after the process is complete. Type ‘y’ and press ‘Enter’ again, if you want to continue.

Note: Using TRIM command to securely delete data can lead to unintended data loss or data corruption. This method do not allow users to select and delete individual files and folders from the Mac hard drive.

[You can skip to the last method in this article if you wish to individually erase each file and folder on your Mac without taking the risk of unintended data loss or data corruption].

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Image result for sudo trimforce enable

Delete Files on Mac with Disk Utility

Another method to permanently erase your important files on Mac is by using the Disk Utility application. You can follow below steps to erase Mac files with Disk Utility:

  • Go to Application> Utilities and then search for the Disk Utility application.
  • Double click on the Disk Utility application and now select the hard drive volume from which you want to delete the files.

Note: You can only choose the volume drive partitions which do not have the OS installed in them.

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  • Now click on the ‘Erase’ button located at the top of the window.
  • In the next step, enter a volume ‘Name’, choose a ‘Format,’ and then click on the ‘Security Options…’ tab.
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  • Now, move the slider until it reaches ‘Most Secure’ mark and then click ‘Ok’. (The ‘Most Secure’ security option is used to remove each and every piece of information available on the Mac hard drive.
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  • Click on the ‘Erase’ button located at the right side of the pop up window.

Note: By using Disk Utility application you can successfully erase your important files from your Mac hard drive. But you cannot choose specific files and folders by using this method. 

[You can skip to the next method in this article if you wish to individually erase each file and folder on your Mac].

Delete Files on Mac Using BitRaser File Eraser

The most efficient and secure way to permanently erase files on your Mac is by using BitRaser File Eraser software. The software has been designed to remove all your sensitive files beyond recovery using 17 international data sanitization algorithms including DoD 5220.22-M, NATO, etc. The software also uses two verification methods to makes sure that data has been erased completely.

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BitRaser File Eraser permanently deletes files and folders from Mac and Windows PC by overwriting the data with 0s and 1s. By using this software, you can easily erase your personal information from your Mac including financial information, contacts, emails, documents, etc.

Follow below steps to permanently delete files and folders from your Mac hard drive using BitRaser File Eraser:

  • Install the BitRaser File Eraser on your Mac and then launch the software.
  • A window will come up and you have to Toggle ON ‘Files & Folder’ option if you want to erase specifics files and folders from the hard drive volume. Toggle OFF rest of the options.

Bitraser for File Interface

  • Now click on the gear icon located at the top of the window and select ‘Settings’.
  • Select the ‘Erasure Algorithm’, ‘Verification’ and ‘Certification Path’ from the drop down lists as per the requirement and then click ‘OK’.
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  • Click on the ‘Next’ button and choose the files and folders that you want to delete permanently from the desired hard drive volume.
  • After selecting the files, click on the ‘Erase’ button located at the bottom right corner.
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You can use Bitraser File Eraser to not only erase specific files and folders on your Mac drives, but you can also get rid of sensitive information that is hidden on your Mac in the form of Activities data, system traces, and application traces. This sensitive data usually contains confidential information including saved passwords, credit/debit card details, browsing history, social media activities, chats, system usage patterns, etc.    

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Follow below steps to permanently erase hidden sensitive information stored on your Mac:

  • Go to the previous window by clicking on the backward button located at the top-left corner and Toggle ON ‘Unused Space’ and ‘Traces’ option. Toggle OFF other options at this time.
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  • Click on the ‘Next’ button and choose the sensitive information that you want to erase from your Mac hard drive. You can choose files and folders listed under ‘Traces’ and ‘Unused Space’ categories. 
  • Click ‘Erase’ to get rid of the sensitive information permanently.
C:\Users\nikhil.gupta\Desktop\traces.png

If you want to get a digitally signed certificate of erasure after using the software, you can Toggle ON the ‘Search & Erase’ option on the very first screen. You can use this certificate as a document of proof that the data you have destructed cannot be recovered back by any medium.

Must Read: Best Tool for Recovering Deleted Files

Conclusion:

If you want to resell your old Mac because it is too old or you just want to switch to a newer model, always secure erase your important files and folders using a secure file erasure tool.

You can use inbuilt Mac applications to securely wipe your confidential data, but in that case, you won’t be allowed to erase specific files and folders. This may ultimately result in unintended data loss or data corruption. So, the best option is to use a secure file eraser such as BitRaser File Eraser. The software has been designed to permanently erase specific files and folders using 17 international data erasure standards and two verification methods.