Erasing all the files on your hard drive can be done using different types of methods. But, not all of these methods are safe to use. You have to remember that wiping all the data and files on your hard drive can bring your computer back to its default settings or its factory settings, meaning, the computer will be reset.
Most people think that resetting and rebooting is the same – it’s not. Rebooting will just restart your computer, shutting it down and starting it back again without any changes in the settings. But, if you reset your computer, on the other hand, all your data including your Wifi network details, customized username, passwords, and other changed settings will be removed or deleted.
But, the good thing about wiping your hard drive is that it will work faster and malware or viruses will be deleted if there’s any. If you don’t know how to safely wipe your hard drive, here’s how.
Important Note: Formatting your drive or deleting your files are not the same as wiping all the data and files on your hard drive. That is why you should always make a backup of your files, especially the important ones so you can be on the safe side. Save your product keys, videos, music, photos, important documents, and files to the cloud or to an extra hard drive.
Wiping a Hard Drive
1. On your computer, click the Windows Start button. It is located at the bottom-left corner of your screen, with an icon of the Windows logo.
2. Go to the Settings in the Windows Start menu. Its icon is gear-shaped, located at the top of the power button.
3. The menu for Windows Settings will be shown. Go to the Update & Security option under the Windows Settings menu.
4. On the left side of your screen, look for the Recovery option.
5. A list of options will appear on the Recovery menu. On top of the list is the Reset this PC option. Click the Get Started button under it.
6. A pop-up window will appear on your screen, giving you an option to select whether to keep your files or to remove everything. Choose the Remove Everything option to proceed.
7. Additional settings will be shown on the screen. Click the Change Settings under the options so you can choose which drives to erase and which data to erase as well.
You can choose between two ways under the option of data erasure:
- Remove files and clean the drive – If you are selling your computer, this type of data and drive erasure is recommended. However, you have to wait a little longer because it can take a few hours to finish.
- Just remove my files – If you don’t want to wait for long hours just to reset your computer, this is recommended. However, this is less secure than the first option.
You can choose between erasing all the drives on your computer or the drives that Windows is installed on, under the option of data drives. If you have more than one drive, this is applicable. But, if you only have one, this isn’t necessary.
8. On the Warning page, click Next.
9. Click Reset as well if required.