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Where Do All Your Deleted Files Go? [Video]

3 Years Ago By Richard Darell

Ever since the first personal computer was introduced, there have always been two core features available. Those are “create” and “delete.” If these two features weren’t present, little of our creativity implemented through our computers would be possible. We all know what happens to our files when we create them, but do you know what happens to your deleted files? The question is whether or not we can comprehend the complexity of what deleted files go through.

It’s easy to think that deleted files are just deleted, and that they simply cease to exist anymore. That’s where we are all wrong. I am sure most of you have heard of someone who had the worst happen to them, which of course is that their entire hard drive went kaput. Usually you would immediately think that all those files are completely gone, right? Well, in most cases, they are still there and can be restored with the right care and software.

When it comes to deleted files, it’s a little bit different. If you think that when you delete your files they are gone forever, meaning no one will ever be able to open them again, you’re wrong. Even though you delete your files, they are still there. They have just been marked unavailable. The file in itself is still there taking up space, but the space that it allocates is marked available. This means that until another file is saved on the same sectors as your deleted file, it’s still going to be there. This of course means that with the right software, you can always resurrect deleted files as long as they have not been overwritten too many times.

You can even restore a file after overwritting it 35 times in some rare cases. That’s because part of the data is still available on random sectors on the hard drive itself. Have a look at this educational and quite intriguing video from YouTuber Vsauce. It will tell you all about where our deleted files go once they have been deleted. If you want to make sure your files are completely deleted, well you either have to crush your hard drive into teeny tiny pieces or overwrite your entire hard drive at least a couple hundred times, if even that is enough these days.

Vsauce’s What Happens To Deleted Files?

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One Comment

Mind

July 30th, 2013

Melting hard drives should “delete” permanently, no?

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