5 best deep clean hard drive software

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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As technology progresses, a lot of things changes about computers from one generation to the next. Their power, their accessibility and price, and even their size, all change in a relatively small period of time. However, one thing that never changes about computers is the fact that they eventually get really messy.

By that, we don’t mean users spilling their soda over the keyboard or there being a large amount of dust on the monitor. What we are referring to is the fact that computers and more specifically their hard drives always get clustered and obstruct the well functioning of the entire system.

Cluttered hard drives

No matter how big a hard drive is in size, it will eventually run out of free space due to the fact that there is way more stuff on the Internet for users to download than hard drive manufacturers are able to fit in their products. Even if you have 2 TB of free space, it’s still just a matter of time before that runs out too. And when it does, sorting out all the files and information and finding the junk you need to throw away amidst important documents and data won’t be so easy without help.

Hard drive cleaners

That brings us to the main subject of this article, which is the importance of having a hard drive cleaning service available on your PC. Inevitably a time will come when you are going to need it and it’s great to have it prepared. Maybe you need it right now, and don’t know what kind of software you should be looking for. Fear not, as we are here to provide you with the top picks for the role of hard drive cleaner.

There are many good picks out there but there are also ones that don’t do so great and it’s good to be able to differentiate them. That being said, let’s see what the top picks are for when you are in dire need of software to help you clean your hard drive completely and sort junk from important data.

1.  CCleaner (recommended)

In many areas, CCleaner is pretty much the only popular solution for cleaning out your computer’s hard drive. There’s a good reason for that, as CCleaner provides great options for doing that and the task can be easily completed with a nice array of extra features on top.

CCleaner offers multiple options for when it comes to cleaning your hard drive and one of them is called Drive Wipe. In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Drive Wipe will completely erase data from your hard drive and you won’t have to worry about traces being left that could be accessed by skilled individuals that know their way around the computer more than the average Joe.  You can use this software to only erase the empty part of your partitions. This is done for the aforementioned reason of making sure that there’s nothing left there.

When deleting stuff, CCleaner offers users a wide range of options that come with different numbers of passes. The more passes it has, the more effective an option is but also the more time it will take it to get the job done. This is pretty much giving users the option to choose depending on how much time they have on their hands.

Of course, there’s a certain threshold that dictates how effective a number of extra passes would be in comparison to the previous tier. The higher you go, the more the whole thing loses its efficiency and worth. That being said, those that want to be as sure as possible that information has been completely wiped from the disk can use a wiping process with a higher number of passes, even if it won’t do a lot more after a while.

CCleaner also offers some other nice features that allow users to completely refresh their systems such as the ability to repair registries. The main focus of users that download this software, however, remains to clear out partitions and making sure that what is deleted stays deleted. When you find your computer running sluggish, this is definitely good software to keep in mind.

2. Shredit

Although it sounds like an appropriate name for a program that aims to do the complete opposite of what Reddit does (shredding stuff vs. writing stuff) it’s quite a long shot to think that this was the actual inspiration for the software name.

Regardless of where its name comes from, one thing is for sure: Shredit is a meticulous application that allows users to safely delete files which are never to be seen or read again. Just as the name implies, information is shredded and is rendered absolute in a manner of moments.

One of the things that Shredit excels at is the fact that it can prioritize large numbers of files or individual files all the same. Users that are looking to delete specific files can thus have Shredit only focus on one item at a time, or have it shred things in bulk.

It can do even more than that however, as there doesn’t have to be any information visible on a partition for Shredit to be able to clean it up. Yes, Shredit can also be used to clean up free space, which will help make sure that whatever was there isn’t coming back. When it comes to how intense the process is, the software lets users choose for themselves just how thorough the want it to be.

The software comes with multiple governmental standards which can somewhat attest for its capabilities to completely remove information from a hard drive. Additionally, those that want a copy can either go for the digital version or the CD version. The former

The former is, of course, cheaper and you will also get it instantly which makes it a lot more convenient than having to wait for the physical one, not to mention that today not all machines even have CD-ROMs. For instance, a lot of laptops today completely ditch the CD-ROM in favor of other attributes.

3. BleachBit

From a paid program we bounce back to the free software space. Our host for returning to this category is BleachBit, a service that is quite popular and for good reason: It provides excellent data wiping and security protection features that make users love it.

There are multiple reasons for which a person might be in need of using BleachBit. To start off, it’s what you would need when you don’t have any more room available on your computer’s hard drive. As mentioned slightly previously, BleachBit also does a fine job in making sure that the user’s privacy is respected and protected. To do this, BleachBit makes sure that what a user deletes won’t see the light of day again, making it thus very efficient for removing sensitive information.

BleachBit is good for things other than removing junk files as well. For instance, it’s great for completely wiping free space clean. In fact, the software provides two distinct methods through which someone could wipe the disk clean, even the free space portion.

The easiest way in which you can achieve this is by navigating to the actual option that reads “Wipe Free Space”. It can be found in the File tab once you open the app and it’s quick and effective. The other method is not as straight forward but depending on each individual’s style of navigating around a computer, it might be the easier or preferred solution for some.

The second way in which you can wipe a drive’s free space is by navigating to the Free Disk Space section of the app and using the Clean icon to launch the process.

The intriguing part about this whole deal is that there is no actual Cancel button so one might be tricked into believing that once the process is started, there’s no going back. In a theoretical sense, yes, that’s the way things are. However, in a practical sense, you can completely cancel the process, just not with a Cancel button. Simply close the program and the wiping process will cease immediately.

4. Disk Wipe

Disk Wipe is a great solution for wiping a hard drive clean if you want to be safe about it. There are several things that bring Disk Wipe to the forefront as far as features are concerned, and when it comes to differentiating itself it definitely has its strong points.

One of the things that make Disk Wipe so appealing is the fact that it comes with a bunch of different algorithms that are used depending on which is called for. An example of such algorithm would be the Peter Guttman algorithm which is very well known throughout the drive cleaner industry and the communities revolving around these services.

It is considered one of the most thorough methods of wiping a disk clean, and thus it is requested in many formal instances where there are certain standards regarding the process of wiping a disk clean of very important data. There are also other algorithms such as DoD 5220 – 22.M, which adds more diversity to the overall “roster” of possibilities brought to users by Disk Wipe.

As with any type of software, some users might find it annoying or cumbersome that they have to install another program just so they can get the utility they need briefly. That’s not going to be an issue with Disk Wipe as it is a portable program. It’s one of its best features and a lot of people are attracted to the idea of not having to install the software before being able to use it.

This definitely speeds up the process as you don’t have to sit through a pre-processing process if that makes sense. Also, it’s much easier to carry around and use it on other devices, which can come in handy big time if you’re planning of providing the same service to a large number of computers (like a business office for instance, where there is a whole network of computers).

5. Disk Redactor

Being overly complicated and bombarding users with options and features is not really ideal, but those that give Disk Redactor a chance won’t have to worry about that. The software is simple and can be easily used while it still provides all the necessary features and functionalities.

It’s a great fit for any user that is looking to completely wipe away any deleted files, and it even provides some options as to how you want the software to go about the process. Depending on what you need most, having the correct option at the ready will prove most useful. That being said, some of the options regarding the wipe process allow users to double the efforts, meaning that the app will wipe the disk twice.

If you’re not certain about something until you can prove without a trace of doubt that you’re right, the “run check disk” feature sounds like it was made especially for you. It allows users to easily verify the state of the disk and to assure themselves or someone else that the information which was supposed to be wiped clean is indeed no longer present in any form on the drive.

There are disk wiping solutions out there that can really go overboard when it comes to how many passes they incorporate in their wiping process. However, Disk Redactor keeps it simple and provides a 1 pass wipe for the free version. While that’s not officially confirmed, it would be the only plausible option since the paid version is known to allow the enabling of a 2-pass wipe. It wouldn’t make much sense if there was no difference in wipe thoroughness between the free and paid versions.

In conclusion, those that are looking for an efficient way in which they can wipe their disks clean surely have their pick of the litter. There are even more software solutions available that have not been covered in this article, but these are some of the best available. Each of them brings something to the table and possesses certain characteristics that make it better for one user or another.

Digital information can be the bane of your existence in this day and age especially if it’s not disposed of properly and ends up in the wrong hands. There’s no point in taking risks and given the fact that you can get quality disk wiping services for free, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make sure that there’s no way to recover deleted information.