Avast Antivirus: Data Shredder

Data Shredder

Access this feature from: PrivacyData Shredder

Data Shredder allows you to irreversibly erase your files or whole drives, so that there is no way for anyone to restore and misuse your data.

Note: Data Shredder is available in Avast Ultimate and Avast Premier only.

Learn more about Data Shredder

When you erase a hard drive, or delete a file using standard tools, only a reference to its data is removed from the file system. Simply deleting sensitive files, such as user data or licensed software, may not be safe as there are tools capable of restoring deleted files.

Data Shredder overwrites files with meaningless data multiple times before deleting them which prevents data from being recovered. Data Shredder is especially useful when selling/donating your computers or hard drives.

Shred selected files

This option irreversibly erases individual files or entire folders from your hard drive. Once data is shredded, there is no way to recover it.

  1. Click Shred selected files.
  2. Select a file path or tick a file to shred it from the folder, then click OK to confirm your choice. You can select single files by expanding a folder, or select an entire folder.
  3. Click Yes, continue to irreversibly erase the file(s).
  4. Click OK to return to the main screen.

The speed of the shredding process depends on the amount of space to shred and the shredding method. The shredding method can be selected in settings. Read more...

Note: You can also shred an individual file by right-clicking on a file and selecting the Shred using Avast option from the context menu.

Shred whole drive

This option irreversibly erases an entire drive and all data stored on it. Once data is shredded, there is no way to recover it.

  1. Click Shred whole drive.
  2. Select the drive you want to shred.
  3. Click Yes, continue to irreversibly erase the drive.
  4. Click OK to return to the main screen.

The speed of the shredding process depends on the amount of space to shred and the shredding method. The shredding method can be selected in settings. Read more...

Note: You must reformat the partition after the process is complete to make it usable again.

Shred deleted files

The Shred deleted files option irreversibly erases the remains of previously deleted files. This is useful if you have already used a standard delete method, such as manually deleting the files.

  1. Select Shred deleted files.
  2. Select a drive that you want to erase the remains from.
  3. Click Yes, continue.
  4. Click OK to return to the main screen.

The speed of the shredding process depends on the amount of space to shred and the shredding method. The shredding method can be selected in settings. Read more...

Manage settings

Go to MenuSettingsComponents and click Customize next to Data Shredder to adjust shredding methods (Algorithm settings) for each of the following tabs:

  • Shred files: permanently erases individual files or entire folders. Read more...
  • Shred free space: permanently erases an entire drive and all data stored on it. Read more...
  • Shred partitions: permanently erases the remains of previously deleted files. Read more...

Troubleshoot issues

Data Shredder may not be able to shred certain files due to insufficient access rights. In such cases, we recommend deleting a file manually, and then using Data Shredder to Shred deleted files.