How to wipe clean a usb flash drive?
Wipe clean a USB flash drive is not just format or delete it in Windows, but overwrite each block in it. We know not everyone of you would like to give away USB to others, we still have guide on how to make a USB drive empty for yourself using.
In this passage, we'll share 4 ways to clean a USB flash drive:
- Clean USB drive in diskpart command prompt
- Format USB in Windows File explorer
- Delete all files from USB flash drive
- Wipe clean the USB flash drive
The first 3 ways are methods to make the USB drive empty, deleted files still can be retrieved by data recovery software; The last method is to wipe clean everything in the drive beyond recovery.
1Clean USB drive in diskpart command prompt
1. Run diskpart tool, in Windows 10, you can right-click on the start menu and click on Command Prompt (Admin); In Windows 7, type cmd in after pressing the Windows button and right-click it to run as administrator.
2. Type the following commands one by one: diskpart > list disk > select disk 1 > clean > exit.
3. Remove the USB drive and it has nothing in it now.
If there's Windows PowerShell here in the right-click menu instead of Command Prompt, it's because of the Windows 10 Creators Update. Windows PowerShell can still do the diskpart job, just run the Admin option of it and you'll get the same result too; Or you can change the display in Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Off to Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the start button or press Windows key + X.
2 Format USB in Windows File explorer
1. Double-click This PC on the desktop (Windows 10) or Computer (Windows 7).
2. Right-click on the USB flash drive and choose format, then click Yes to the warning message and click Start
If it’s the USB hard drive instead of flash drive you’re about to format, you can open Windows Disk management to format the external hard drive within many partitions, since the Windows tool will list all the partitions according to disks and it’s easy to find out which partition belongs to USB disk.
Open Disk management: press Windows key + R and type diskmgmt.msc; in the disk map, right-click disk 1’s partitions and choose format.
In Windows 7, Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10, you can directly double-click the ISO file we created in ByebyeData Eraser to open Windows Disc Image Burner and do the followings when you plugged in the blank CD/DVD:
3 Delete all files from USB flash drive
1. Open Windows file explorer: double-click This PC or just press Windows Key + E.
2. Go into the USB drive and select all the files and folders by press Ctrl + A or click Organize > Select all (Windows 7); click Home tab > and Select all (Windows 10)
3. Press the Delete button or Shift + Delete, or just delete all files from the right-click option.
4 Wipe clean the USB flash drive
The aforementioned 3 guides are to empty the USB hard drive not to clear it, you may have known the differences that formatted or deleted files can still be recovered by third-party programs while wiping can prevent such things happen. So here’re the steps to wipe USB clean:
1. Download ByebyeData Eraser Free Edition, install it and run as administrator.
2. Now we have two options for the USB drive, we can either wipe the entire disk or wipe all the files and folders in it. That’s depends on how much free space left on the disk, if you have much of free space there, the option erase files and folders in ByebyeData Eraser will save you much time.
3. Select a wiping method from the security column and click Erase Now to wipe the USB.
Before you erasing disk, please make sure a had a backup of important files, because when erasing starts, everything including files, traces, free space, unused space are permanently overwritten, nothing can be recovered! If you're ready, do as follow to erase everything on the disk, no matter you're boot from CD/USB to erase system disk or run this program normally to erase non-system disk or external hard drive: