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HOME » Faq » FAQ - Windows 8.1 and 8 »  ««« FAQ 173 OF 232 »»»

Prevent Recovery of deleted files under Windows 8.1 / 10 without additional software!

The solution is simple to wipe in Windows 8.1 / 10 without third-party tools to clearing free space and prevent recovery of files and folders!

If you don't  want use third-party tools, like the freeware ... BlankAndSecure to prevent recovery of files and folders in Windows 8.1 or 8.

Use cipher via Command Prompt in Windows 8.1. For Example:  cipher /W:C:\ to prevent recovery of files and folders on C:\ Drive. (... see Image-1)

For a full access on drive: ... Windows 8 or 8.1 cmd.exe (command prompt) in administrator mode!

(Image-1) Prevent recovery of files and folders in Windows 8.1 or 8
Prevent recovery of files and folders in Windows 8.1 or 8

When you delete files or folders on Windows 8.1, the file and folder data is not initially removed from the hard disk. Instead, the space on the disk that was occupied by the deleted data is "deallocated."

After it is deallocated, the space is available for use when new data is written to the disk. Until the space is overwritten, it is possible to recover the deleted data by using a low-level disk editor or data-recovery software.

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
(c) 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Hrg\Desktop>cipher /?
Displays or alters the encryption of directories [files] on NTFS partitions.

CIPHER [/E | /D | /C]
 [/S:directory] [/B] [/H] [pathname [...]]

CIPHER /K [/ECC:256|384|521]

CIPHER /R:filename [/SMARTCARD] [/ECC:256|384|521]


CIPHER /W:directory

CIPHER /X[:efsfile] [filename]


CIPHER /ADDUSER [/CERTHASH:hash | /CERTFILE:filename | /USER:username]
 [/S:directory] [/B] [/H] [pathname [...]]


 [/S:directory] [/B] [/H] [pathname [...]]

CIPHER /REKEY [pathname [...]]

/B        Abort if an error is encountered. By default, CIPHER continues
executing even if errors are encountered.
/C        Displays information on the encrypted file.
/D        Decrypts the specified files or directories.
/E        Encrypts the specified files or directories. Directories will be
marked so that files added afterward will be encrypted. The
encrypted file could become decrypted when it is modified if the
parent directory is not encrypted. It is recommended that you
encrypt the file and the parent directory.
/H        Displays files with the hidden or system attributes. These files
are omitted by default.
/K        Creates a new certificate and key for use with EFS. If this
option is chosen, all the other options will be ignored.

Note: By default, /K creates a certificate and key that conform
to current group policy. If ECC is specified, a self-signed
certificate will be created with the supplied key size.

/N        This option only works with /U. This will prevent keys being
updated. This is used to find all the encrypted files on the
local drives.
/R        Generates an EFS recovery key and certificate, then writes them
to a .PFX file (containing certificate and private key) and a
.CER file (containing only the certificate). An administrator may
add the contents of the .CER to the EFS recovery policy to create
the recovery key for users, and import the .PFX to recover
individual files. If SMARTCARD is specified, then writes the
recovery key and certificate to a smart card. A .CER file is
generated (containing only the certificate). No .PFX file is

Note: By default, /R creates an 2048-bit RSA recovery key and
certificate. If ECC is specified, it must be followed by a
key size of 256, 384, or 521.

/S        Performs the specified operation on the given directory and all
files and subdirectories within it.
/U        Tries to touch all the encrypted files on local drives. This will
update user's file encryption key or recovery keys to the current
ones if they are changed. This option does not work with other
options except /N.
/W        Removes data from available unused disk space on the entire
volume. If this option is chosen, all other options are ignored.
The directory specified can be anywhere in a local volume. If it
is a mount point or points to a directory in another volume, the
data on that volume will be removed.
/X        Backup EFS certificate and keys into file filename. If efsfile is
provided, the current user's certificate(s) used to encrypt the
file will be backed up. Otherwise, the user's current EFS
certificate and keys will be backed up.
/Y        Displays your current EFS certificate thumbprint on the local PC.
/ADDUSER  Adds a user to the specified encrypted file(s). If CERTHASH is
provided, cipher will search for a certificate with this SHA1
hash. If CERTFILE is provided, cipher will extract the
certificate from the file. If USER is provided, cipher will
try to locate the user's certificate in Active Directory Domain
Clears the calling user's EFS key cache on the specified server.
If servername is not provided, cipher clears the user's key cache
on the local machine.
/REKEY    Updates the specified encrypted file(s) to use the configured
EFS current key.
Removes a user from the specified file(s). CERTHASH must be the
SHA1 hash of the certificate to remove.

directory A directory path.
filename  A filename without extensions.
pathname  Specifies a pattern, file or directory.
efsfile   An encrypted file path.

Used without parameters, CIPHER displays the encryption state of the
current directory and any files it contains. You may use multiple directory
names and wildcards. You must put spaces between multiple parameters.


In Windows 8.1 the Administrators can use Cipher.exe to encrypt and decrypt data on drives that use the NTFS file system and to view the encryption status of files and folders from a command prompt. An updated version of the Cipher tool has been released for Windows 2000, and is included with Windows XP. The updated version adds another security option.

This new option is the ability to overwrite data that you have deleted so that it cannot be recovered and accessed.

FAQ 173: Updated on: June 24th 2015 12:22
FAQ: Windows 8.1 and 8
168. How to show administrative  Management Tools in the Windows 8.1 Start Tiles!
169. The file associations on Windows 8.1 Metro applications are frustrating!
170. Can I disable the lock screen Windows 8.1 (remove)?
171. Change or ad the language for the keyboard layout in Windows 8.1?
172. MS-Explorer search shortcut on the desktop in Windows 8.1/10!
173. Prevent Recovery of deleted files under Windows 8.1 / 10 without additional software! ***
174. How to find out if i have windows 8.1 or 8.0 version?
175. Shortcut to Restart Windows 8.1 / 10!
176. Change font size and font type for programs in Windows 8.1/8!
177. The mouse track trails in Windows 8.1 and 10, can I disable this?
178. Restart the MS Explorer in Windows 8.1 / 10 (Reset, Filemanager)!


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Asked questions on this answer:
  1. Prevent recovery of deleted of files?
  2. How to recover deleted files on windows 8.1 with out third party software?
  3. Windows 8 cipher?
  4. Cipher /w recovery?
  5. Will cipher stop recovering?
  6. Deleted files eraser software for windows 8.1?
  7. Cipher /w windows 8?
  8. Windows 8.1 secure wipe free space?
  9. Don't recovery of programs in windows 8.1?
  10. Windows 8.1 wipe free space?
  11. Wipe free space windows 8 and win 10?
  12. Windows 8.1 and win 10 cipher command?
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