How Can I Really Delete All Data on a USB Stick? 1
/ By Vlad Tabaranu / Data Recovery / 0 Comments

How Can I Really Delete All Data on a USB Stick?

If you need to remove all files from a USB drive, there are two uncomplicated methods: deletion and formatting. Both techniques are speedy and simple, but neither can totally eliminate files from the drive.

This means some data may be retrieved after formatting, potentially leading to a privacy leak. Therefore, you need to be extremely mindful when handling this situation.


Formatting a USB drive is an essential operation that all computer users must perform to correct errors on their storage devices. Nonetheless, it should be noted that formatting will not remove data from the stick; thus, data can still be recovered with specialized software.

To format a USB drive, the first option is Disk Management – an integrated system utility in Windows Vista/7/8/10. To open Disk Management, right-click your desktop icon and choose “Manage” from the context menu.

Another way to format a USB stick is with a disk partitioning tool. However, this may be too complex for users without much experience with command lines; thus, we suggest backing up your files before trying this method.

Disk partitioning tools are command-line programs that enable people to partition hard drives and other storage media. Not only does this provide an easier alternative for those unfamiliar with using command lines, but it can also permanently wipe a drive clean.

Disk Partition offers two methods for formatting a drive: quick format or full format. The former deletes file records and scans the drive for bad sectors, while the latter does the same without scanning. While the former is faster, it may not be suitable for USB drives containing sensitive data.

If you don’t want to use either of the formats above, the Disk Partition’s clean command can be used instead. While this method is safer than formatting, it isn’t quite as fast or comprehensive as formatting.

Alternatively, you can use a command-line tool such as fdisk to zero out partitions on your USB drive. This method is effective but time-consuming; to begin, identify your device and partition, then execute several commands.


USB sticks are a convenient and secure way to store and transport data, but they may also present security risks. For instance, they might contain sensitive information which could be used against you; thus, it’s essential that these drives be completely erased before selling or giving away.

Erasing data from a USB stick can be challenging due to how quickly flash drives move data to unused components within them. Fortunately, there are tools available that make this task simpler.

First, format the drive. While not necessary, this step helps guarantee all data on the drive is deleted.

Windows allows you to do this by right-clicking on the drive and choosing “Format.” Unchecking the “Quick Format” box will allow for a more thorough scan, guaranteeing all data has been deleted from the drive.

Mac users will require Disk Utility to delete data from USB drives. While this utility can delete information on USB drives, formatting the drive afterwards is necessary in order for it to be usable again.

Linux systems can perform the same operation with badblocks. This command uses four passes to write data to the drive, which may take some time but does a great job of deleting all content from the device.

After some time has elapsed, you should be able to view the completion percentage for disk wipe. Once complete, you can safely eject your device.

One potential drawback to using this method: you may need to create a new partition on your device. On Linux, fdisk can do this for you; however, be mindful of its format and size when doing so.

Wiping data from a USB flash drive is an effective way to protect your privacy and prevent criminals from accessing it. It may also shield you against identity theft and other financial issues. Furthermore, wiping out data will free up space on the device so other files can take priority.


USB flash drives are ideal storage devices for photos, videos, music and other types of files. Not only are they lightweight and portable, but also easy to transport – making them the ideal solution for those needing a fast way to transfer data quickly.

However, they can sometimes be infected with write protection, which prevents you from writing to the device without a special key. If this occurs to you, it can be an annoying and frustrating experience.

Good news! You can easily remove write protection from your USB stick. Depending on which operating system you have, there are several methods available.

Mac users can utilize Disk Utility to remove write protection from a USB drive by erasing and formatting it. However, remember that this process deletes any data on the device so make sure to back it up beforehand.

Another option is the BitLocker feature in Windows 7 and later versions. This tool helps encrypt your hard disk drive, but can also remove write protection from USB drives. However, it’s somewhat slow and may cause issues with older computers.

Finally, Linux users can unlock write protection through a terminal window. To do this, launch the terminal and type lsblk in a command line window or simply type term and hit enter on your keyboard.

Once the window opens, take note of the storage capacity of your USB device as displayed onscreen. Compare this with the Size column to see how much room remains.

If the disk still has write protection, it’s safe to assume your USB drive has been infected with a file-system virus or malware. Fortunately, you can resolve this problem quickly and securely.

If the issue persists, contact your computer manufacturer for assistance. Their support team may have a special tool to remove write protection from a USB drive and could offer an alternative storage solution more compatible with your machine.


USB sticks are small storage devices that can be conveniently plugged into a computer. Unlike hard drives, they don’t contain moving parts and so are less susceptible to breakage or damage. Unfortunately, they remain vulnerable to both damage and data loss.

If you accidentally delete files on a USB stick, there are ways to recover them. The most reliable method is using data recovery software.

Reliable software should be able to scan your USB drive for deleted files and display the recovered ones. Furthermore, it should support a variety of file types and file systems.

Recovering data from a USB stick can be challenging, but it is possible if you take the right steps and are careful. First and foremost, stop using the drive immediately upon discovering that it has been deleted. This will help ensure the recovery process goes more smoothly in the future.

Once removed and stored safely, you can then have your hard drive repaired or recovered with lost files. Although this task can take some time, the effort will provide you with peace of mind in the end.

Another option is to try using the command-line utility “chkdsk”, which is available in Windows versions 10.3, 8.1 and 8. If your operating system is older, this tool can restore an older file version without having to reinstall all drivers.

The tool will run in the background and display all drives plugged into your PC. Once you locate the one containing the deleted file, simply unplug it and re-plug it back in; this will reinstall drivers and ensure all files are accessible again.

If your computer is having difficulty recognizing the USB drive, try changing its drive letter. This should make it simpler for the machine to recognize and access its contents.

If this doesn’t solve the issue, there could be an internal issue with your USB drive. This could be caused by either a broken connector or issues with the NAND memory chip inside of the device itself.