3.9 out of 5 stars 3.9 (144 votes)


Windows (All) / Open Source / 18,304 downloads

Eraser is an advanced security tool, which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.

Reviews of Eraser

  1. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing (Apr 13, 2015)

    carlvui is correct, this program causes too many issues to ignore. I've tried most releases of Eraser over recent years and it has made very little improvement.

    A reasonable way of testing these so-called erasure programs is to run various recovery/un-erasure software after you've used them. Often, the results are very telling—and worrying, what's found in the recovered shrapnel is often a little too revealing . (Ideally, you should always test such products this way-or better still, do so with the correct tools on another O/S such a Linux where NTFS isn't protected by the Windows O/S.)

    The first thing to realize is that NTFS volumes cannot be fully cleaned, the data may be erased but traces of your activity often aren't. Moreover, the 'cleaning' ability varies widely from product to product, and Eraser is one of the worst.

    I've had Eraser miss cleaning actual file names and un-erasers have detected traces of files that have not been cleaned. NOTE: by this I'm not saying that where Eraser has actually erased data that the data is recoverable. What I'm saying is that it can miss data, it can leave file names on the disk and it can actually miss files.

    [Note: from my experience, the only reasonably safe way of properly cleaning NTFS volumes is to copy (and hold) the data onto FAT32 or other media–but not NTFS–(to eliminate streams) then properly erase the drive with say DBAN – Darik's Boot And Nuke, then repartition and format the drive with a 'hard' full format such as

    format [drv:] /x /p:1

    This writes zeros to each and every sector but it's slow, then copy the wanted data back onto the original drive. Needless to say, this is why people use such programs as Eraser. Again, be warned, they're not perfect, and there are significantly better programs than Eraser such as Jetico's BCWipe.]

  2. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing (Oct 26, 2013)

    This software causes more problems than good. Works with incidents, have display problems, crashes when window minimized, and produces more and more incidents and works less reliably after each use and reboot of the PC.
    Hard to uninstall i.e. too much leftover that I had to remove manually files, registry and msconfig startup.

    Used on Windows 7 64BIT.

  3. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing (Dec 15, 2009)

    I have to agree with emanresU deriseD, as this latest so-called Final release of Eraser is buggy as Hell! The progie kept popping up an error message then shutting down. Even 5.8.8 gave loads of error messages, so had to go back to 5.8.8 Beta1, which seems stable.
    If you do manage to get Ver. 6 to work, which is highly unlikely, don't use the wipe free space feature or you will be sorry!!

    When you look at who the developer is, you will understand why this crapware is so buggy. I left a message on the web site, telling Joel to go back to the drawing board and Not release his garbage until he properly tested it.

  4. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.8.8 Beta 1 (Dec 7, 2009)

    CCleaner has wipe empty space function in the new releases, I tested recovering wiped data by CCleaner and couldn't recover anything.
    Did the same with eraser and recovered some :(
    Used Eraser 5.8.8 Beta 1

  5. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.8.8 Beta 1 (Jul 15, 2009)

    Still hangs when I try to activate the context menu...

  6. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.8.8 Beta 1 (Jul 10, 2009)

    5 for STILL being an open source package which btw is at version 6+ beta stage. It uses under 40 MB's standing still on my pc, but that is small potatoes as it never needs to be left running in order to use it. As always with ANY software you use at your own risk.

  7. 1 out of 5 stars
    emanresU deriseD

    Reviewing 5.8.8 Beta 1 (Jul 8, 2009)

    It has been said many times before but it bears repeating: This software hassn't been worth the page it's displayed on since Tolvanen turned it over. What does it take for people to realize this? For me, the annoying bugs are enough (i.e. shell extension problems, stability problems, failure to wipe all selected data). But consider that there was a RELEASE version of this software that was destroying data when free space was being overwritten. If you don't learn your lesson from THAT, you deserve whatever you get.

    1 star for a dishonest and inept developer who obviously don't care about the software, and simply wants to bump the version every so often to get a few donations from idiots.

  8. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing RC5 (Jun 13, 2009)

    Hmm, not sure you've improved this. Causes the system to crash when I try to activate the shell (right mouse click in explorer), and generally seems clunky. Also, it all a bit conspicuous for a privacy/security tool. I'm glad this excellent project is being maintained, but please prefer substance over style!

  9. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing RC5 (Jun 11, 2009)

    I've been using eraser for years too. I'm not jumping into a new version as my old version works so well. The rating is for the version I use, not the new RC. I use Eraser 5.3

  10. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing RC5 (Jun 10, 2009)

    I've been using Eraser version 5.86a for six months or so without any major problems. I've just tried this new version on virtual machine and it crashed twice and it uses like 50 MB of ram even when it's not doing anything. This new version seems to be very poorly programmed. The guy maintaining it rewrote most of the code like he claims and to be honest it seems he f@ck it up.

    'Posted by: Joel, 10 June 2009, 7.00pm, +800 GMT

    Having written almost 25,000 lines of code since the start of our project, v6 was due for a code review. So that's what I did, reviewed the code with the help of a static code analysis tool (FxCop for you developers out there :) ) and fixed all sorts of inconsistencies in the code. This should result in slightly higher performance and better behaviour when Eraser is in use. See the full announcement.'

  11. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing RC4 (Feb 5, 2009)

    I have used earlier versions of Eraser without problems, however, I do have to admit that this current version is unstable enough that I do not feel comfortable letting is do anything. It is quite possible that interference from my firewall and even possibly my other security software may have had something to do with it, but I just don't have the time to troubleshoot it. For now Eraser has to go. Too bad; Eraser had and still does have promise. I will examine it again later.
    I very rarely give a program a 1 rating but I couldn't justify anything higher. It was so unstable and had so much problem with it that I really didn't get out of the starting gate and I didn't trust letting it do anything.

  12. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing RC3 (Jan 6, 2009)

    Been using Eraser for YEARS, on everything from Windows 98 to Vista, with nothing but fantastic results. Tried numerous times to recover files that were wiped with Eraser, but to no avail. My ONLY criticism is that, for some reason, the Erase context menu will not pop up for *.url files. Wish this could be fixed. Still a '5' in my book!

  13. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing RC3 (Jan 6, 2009)

    heres a thought for those who don't trust this program, use sysinternals / msft's sdelete app, simple and effective.

  14. 1 out of 5 stars
    Undesired Username

    Reviewing 5.87 Beta 1 (Jul 8, 2008)

    Ever since Sami Tolvanen handed this project over to someone who obviously has no experience in the subject and little interest in maintaining the software, I don't trust it AT ALL. The forum used to be replete with cases of users losing data, and I do NOT just mean with beta versions. Curious how many of those forum threads have been removed...

    Edit: Against my better judgment, I installed 5.86a (final, NOT beta). I tried erasing some files that were locked, and Eraser offered to handle them upon the next boot. And that next boot was interesting: Nothing but a black screen that hung permanently. Eraser wasn't doing anything, other than screwing up my system.

    NEVER again.

    P.S. reidyn is wrong.

  15. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.87 Beta 1 (Jun 22, 2008)

    I have thought about buying O&O Safe Erase until I found Eraser. Safe Erase is great too, but very similar on functionality. So why pay for something you can have for free?

  16. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.87 Beta 1 (May 22, 2008)

    The best (and free!) erasing program for Windows (including Vista). This project has been around for a number of years and only gets better with each release (except the one which dropped Win98 support!)

    To reidyn: "carefully selected patterns" refers to Peter Gutmann's method of data erasure. It includes eight passes of psuedorandom data along with 27 data pattern writes. All of this information is available in Eraser's help file. Please read it before the next time you write a review like that.

    FYI Eraser includes an option to overwrite with pseudorandom data up to 65535 times.

  17. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.87 Beta 1 (Mar 14, 2008)

    Here's a tip -- forget about the "carefully selected patterns" if you really care about securely erasing your data. Those "carefully selected patterns" make it possible for someone with tools to infer the original data. The only truly irreversible erasure will be via pseudorandom data, which doesn't leave a predictable pattern to peel off.

  18. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.86 (Dec 19, 2007)

    it's a great software, but in the past months it has beens hard to deal with's only me or anyone else cannot see the context menu option for Eraser? I'm WinX 64 bits

  19. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.86 (Dec 10, 2007)

    I used the recycle bin option "library" choice once and after an immediate reboot my slave drive was read as a raw disk of zero bytes. R-Studio fixed that (12 hours of my time later). I will only use it as a portable ap from now on-period.

  20. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.86 (Dec 10, 2007)

    gbjennings, it seems that you rushed through your installation! During the installation you are given the choice NOT to install the bothersom entries in the Reycle Bin Context Menu. You just have to tick the option off.

    In my opinion erasing is now much faster and smoother.

  21. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.86 (Dec 10, 2007)

    It's marginal at best. For one thing, this beast could be improved by giving users a CHOICE of what to show in the Recycle Bin context menu, instead of a gazillion choices. Let us choose ONE method of deletion (via the main program) to show in the Recycle Bin context menu. Thank you very much.

  22. 1 out of 5 stars
    why hello there

    Reviewing 5.86 RC2 (Dec 10, 2007)

    Anyone remember--or worse, get hit by--that bug that destroyed legitimate files when free space was erased? Now, the current author can't even be bothered to get the context menu bugs worked out.

    This is what happens when a program is taken over by someone who is only interested in collecting the donation money.

  23. 2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.86 RC2 (Dec 3, 2007)

    I still use this and maintain it's the best, but I use a 5.7x previous version as I've no confidence in the 5.8x series of Eraser. I don't know what the coder can do to fill me with confidence again but I'll stick to the old version for now.

  24. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.86 RC2 (Nov 30, 2007)

    Installs & runs fine with but one minor bug. After reboot uninstall, the startup eraser.exe -hide command stays in your startup.
    Can be made portable providing you copy the eraser.dll (from sys32) to eraser folder. But no context menu or trash property dialogs. Haven't tested the locked file or unused space features, nor the verify.exe.
    So keeping both the eraser.exe (compressed to 133kb & other exe's) and the complete install minus the scheduler startup option.

  25. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.85 (Oct 29, 2007)

    Install errors but ran fine. Uninstall wants reboot-ughh
    I'll just stick with the portable version 5.82 rev2 which btw never had problem with

  26. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.85 (Oct 29, 2007)

    Was "top class utility" before the current "maintainer" (and I use that term vvvvvvery loosely) took hold of it. Now it's just a problem-riddled joke.

  27. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.84 (Sep 4, 2007)

    top class utility, excellent for safe file removal. it is simple and it does what supposed to do.

  28. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.84 (Aug 9, 2007)

    Shadow Wing: please keep in mind that Letterman's comment was about version 5.82 which is well known for screwing up Windows.

    This bug was fixed in 5.83 so this is no longer an issue.

  29. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.84 (Aug 9, 2007)

    This utility would get a '5' if only it would give the user the option of choosing any or all of the context menu items to install...

  30. 5 out of 5 stars
    Shadow Wing

    Reviewing 5.84 (Aug 8, 2007)

    donmor, people like you should be banned from posting reviews on BetaNews. The simple fact is the program is quite easy to find using the links provided. Considering your difficulties in doing a very simple thing, that ought to automatically discredit anything you have to say. Also, you don't rate a program a one just because you aren't smart enough to find the download link.

    As for Letterman, I am left to presume you have absolutely no clue on how this program works. Next time, RTFM! No one here should be subjected to such tripe.

    As for the program itself, Eraser is top-notch, and deletes files leaving nearly undetectable traces behind. Nothing is absolute, but Eraser comes pretty close, especially when using 7 or 35 pass wipes. Solid, small and gets the job done - 5/5

  31. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.84 (Aug 8, 2007)

    Handy application that I've used for quite some time.

    32-bit release: http://umn.dl.sourceforg...r/EraserSetup584x32.exe

    64-bit release: http://umn.dl.sourceforg...r/EraserSetup584x64.exe

  32. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.84 (Aug 8, 2007)

    It would be nice if a person could find the link and then he could try it out.
    Could not find it on three different sites.

  33. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.82 (Feb 3, 2007)

    Don't waste you time. This program (at least the last version) really suck.

    Wipe Free Space feature corrupted a lot of files.

    Also, made 3 Windows in different laptops work without any text. I could see the windows, but no text. I've fixed it with "Dial-a-fix" -- google it -- and "sfc /scannow".

    You sure shouldn't trust this software.

    And oh: i was able to recover a bunch of "removed" files using "Recuva".

    If earlier this was a good program i don't know, but this current version certainly is not.

  34. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.82 (Jan 15, 2007)

    UPDATE: Eraser 5.82 fixed the bug

  35. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.82 (Dec 31, 2006)

    annoying is an understatement. it corrupted my system folder & was unable to even boot. see ya

  36. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.82 (Dec 26, 2006)

    The annoying context menu bug is STILL present, how can this be?

  37. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.81 (Dec 13, 2006)

    Context menu bugs are still in this build. Will stick with 5.7 for a while longer I guess. It is a shame Eraser got so bad. 5.7 was easily a 5 star product but 5.8 is very very poor.

  38. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.81 (Dec 13, 2006)

    I have have put this release through its paces and on my system (actual 2 desktops and a laptop) no problems. One of the most useful free programs I have found.

  39. 3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.81 (Dec 12, 2006)

    Scary that his was released to the public, but I'm not going to fault it too badly since it is an alpha. BTW, if you need a good drive wiper, try Darik's Boot and Nuke:

  40. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.8 (Sep 4, 2006)

    Yeah, well what do you expect when an author with no security software experience takes over a project like Eraser, then sits on it for years doing absolutely nothing but hoping a few donations keep rolling in his way, and then finally decides to make potentially dangerous changes to it, in hopes of spurring a few more donations? There are bugs in the "final" Eraser 5.8 that were mentioned almost half a year ago. Obviously, this author either doesn't care, isn't competent, or both.

    Stick with Eraser 5.7. Really. My how I wish Sami Tolvanen hadn't abandoned the project. Or that someone else would come along and take it...

  41. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.8 (Jun 19, 2006)

    I have also experience the problem with v5.8 trying to wipe more than just blank space. This issue really should be taken care of or the download removed ASAP. I understand that its a beta but that seems to be something that even an ALPHA version should not do! Every other version is that I've tried was great and I'm sure it will get even better. I am rating it a 1, based only on this version and its HUGE bug.

  42. 1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.8 (Apr 26, 2006)

    While v5.7 was a fine program... v5.8 beta is terrible.

    I mean, the "Erase Unused Space" function (the one that wipes all your free space so nobody can recover anything), actually erases ALL your files from your ENTIRE hard drive.

    That's a pretty huge bug, and it's pretty irresponsible for them to keep that as an available download.

    I wrecked one computer with it...

  43. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.8 (Apr 12, 2006)

    There must be at least half a dozen other utilities out there that claim to do what Eraser does. I've tried them all out just to see for myself and none perform as well or with the grace and simplicity of Eraser. When you consider that all of the others are not free, you really appreciate Eraser all the more. Highly recommended.

  44. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.7 (Feb 28, 2005)

    I have a registered copy of BCWipe, but Eraser is the secure-deletion utility I use and recommend. I trust it the most, and it's just plain easiest to use.

  45. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.7 (Jul 9, 2004)

    I have been using this for about a year to wipe HDDs that my business sells off to the market and it works like a charm. No data is left behind after Eraser gets done with it. Uses almost no system resources and finished wipes quickly.

  46. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.5 (Jul 9, 2002)

    I am using Windows XP Pro and i find Eraser is an excellent right-click from Explorer option, and one of a few, to secure delete the recycle bin

  47. 4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.3 (Jan 11, 2002)

    Rather good but it continues to freeze my Win98 Desktop afer erasing the Recycle Bin.

  48. 5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewing 5.3 (Jan 11, 2002)

    I've been using this utiliy for quite some time. I consider it indispensible. Get it.

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