What Happens to Your Data When You Delete It? The Truth will Surprise You

September 26, 2017

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When you delete a file off your PC, or your hard drive becomes corrupted, you just take for granted that the data is gone in perpetuity. That isn’t the case at all, and it can present problems for businesses and individuals alike. The thing is that it’s deleted, it’s gone, it ceases to exist, because you deleted it with your own hands.

However, depending on the method of deletion, your files may still be intact and ready for a hacker to steal. We’ll walk you through what happens when you delete a file so that you’re aware of the way your computer stores data on its hard drive or network.

Deleting a File
When you delete a file from your computer, it will be moved to your Recycle Bin. You might think that the files are gone forever, but that’s absolutely not the case. The only thing that changes is the location of the file. You can still open it and everything included with it is intact. Even deleting the file from the Recycle Bin isn’t going to be enough. Deleting the file simply eliminates the file’s link to a name. After this, the space once held by the file is labeled as “free,” but it’s not overwritten.

The file data is still available, but since it’s marked as free by the system, it can be overwritten and used to store other files. The data from your previous files won’t be truly gone until you replace it with other data–which will take a long time to fill up, if you’re using a large amount of storage. The reason for this is simple: you don’t want to ever be anywhere close to maxing out your available data storage.

What About Cloud Storage?
Let’s say that you use Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive for your data storage needs. What happens when you delete a file from your account’s drive? You might wonder if the cloud provider stores information that you delete behind your back. Well, the truth is that these cloud providers do keep your deleted files for a few days after the initial deletion, mostly just in case you have made a mistake and need to correct it. After that, if you are a consumer-grade cloud customer, you’re likely out of luck for getting any deleted data back.

Business cloud storage solutions are another story altogether, though. If you are a business customer of any notable cloud provider, it’s likely that your deleted data will be stored for as long as you would like, assuming you want it deleted at all. Depending on your business’s needs, you may have other plans in mind. CTN can equip you with a data storage system that can help you keep your business’s data under control, whether you want to store it forever or keep it from being recovered, even when it’s deleted. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.


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CTN Solutions

Address: 610 Sentry Pkwy, Blue Bell, PA 19422

Phone: (610) 828-5500


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