Deleted files can be recovered from your computer even after you empty your Recycle Bin. When you delete a file, Windows marks that space on your disk drive as no longer being in use, but the file is still there. Using computer forensic tools, you can recover tax records, job resumes, or other documents that you deleted. Shredder protects your privacy by safely and permanently deleting unwanted files.

To permanently delete a file, you must repeatedly overwrite the existing file with new data. Microsoft Windows does not securely delete files because every file operation would be very slow. Shredding a document does not always prevent that document from being recovered because some programs make temporary hidden copies of open documents. If you only shred documents that you see in Windows Explorer, you could still have temporary copies of those documents. Shredder allows you to erase your Recycle Bin contents, temporary internet files, website history, files, folders, and disks.

Note: Shredded files are not backed up. You cannot restore files that Shredder has deleted.

Note: The instructions given below are for McAfee SecurityCenter - Special edition from AOL version 12.8.To upgrade to the newest version of McAfee, check out our help article How do I upgrade my McAfee Internet Security Suite - Special edition

Erasing unwanted files with Shredder

Shredder protects your privacy by safely and permanently deleting unwanted files such as your Recycle Bin contents, temporary internet files, and website history. You can select files and folders to shred, or browse to them.

1. In the Windows taskbar, next to the clock, right-click the M icon, and then click Open McAfee SecurityCenter.

Note: Alternatively, you can click Start, select All Programs, select McAfee, and then click McAfee SecurityCenter.

Open McAfee SecurityCenter

Tip: If you're using Windows 7 and don't see the McAfee icon next to the clock, click the arrow next to the clock to reveal hidden icons.

2. In the McAfee SecurityCenter window, click Data Protection.

Data Protection and Backup

3. Under Data Protection, click the Shredder link.


4. Under Choose a folder to shred, select Recycle Bin, Temporary Internet Files or Let me choose.

Choose folder to shred

Note: If you select Let me choose, McAfee will prompt you with a Browse For Folder window once you click Shred. This will allow you to select a specific folder on your computer to shred.

5. Use the Choose a shred type: drop-down menu to select a type of shred.

  • Quick: Shreds the selected items one time.
  • Basic: Shreds the selected items twice a day.
  • Safe: Shreds the selected items five times.
  • Comprehensive: Shreds the selected items seven times.
  • Complete: Shreds the selected items up to ten times. A higher number of shredding passes increases your level of secure file deletion.

shred type

6. Click Shred.


7. In the Shred This Folder window, click Shred again.

Shred this folder

8. Click Done. Your files have been shredded.


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