How To Wipe An External Hard Drive

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Are you looking for an easy and secure way to wipe an external hard drive? Wiping an external hard drive can be a tricky process, but it is essential in order to protect your data. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to safely wipe an external hard drive using Windows 11.

An external hard drive is a great way to store and transport large amounts of data. But if you don’t securely wipe the drive before disposing of it or giving it away, you risk exposing your data to potential theft. To ensure your data stays safe, you must use a secure wiping method.

To securely wipe an external hard drive with Windows 11:
1. Press the Windows key and type “Settings” to find the Settings app.
2. Open Settings, then click Update & Security.
3. Click Recovery, followed by Reset PC.
4. Use the Remove everything option, then choose Local reinstall or Cloud download as desired.
5. The system will prompt you to select how you want to reset the PC – select Fully clean the drive option here.
6. The wiping process will begin – this may take several hours depending on the size of your hard drive, so be patient! Once complete, the system will let you know that your drive has been wiped successfully and is now ready for use again if desired or disposal if not needed anymore.

It’s important that you also encrypt any device that contains sensitive information such as passwords or financial information – this will make it even harder for unauthorized persons to gain access should they get their hands on it in the future! Additionally, always remember to back up any important files before wiping any device!

We hope this blog post was helpful in explaining how to securely wipe an external hard drive using Windows 11! If you have any questions or need assistance with wiping your own device, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

How To Wipe An External Hard Drive 1

Deleting All Data From an External Hard Drive

To delete all data from your external hard drive, you will first need to back up any important files that you want to keep. Once the backup is complete, connect the external drive to your computer and open File Explorer. Right-click on the drive and select “Format” from the menu. Click “OK” to confirm your selection and then wait for the formatting process to finish. Once it’s complete, all data from the hard drive will be erased and it will be completely empty.

Wiping an External Hard Drive Before Selling It

Before selling an external hard drive, it is important to ensure that you have securely wiped all personal data from the device. To do this, you need to reformat the hard drive. To reformat a hard drive using Windows, go to This PC and right-click on the drive you wish to format. From the context menu, select Format. Uncheck the Quick Format box and select either FAT32 or NTFS as the file system. Then enter a label for your hard drive and click Start. When you see the “Format Successful” pop-up message, your external hard drive has been securely wiped and is ready to be sold or disposed of safely.

How to Completely Wipe a Hard Drive

Completely wiping your hard drive is a relatively easy process, but it is important to make sure that you have backups of any important data before beginning. To start, you will need to shut down your computer and disconnect it from any power source. Afterward, open the computer case and locate the hard drive. If you are using a desktop, this should be located on the motherboard or in a separate storage bay. Once you have found the hard drive, use a screwdriver to remove any screws that are holding it in place. After this is done, simply pull out the hard drive from its slot and put it into an anti-static bag or wrap it in an anti-static cloth to prevent any damage from electrostatic discharge.

Now that your hard drive is out of the computer, you can use either a special disk wipe software program or a disk eraser tool to securely wipe all of the data off of your hard drive. Most disk wiping programs will allow you to choose how many passes of overwriting you want to be performed on your hard drive; three passes are recommended for complete security. Once you have wiped the data off of your hard drive, reinsert it back into its slot in your computer case and secure it with screws if necessary. Finally, reconnect all power sources and boot up your computer; your hard drive should now be completely wiped!

Does a Factory Reset Remove Data from an External Hard Drive?

No, a factory reset does not remove an external hard drive. A factory reset will only affect the internal hard drive of the machine, and any partitions that have been created on it. It will not affect any external drives or partitions that have been created on them.

Does Wiping a Hard Drive Completely Erase Data?

Yes, wiping a hard drive removes everything that has been stored on it. Wiping a hard drive is the process of erasing all data from the storage device. It overwrites each sector of the hard drive with zeroes and ones, making it virtually impossible to recover any information that was previously stored there. This process eliminates all traces of personal data, as well as software programs and files. Wiping a hard drive also prevents someone from attempting to recover the data using specialized tools or other methods.


In conclusion, an external hard drive is a great way to store and back up your data. It is a convenient and reliable storage solution that can be used with both Windows and Mac computers. When wiping a hard drive, it is important to use a hard drive eraser to make sure all the data on the drive is securely erased and unrecoverable. With the right tools and the right knowledge, you can easily wipe an external hard drive and keep your data safe.

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James Walker

James Walker has a deep passion for technology and is our in-house enthusiastic editor. He graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and loves to test the latest gadgets and play with older software (something we’re still trying to figure out about himself). Hailing from Iowa, United States, James loves cats and is an avid hiker in his free time.