How to Wipe Files / Free Space to Protect Against Recovering in Ubuntu

Last updated: June 15, 2021

This simple tutorial shows beginners how to easily wipe files, folder, and/or free disk space to protect your files from recovering in Ubuntu.

As you may know, any deleted files can be easily restored from the trash can. Even after you emptied the trash, files can still be recovered. So to prevent information leakage and protect privacy, you have to ‘wipe’ or ‘shred’ files.

1.) Firstly, open terminal either from system app launcher or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard.

2.) When terminal opens, run command to install nautilus-wipe:

sudo apt install nautilus-wipe

The package adds ability to wipe files, folders, and free disk space via context menu.

3.) Finally restart Nautilus file browser via command to apply change:

nautilus -q

After that, you can right-click on any file or folder to ‘wipe’ or ‘wipe available disk space’.

NOTE ‘wipe available disk space’ will overwrite the free space in your system disk, so your data will not recoverable. And the process can take quite a few minutes slowing down your system.

In addition to protect your privacy, you can use BleachBit to clear caches. As well, the tool offers options to shred files, folders, and wipe free space.


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via Buy me a coffee:

2 responses to How to Wipe Files / Free Space to Protect Against Recovering in Ubuntu

  1. On the delete files so they are not recoverable thread:

    Ctrl-t for a terminal:
    Determine the location of the files by using the commands “updated” and “locate”
    At the terminal enter:
    >sudo rm -rF /home//documents/*

  2. Ram Vilas Gupta June 15, 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Just to avoid any loss of important information, I prefer to use Bleachbit instead of this utility.