Where does the Permanently Deleted Files Go in Computers?

When you permanently delete your files using shift + delete button. The computer just change the directory address to a new one.

The files are still present in your harddisk and can be gotten with a recovery software if they have not been overwritten.


Before answering this question, it is important to understated that files are stored in the hard disk of your computer, which is type of a magnetic data storage system.  

When you delete a file from your computer (even permanently), the file doesn't actually get s deleted. What this means is that the file is actually kept where it was, but now the computer just doesn't care anymore if it overwrites it or not. 

In fact, the modern firmware makes it so that the newly saved data is saved by overwriting the the oldest of the 'deleted' data. This is done so that the the recently 'deleted' data can be extracted easily and as cleanly as possible, if you need to recover it.

So essentially when you delete a file, you are just making your computer forget the address of the where it stored that file.


There's actually different levels of "deleting". 

If you simply delete a file in your operating system (windows, macos, linux,...), it is most of the times simply moved into another folder, the "trashcan", and it will stay there untill you ask to put it back into place, or if you empty the trashcan.

If you "permanently delete" a file, or if you empty it from the trashcan, the operating system will mark the entry of the file as being "deleted". This doesn't mean that the file is gone yet at that moment. It has just been marked as deleted, so that the operating system knows that the part of hard drive that was taken by that file can be reused for other files. And as long as no other files have been written to disk, onto that particular spot, the file you've permanently deleted can still be retrieved by disk-rescue software.

If you "safe delete" a file (not available on all operating systems), the file is marked as deleted on the hard drive, and immediately overwritten by random characters for a set amount of times (99 or so). This makes sure that the file cannot be "undeleted" and read by someone else.


This is a good question!!

Deleted files are files that is no longer of used on a computer and same applies to other gadget too.

For you to delete a file which means you dont want it anymore.

Based on your question, when a file is deleted on a computer, it is not yet permanently deleted, it just goes to the icon (recycle bin) to stay in case you still need it if possible.

User case

I bought a can drink, i stored in fridge for coldness depending the time i want to drink, then after drinking i decided to throw away the empty can because is of no use. I then throw it in my trash bin. You know the can will be in my bin until someone comes to pick and take it away farer where i wont b able to see and use any more

This same case apply to my deleted files on computer, when i delete, it will temporarily store in my computer recycle bin, the moment i move to my recycle bin and delete again, i have permanently deleted it.

And i mean permanently, when i mean permanently which means it is no longer out to my reach.

Conclusively: if my files are deleted permanently on my computer, which means it no longer exist in my recycle bin (where its temporarily and can still get hold of it). It is lost/thrown away/ misplaced forever and it cannot be retrieved anymore from the computer.


Files usually stay on your hard drive until the data is over-written by another piece of data.  There are programs which can permanently scrub files when you delete them, but most people don't use things like that.

Basically the data blocks are always there until they get overwritten either manually or as your hard drive fills up more.


This is highly debatable, but I believe they instantly transgress to another dimension, as a recycling process to keep rendering of our simulated reality to a minimum, because if everything is happening simultaneously, past, present, and future, then it's only logical to believe that the said deletion would be of value to some other present reality. In terms of the energy it takes to create and delete the data, it doesn't seem logical that it simply goes "nowhere."