Best File Shredder Software For Mac to Erase Your Data

You wouldn’t just throw out an old credit card statement or a document with your social security number into the bin without shredding it first, would you? Likewise, you shouldn’t just move sensitive files into the Trash folder because someone could recover them and use them for malicious purposes.

Instead, you should use a file shredder to securely delete your files in such a way that even professional data recovery specialists won’t be able to undelete them. This article lists the top 12 best file shredders for Mac that you can trust.

Best File Shredders for Mac: Summary of Our Picks

Best overall: CleanMyMac X Shredder
🤑 Best free: Disk Drill
👩‍💻 Best open source: Permanent Eraser
👶 Best for beginners: Magoshare AweEraser
🧹 Best system cleaner and optimizer: Drive Genius File Deleter
💼 Best enterprise-grade: Stellar BitRaser File Eraser

What Is a File Shredder for Mac and Why Do You Need It?

file shredder mac

A file shredder, also referred to as a file deleter, is a software application whose purpose is to delete files in such a way that their recovery becomes impossible.

File shredders are necessary because deleted files on Mac computers are easily recoverable—even those that have been deleted using the Option + Command + Delete keystroke sequence.

That’s because deleted files physically remain on the storage device until they become overwritten by new data. In some cases, such as when files are deleted from a rarely used computer with a large hard drive, that may take weeks, months, or even years to happen.

With a Mac file deleter, you can overwrite deleted files with a few simple clicks and without any waiting. The best file deleters support standardized data sanitation methods, such as DoD 5220.22-M, Gutmann, Schneier, which overwrite files multiple times for extra safety.

Such data sanitization methods are used by the employees of government agencies, journalists, lawyers, and other people who handle extremely sensitive information, and there’s nothing stopping you from deleting your family pictures with them before selling your laptop on eBay.

Top 12 Best Free Mac File Shredders

The best Mac file shredders share several common characteristics: they work as intended, are easy to use, and are affordably priced. Let’s take a closer look at the top 12 best file shredders for Mac that, to a larger or smaller extent, fit this description.

1. CleanMyMac X Shredder

Data Sanitization Methods: Only one | Last Updated: December 21, 2020 (Update 4.7.3) | License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.10 and higher

file shredder mac

Overview:

CleanMyMac X Shredder is the best Mac files shredder in 2021 even though it’s actually not a dedicated shredder software tool. Instead, it’s an extra feature included in—you’ve guessed it—CleanMyMac X, a popular Mac cleaner whose purpose is to delete junk such as outdated caches, broken downloads, and so on.

Because CleanMyMac X Shredder is just a bonus tool, it doesn’t have too much to offer in terms of features, but that only makes it easier to use. You can either delete files and folders quickly or activate the secure delete option to securely overwrite them—that’s it!

Just keep in mind that CleanMyMac X Shredder ISN’T available in the Mac App Store version of CleanMyMac X, so you need to download the web version instead.

Key features:

  • Clean up tools – You can use CleanMyMac X to remove clutter from your Mac, including unneeded files, outdated caches, broken downloads, and useless localizations, just to give some examples.
  • Malware removal – CleanMyMac X reliably removes dangerous malware from your Mac and checks it for all kinds of vulnerabilities.
  • Built-in uninstaller – Using the built-in app uninstaller, you can remove unwanted apps from your Mac without leaving behind leftover files.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a ton of extra features
  • Beautifully designed

Cons:

  • The shredder isn’t available in the Mac App Store version of CleanMyMac X
  • Just one data sanitization method

Pricing plans:

  • Free version – limited in functionality
  • One-year subscription – $39.95
  • One-time purchase – $89.95

Free Download

2. Disk Drill Permanent Eraser Mac

Data Sanitization Methods: Overwrite with zeros, random overwrite, 3-pass secure erasure, 7-pass secure erasure | Last Updated: December 2020 (Version 4.1) | License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.11.6 and higher

shredder mac

Overview:

This file shredder for Mac is an extra free tool included with Disk Drill, one of the most popular data recovery tools in the world. The shredder supports multiple data sanitization methods, including overwrite with zeros, random overwrite, 3-pass secure erasure, and 7-pass secure erasure. As such, you shouldn’t have any problem meeting even the strictest data erasure requirements.

What’s great about Disk Drill is that you can use its data recovery functionality to verify that shredded files are really unrecoverable. The same feature can help you find all deleted files that are still present on your hard drive and could be easily recovered with Disk Drill or a similar data recovery tool. To get rid of them, you can use Disk Drill’s free space eraser tool.

Key features:

  • Data recovery capabilities – Disk Drill is a data recovery application that can recover over 400 file formats from all kinds of storage devices—even smartphones and tablets.
  • Data protection and backup – If you have certain files that you don’t want to lose, then Disk Drill has multiple features that can be used to protect them.
  • Free space eraser – Disk Drill lets you secure overwrite files that have already been erased to make them unrecoverable.

Pros:

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Multiple data sanitization methods
  • Frequently updated
  • One-time purchase options
  • Data recovery capabilities
  • Additional free tools

Cons:

  • No customer support phone number

Pricing plans:

  • Free trial – lets you test all features
  • Pro version – $89 (one-time purchase)
  • Enterprise version – $499 (one-time purchase)

Free Download

3. Permanent Eraser

Data Sanitization Methods: 3-pass DoE, 35-pass Gutmann algorithms | Last Updated: July 18, 2020 (Version 2.9.1) | License: Freeware | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 and higher

file shredder mac

Overview:

Permanent Eraser is far more powerful than it seems at first. It supports the 35-pass Gutmann algorithm, which is secure enough to wipe magnetic media in such a way that no information can be restored from them even using a technique called Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM).

The app is completely free, and it has been translated into English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, and Welsh. It runs great even on older Macs, but some of its best features, such as the built-in Finder plugin, work only on newer Macs.

Key features:

  • macOS integration – All recent versions of Permanent Eraser offer Finder integration and support for Automator.
  • CD/DVD erasing – Permanent Eraser can quickly erase rewritable optical discs (CD-RW or DVD-RW). All you need to do is drag the disk icon onto the Permanent Eraser icon.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Simple to use
  • Finder integration
  • Works great on older Macs

Cons:

  • Lack of options

Pricing plans:

  • Permanent Erase is free to download and use

Free Download

4. VoidTech FileShredder

Data Sanitization Methods: 1 pass (fastest), 3 passes, 7 passes (DoD standard), or 35 passes (Gutmann deletion, safest) | Last Updated: Nov 20, 2016 (Version 2.1) | License: Premium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

file deleter mac

Overview:

VoidTech FileShredder is a dedicated permanent eraser for Mac that provides multiple ways how to shred deleted files: you can drag-and-drop items onto the app icon, launch the app to add Shred and Secure Shred options to the Finder Context Menu and then simply right-click any file or folder you want to securely erase and select the corresponding option.

Unfortunately, VoidTech FileShredder isn’t available for download at the moment because its developers have yet to re-release it outside of the Mac App Store, from which it was removed due to changes in Apple’s policy. Hopefully, VoidTech will bring this excellent shredder tool back in the near future.

Key features:

  • Finder integration – VoidTech FileShredder integrates into the Finder Context Menu, allowing you to securely shred any file or folder with a couple of clicks.
  • Emergency stop – If you notice that you’re shredding files you actually want to keep, you can press the Abort button to instantly stop further deletion.

Pros:

  • Multiple data sanitization methods
  • Provides multiple ways to shred files
  • Emergency stop
  • Finder integration

Cons:

  • Discontinued at the moment
  • Last updated in 2016

Pricing plans:

  • VoidTech FileShredder is currently not available for download, but its developers hope to re-release it outside of the Mac App Store in the future.

5. MacClean’s File Eraser

Data Sanitization Methods: The security level goes up from Standard Erase (1 erasure) to Standard Erase (7 erasures) to Top Security Erase (35 erasures) | Last Updated: September 2019 (Version 3.6.0) | License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 and higher

eraser for mac

Overview:

MacClean is feature-packed Mac cleaner software whose file eraser offers three data sanitization methods. To use it, all you need to do is drop your files onto the MacClean window, choose the preferred data sanitization method, and click the prominent Erase button.

In addition to secure file deletion, MacClean can erase system and internet junk, fix various security and privacy issues, and optimize your Mac to perform better. All features are equally easy to use, but you must unlock the full version of the app for MacClean to do what it’s intended to do.

Key features:

  • One-click cleanup – MacClean can restore your Mac to a state closely resembling a brand-new computer with a single click.
  • Malware scanner – The built-in malware scanner can reliably detect all major threats and get rid of them before they cause any harm to your Mac.

Pros:

  • Additional cleanup features
  • Useful malware scanner
  • Three data sanitization methods

Cons:

  • The free version can’t erase any files

Pricing plans:

  • Free trial – evaluation only
  • Personal license – $19.99 per year or $29.99 for a lifetime
  • Family license – $39.99 for lifetime

Free Download

6. ShredIt X for Mac

Data Sanitization Methods: US Department of Defense (DoD 5220), US Department of Energy (DoE), NSA, and Gutmann| Last Updated: December 2020 | License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.0 and higher

mac file deleter

Overview:

ShredIt X is a powerful multi-platform file shredder that’s perfect for more advanced users who can take advantage of its extensive configurability. In addition to its support for most commonly used data sanitization methods, ShredIt X lets you freely choose how many times you want to overwrite your data, and it can also shred free disk space, which is useful when securely erasing files from an SSD.

Compared with other best file shredders for Mac listed in this article, ShredIt X doesn’t have the most appealing user interface, but it certainly gets the job done. The main thing we don’t like is the fact that some of the most important options are accessible only from the Preferences window.

Key features:

  • Useful safety features – To minimize the chance of accidental erasure, ShredIt X comes with built-in safety features.
  • Cross-platform – ShredIt X runs on all versions of Apple’s operating system that are newer than Mac OS X 10.0, and it also supports Windows 95 and newer.

Pros:

  • You’re free to choose between 1 and 35 erasures
  • Can shred CDs and DVDs
  • Built-in safety features

Cons:

  • Not the most inviting user interface
  • The free version doesn’t shred any files

Pricing plans:

  • Free version – doesn’t actually shred any files
  • Full version – $24.95

Free Download

7. Magoshare AweEraser

Data Sanitization Methods: HMG Infosec Standard 5 (1 pass), Peter Gutmann’s algorithm 2 (2 passes), U.S. Army AR380-19 (3 passes), DoD 5220.22-M ECE (7 passes), Peter Gutmann’s algorithm 35 (35 passes) | Last Updated: December 2020 (Version 4.5) | License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 and higher

file shredder mac

Overview:

Magoshare AweEraser is a polished file eraser software application that supports many different data sanitization methods. The app’s inviting user interface makes AweEraser a fantastic choice for inexperienced Mac users who are looking for something simple, intuitive, and effective.

In addition to securely erasing individual files, AweEraser can also erase entire storage devices and overwrite free space. Included with the app are useful extra tools, which let you clean your internet history, uninstall unwanted apps, and manage your storage devices.

Key features:

  • Internet cleaner – Web browsers tend to leave behind a lot of junk files on your hard drive, and AweEraser can help you get rid of them.
  • App uninstaller – With AweEraser you can uninstall unwanted apps and erase the newly freed storage space from a single app.

Pros:

  • Polished user interface
  • Supports many different data sanitization methods
  • Comes with extra tools

Cons:

  • The free version doesn’t shred any files

Pricing plans:

  • Free version – evaluation only
  • Personal Lifetime License – $29.95
  • Enterprise Lifetime License – $199.00

Free Download

8. DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac

Data Sanitization Methods: HMG Infosec Standard 5 (1 pass), Peter Gutmann’s algorithm 2 (2 passes), U.S. Army AR380-19 (3 passes), DoD 5220.22-M ECE (7 passes), Peter Gutmann’s algorithm 35 (35 passes) | Last Updated: December 2020 (Version 6.7) | License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.6 and higher

eraser software

Overview:

There’s a good reason why we place DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac right after Magoshare AweEraser: the two Mac file shredders are virtually identical, sharing the same user interface and the same features. We suspect that they are both based on a white-label file shredder, but we haven’t been able to provide any conclusive evidence.

As it stands, the biggest difference between the two file shredders is their pricing models. DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac offers a slightly more expensive lifetime license, but its 1-year license costs just $19.00.

Key features:

  • Disk manager – DoYourData Super Eraser for Mac lets you format, rename, and eject storage devices connected to your Mac.
  • Internet cleanup – Quickly clean up internet caches, histories, and junk files.

Pros:

  • Polished user interface
  • Supports many different data sanitization methods
  • Comes with extra tools

Cons:

  • A clone of Magoshare AweEraser (or vice versa)
  • The free version doesn’t shred any files

Pricing plans:

  • Free version – evaluation only
    Lifetime License – $39.00
    1-year License – $19.00

Free Download

9. iMyMac PowerMyMac Shredder

Data Sanitization Methods: Only one shredding option | Last Updated: Version 1.2.3 | License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.11 and higher

permanent eraser for mac catalina

Overview:

iMyMac PowerMyMac is an intuitive system cleaner app with a built-in shredder that you can use to securely delete up to 500 MB of data for free. The shredder supports only one data sanitization method, and the app doesn’t tell you which one. As such, we wouldn’t recommend it to users who need to securely erase highly sensitive documents and other data.

We also don’t like that the iMyMac PowerMyMac shredder doesn’t support drag-and-drop file selection. Instead, you have to click a button to open a Finder pop-up window, which then lets you pick the files you want to shred.

Key features:

  • Large file finder – iMyMac PowerMyMac can reliably find large files to help you free up disk space.
  • Duplicate finder – It takes only a few clicks to locate and delete all duplicate files that are unnecessarily taking up valuable storage space.

Pros:

  • Monthly license option
  • Comes with many extra tools
  • Lets you shred up to 500 MB of data for free

Cons:

  • No drag-and-drop support
  • Only one shredding option

Pricing plans:

  • Free version – can clean only up to 500 MB data
  • 1-Month License – $9.95
  • 1-Year License – $19.95
  • Lifetime License – $29.95

Free Download

10. Drive Genius File Deleter

Data Sanitization Methods: not specified | Last Updated: November 2020 (Version 6.2) | License: Premium (demo version available) | System Requirements: Requires macOS 10.12 and later

app for deleting files

Overview:

Drive Genius is a collection of useful disk management and Mac optimization tools that includes just about anything you might ever need to keep your Mac in top shape. The features of this software can be separated into three distinct categories: protection, clean up, and optimization.

As you can probably guess, the file deleter is a member of the clean up category, along with a duplicate and large file finder, partition manager, drive cloner, and several other tools. Considering how much Drive Genius can do, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s one of the most expensive apps featured in this article.

Key features:

  • macOS optimization and clean up features – Drive Genius features 18 powerful features that you can use to address just about every data-related issue that you can encounter when using your Mac.

Pros:

  • Can do just about anything
  • Frequently updated
  • Live chat support

Cons:

  • Pricy
  • The sheer number of available tools can be overwhelming
  • Very limited demo version

Pricing plans:

  • Demo – provides limited access to basic features
  • Standard License – $79 per computer per year
  • Perpetual License – $99 per computer per use
  • Professional License – $299 per 10 computers per year

Free Download

11. Stellar BitRaser File Eraser

Data Sanitization Methods: Supports 17 global standards of erasure | Last Updated: unknown | License: Premium| System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 and higher

file shredding software for mac

Overview:

Stellar BitRaser File Eraser is an enterprise-grade permanent eraser for macOS Catalina and older (up to Mac OS X 10.7). Its biggest selling-point is the fact that it supports 17 global standards of erasure (you can find their full list here), which is more than any other file shredder listed in this article.

Because Stellar BitRaser File Eraser is aimed predominantly at enterprises, it doesn’t have the most polished user interface out there. It also doesn’t offer a free version that would allow potential customers to try its features without spending any money.

Key features:

  • Erasure automation – You can configure Stellar BitRaser File Eraser to schedule erasure tasks at regular intervals.
  • Internet history erasure – Stellar BitRaser File Eraser can wipe browser history and get rid of cookies that track your behavior.

Pros:

  • Supports 17 global standards of erasure
  • Generates an erasure certificate
  • Erases unused space
  • Option to schedule regular erasures

Cons:

  • No free version available
  • Doesn’t have the most polished user interface

Pricing plans:

  • Free version – not available
  • Premium version – $36.29 annually

12. TuneupMyMac Permanent Eraser Mac

Data Sanitization Methods: Single Pass ZERO WRITE, Single Pass FF WRITE, Three Pass RANDOM WRITE | Last Updated: 2019 (Version 1.33.0)| License: Freemium | System Requirements: Mac OS X 10.7 and higher

mac cleans file eraser

Overview:

This advanced Mac cleaner features a reliable Mac file deleter with support for three secure delete algorithms. The deleter can remove both individual files as well as entire folders, and it supports drag-and-drop file selection for increased convenience.

Besides secure file deletion, TuneupMyMac can also perform all essential and not-so-essential cleanup tasks. For example, it can uninstall unwanted applications, remove duplicates, locate unused language files, get rid of temporary files, or wipe your internet history, among others.

Key features:

  • One-click cleaning – All essential clean up operations supported by TuneupMyMac can be performed with a simple click on the Clean Now button.

Pros:

  • The free trial version lets you erase an unlimited amount of data
  • Comes with many extra tools

Cons:

  • Outdated user interface
  • Doesn’t officially support macOS Big Sur

Pricing plans:

  • Free version – provides limited access to all features
  • Premium version – $49.95

Free Download

How Do You Shred Files on a Mac?

Unless you want to wipe your entire drive (in which case you can use the secure erase options in Disk Utility), you need to download a third-party file shredder for Mac, such as one of those listed in this article.

Disk Drill Permanent Eraser Mac is a great choice because it’s free, easy to use, and compatible with multiple data sanitization methods. Here’s how it works:

  1. Launch Disk Drill.
  2. Select the Data Shredder option from the left pane.
  3. Add files or folders you want to shred.
  4. Choose the preferred data sanitization method.
  5. Click the “Shred this now” button.

Warning: Files and folders shredded using Disk Drill can’t be recovered with any data recovery software—not even with Disk Drill, which can otherwise recover over 400 file formats from internal and external storage devices, as well as mobile phones and tablets.

Summary

File shredders are useful software apps that can help you protect sensitive data from unintended disclosure when sharing your devices with other people, selling old hardware to strangers online, or just connecting your Mac to the internet and exposing it to the myriad of threads that lurk there.

FAQ
Yes, file shredders (at least those listed in this article) work exactly as advertised and make it impossible to recover files deleted with them. Of course, not all file shredding software shreds files the same way, so it’s important to pick one that can meet your requirements.

After testing a number of different file shredders for Mac, we came to the conclusion that the best file shredder software currently available is:

  1. CleanMyMac X Shredder
  2. Disk Drill Permanent Eraser Mac
  3. Permanent Eraser
Mac computers can’t shred individual files without third-party software. The good news is that you can easily download and install one of the best file eraser tools for Mac listed in this article, such as Disk Drill, and use it to shred any files with a few clicks. All you need to do is open the Disk Drill data shredder, tell it which files you want to shred, and click the “Shred this now” button.

In most cases, deleted files on Mac computers (even files that have been permanently deleted using the Option + Command + Delete keystroke sequence can be recovered using data recovery software like Disk Drill. To make them unrecoverable, you need to use file shredder software.

With his keen understanding of technology and his ability to make it accessible to a general audience, David has been covering technology-related topics for the greater part of his career. When not researching, writing, or proofreading, David likes to spend time with his wife and young daughter.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Scroll to top