How to securely wipe a hard drive using macOS

In this video we take a look at how, from within macOS you can perform a secure wipe on a hard drive. The main aim of this process, is to ensure that any data that was stored on a hard drive remains secure and can not be recovered or restored.

Note: If you need to secure wipe a Solid State Drive (SSD), you should not use the technique shown in this video. This is because performing this sort of wipe on an SSD will reduce its life expectancy. Instead we recommend that you simply encrypt the whole of the SSD, and then format that drive. This is because the encryption key will have been lost after you format the drive, so any data should be near impossible to recover.

Quick reference notes:

  • Connect your hard drive to your computer
  • If your Mac does not recognise the formatting of the drive, you will be asked to either Eject, Ignore or Initialise. You will need to select Initialise
  • Disk Utility will open

Note: If your Mac recognises the formatting of the drive, it willl simply mount the hard drive. So you will need to manually open Disk Utility

  • From with in Disk Utility select your external hard drive
  • Now select Erase
  • A dialog panel will open, select Security Options
  • You will be presented with 4 options on a sliding scale. Choose one of the options.
  • Select OK
  • Now choose Erase

Note: Performing a secure wipe will take considerable amounts of time, so you will need to leave your computer running while the wipe takes place.

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