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Wipe Feature

What is Wipe?

Wipe is the process used by WinZip® to make the data in certain temporary files and folders unrecoverable.

Some features of WinZip extract a file temporarily for the user to view or edit and then delete it when the user is finished. When a file is deleted, it is still possible to recover the deleted file using special software or hardware tools. In a secure environment, it may not be easy for the user to locate these temporary files and wipe them to remove residual information that might still be recoverable.

Beginning with WinZip 14.0, WinZip automatically wipes files and folders that have been temporarily extracted from encrypted Zip files prior to deleting the temporary files and folders. This will ensure that your encrypted data will remain secure and the contents of your temporarily extracted data will be unrecoverable.

Beginning with WinZip 20, direct wiping of files and folders located on your PC can be done through WinZip's Files pane and File Management ribbon.

How does WinZip wipe the data?

Before WinZip deletes a temporary file that was extracted from an encrypted Zip file, it automatically uses the DoD 5220.22-M suggested method for wiping data and filenames. This method overwrites the temporary file's data and filename multiple times with various values designed to make the data unrecoverable. After the wipe is complete, the file is deleted.

WinZip will wipe and delete temporary files first and then wipe and delete any temporary folders that it creates.

To directly wipe files and folders located on your PC from WinZip's Files pane, navigate to the location containing the files and/or folders you wish to wipe, select the files and folders to wipe, and expand the Files pane using the ">" control in its top right corner.  When the Files pane is expanded, the WinZip ribbon switches to File Management mode and a Manage tab offers choices for working with your local files.  Click the Wipe button on this tab to securely delete the selected files and folders.

What does WinZip not wipe?

WinZip will only automatically wipe temporary files and folders that have been extracted from files and folders that are encrypted in a Zip file.

WinZip does not wipe the following files and folders:

  • Temporary files and folders extracted from an unencrypted Zip file.
  • Encrypted files and folders that you have extracted, for example, using the 1-click Unzip on the Unzip/Share tab in the Ribbon mode (Windows Vista or later) or the Extract function in the Actions menu when in the Legacy toolbar mode (Windows XP).
  • Encrypted files and folders that are extracted during an Unzip and Try operation—these extracted checkout files are not considered to be temporary files.
  • Temporary files that are in use by another program.
  • Temporary files that have been saved or moved to another location by the user or another program.
  • Temporary files that have been deleted by another program or the user.
  • Temporary folders that still contain files.