Often, for security reasons, it’s necessary to delete this data. Perhaps you’re selling your Mac, or lending it to friends and family for short-term use. It’s easy to delete this ‘free’ space by using Disk Utility, found in the Utilities folder on your Mac. With just one click of the mouse, you can overwrite all of the free space on a hard drive with zeros. Follow us through this tutorial as we explain how it’s done.
Step 1: Get started
Open Disk Utility by searching for it in Spotlight or clicking on the Go choosing Utilities, then double-clicking on the Disk Utility application.
Step 2: Choose a drive
Click on the main hard drive of your Mac (typically the top drive in the list), then click on the Erase tab in the centre of the screen. You’ll see a button called Erase Free Space below.
Step 3: Choose a security level
Click on this and a window will slide down offering varying security options for erasing deleted data on the drive. See the annotated screenshot on this page for more details about these.
Step 4: Data deleted
The first option, Zero-Out, should be sufficient for most users. Choose this option and click the Erase Free Space button. Disk Utility will now completely erase the deleted data on the drive.
Click on the image below to zoom in and read the annotations.