Where do deleted files go in a computer?

When we delete something from our computer, laptop or any other computing device, for that matter, we assume that the memory gets transferred to the recycle bin. However, what if we delete the memory from the recycle bin? Is it permanently gone? Is it hidden somewhere in the depths of the memory? Or has the government encoded it and tucked it away in a secret data bunker?! Well, before we delve into what happens to deleted files, let’s take a brief review of the two kinds of memory that play a crucial role in the working memory of a computer.

Volatile and Auxiliary Memory

Volatile memory, as the name suggests, is volatile, but to put this in more helpful terms, this kind of memory is only functional while your computer is powered on. The moment you turn off the supply power, this particular kind of memory is lost.


The two kinds of memory classified within volatile memory are RAM and ROM. RAM stands for Random Access Memory and ROM stands for Reading Only Memory. The primary job of the RAM is to store memory that can readily be accessed very rapidly for the CPU (Central Processing Unit).

The multiple tabs open in your web browser, the word document, and the video player that are opened simultaneously are all stored. Certain forms of programming and computing also require excessive use of your computer’s RAM. However, unlike the auxiliary memory (which we will discuss below), RAM cannot hold memory for a definitive amount of time until power is supplied to it.

Auxiliary memory is known by various other terms, such as static memory or external memory. Auxiliary memory also comes in a number of forms, such as CD (Compact Disc) and Hard Drives. This is a form of memory where a user can store the bulk of their data. Most auxiliary memory systems consist of memory that is highly ferromagnetic. A ferromagnetic element is one that contains diffused magnetic poles within it.

The memory is stored by magnetizing the magnetic dipoles in a particular orientation. Once this is done, the computer can go back and retrieve this permanent data whenever the user needs it. There is a new generation of auxiliary memory known as Solid State Drives (SSD). SSD is also known as flash memory. These are extremely fast in terms of storing and retrieving data for users and are the most preferred form of auxiliary memory in today’s computing devices.

Deleting a File-

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