How to Delete CCTV Footage Permanently? 5 Simple Methods

Written By Chirag Arora
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh  
Published On July 11th, 2024
Reading Time 11 Minutes Reading

The procedure of delete CCTV footage permanently is a cumbersome process as well as it is essential for maintaining privacy. Security-related CCTV camera recordings are important, but they fill up rapidly and require a lot of storage space.

The entire process for easily erasing CCTV video recordings is covered in this write-up. We dealt with inquiries from multiple users who wished to erase CCTV camera videos but were unable to do so despite using many methods. In this blog, we have made it simple today how to delete CCTV footage recording permanently with manual and automation solutions in a quick manner.

Why Delete CCTV Recording Permanently?

Here are some important reasons why to wipe CCTV footage videos.

  • CCTV cameras on usually found in public places. Therefore, completely erasing footage helps in privacy breaches.
  • CCTV storage systems can only hold so much data. However, by removing outdated video, you can make room for fresh recordings and keep the system operating efficiently.
  • Various organizations that stored CCTV footage recording longer period of time. Therefore they need to run the danger of legal action if the video or tape is misused or ends up in the wrong hands.
  • Permanently erasing CCTV footage recording can help in avoiding legal problems arising from data breaches or improper use of captured information or data.
  • Respect the privacy of those people who are captured by security cameras on video, upholding moral principles in monitoring methods.

In an instance like this, User can lose their privacy. Therefore, performing delete CCTV footage permanently from a hard disk is the best option.

How Long Does the Average Security Camera Store Footage?

The period for which CCTV video is retained may vary through various aspects such as; The policy of businesses and organizations, design of the CCTV system, and the amount of storage media available.

Normally, the duration for retaining data is included in the subscription plan for cloud storage if your CCTV is configured to store data in the cloud. There is a differences in the period of time depending on the service provider and the subscribed package by you, but in generally it upto couple of years. To be sure that your video surveillance system corresponds to your requirements you have to consult those settings right and perhaps adjust them.

As for its duration, it depends on the capacity of the media and the point in time at which the initial start is made. However,the length may very based on type and complexity of the task being assigned to the group. There are cases when, if the storage is full, the system will replace the oldest movies in the queue.

Top 5 Solution to Delete CCTV Footage Permanently

There are multiple free solutions to permanently erase CCTV recordings.

  1. Using a Computer
  2. Through a DVR/NVR 
  3. Via the Cloud
  4. From SD Card
  5. Using Professional solution 

Method 1- How to Erase CCTV Footage from Computer?

Here are the steps on how to delete CCTV footage permanently from a PC involves multiple steps:

  • Connect the CCTV System to the computer device or if the footage is stored directly on the device, ensure you have the required software installed on your computer which the camera manufacturer company provides.
  • Launch the CCTV software setup on your device. This tool allows you to manage and access the recorded footage.
  • Type your username and password to login to the main interface.
  • In the tool look for “Playback,” and “Recorded Footage,” to go through the stored location
  • Use the date and time filters to find the particular footage that you want to delete.
  • Choose the CCTV recording that you want to erase.
  • Search for a “Delete” button or display the trash icon.

delete cctv footage recordings

  • Press the confirm button to delete the footage
  • At the end, empty the recycle bin.

empty recycle bin

Method 2- How to Delete CCTV Footage Permanently from DVR/NVR?

  • Switch on your DVR or NVR player.
  • Ensure that the screen or monitor and DVR/NVR are properly connected to the power supply.
  • Log in to the DVR/NVR player using your username and id-password.
  • Go through the main menu and playback or record management section.
  • Select the CCTV footage recording from the calendar with the particular time frame.
  • Delete the CCTV recording with the delete button or using the erase icon.delete cctv footage permanently using DVD and NVR
  • Confirm that you wish to remove the selected recordings. Confirm the deletion by clicking “Yes” or “OK.”
  • Next, go to the settings and find where is the disk management.
  • Select the hard drive and format it.

Method 3- How to Delete CCTV Video Footage from the Cloud?

To delete CCTV footage permanently from cloud storage, begin by accessing the cloud storage where the footage has been stored.

  • Open the devices that are linked to the cloud storage service.
  • To access the website, tap on the login button. After that, type your username and the password to log in.
  • Look for the application used to store the CCTV footage.
  • Choose the particular camera in which you wish to erase the CCTV footage recording; in addition, you will find the list of cameras associated the device from which you can delete footage recordings.
  • The first one is the calendar which you can use to select the date and the period of the CCTV footage that you want to edit out.
  • Then, rather selectively choose the CCTV footage that you want to be erased out of all the captured footage.
  • Keep on pressing the delete key on the keyboard to delete the recorded footage.
  • Finally, agree to delete the selected option by pressing the confirm button.

Method 4- How to Delete CCTV Footage Permanently from SD Card?

Finding the recordings on the SD card, deleting them, and then obtaining access to the system are the steps involved in how to delete video from security camera. Here is a thorough breakdown of the procedure:

  • Turn On the CCTV camera
  • Connect to the web browser or mobile device.
  • Next, go through the Storage.
  • Log in to the credentials of the camera interface by typing username and password.
  • Navigate to the storage device that is labeled as “SD Card”.
  • Select the SD Card.
  • After that, choose the Time Frame that you wish to delete.
  • Select the recordings or footage by selecting checkboxes and format all the recordings.

format SD card

  • A confirmation prompt will appear on the screen. Confirm the deletion by clicking “Yes” “Delete” or “OK”.

Limitations of the Manual Solution of How to Delete CCTV Footage Permanently

Here are the multiple drawbacks of the free solution to wipe CCTV recordings:

  • However, for a large quantity of videos, the procedure can be rather long since the flow can include numerous actions.
  • The user should have adequate skills to operate the data-deleting tools and working knowledge of CCTV software.
  • Since manual errors are possible, files may not be found, and data deleted by file removal can often be retrieved with no proper erasure.
  • Videos are tough to handle in large volumes since currently, some solutions can support automation or group processing.
  • Since access to the CCTV system is necessary for the procedure also there is a higher chance that sensitive data will be handled improperly and without authorization.
  • Lack of accountability and monitoring results from the absence of a deletion record.
  • It becomes unfeasible and impossible to manually organize and remove vast volumes of video.
  • In general, although it is feasible to manually erase CCTV footage, doing so is labor-intensive, dangerous, and inefficient—especially for large-scale operations.

Professional Solution to Delete CCTV Footage Recordings Permanently

If you want to delete CCTV footage permanently from various storage devices, then you can go with SysTools Data Wipe Software which is an effective solution that includes hard drives SD cards, and many more associated with CCTV. It allows you to quickly and efficiently delete selected files and folders, leaving no trace of possible data recovery.

Key Features of the Professional Solution to Delete CCTV Footage Permanently

  • The software ensures the complete removal of residual data, including data that is no longer used or that could inadvertently expose private information.
  • Once the data removal process is complete, the software generates a detailed audit trail report for recordkeeping and verification purposes.
  • The tool is ideal for cleaning data on computers and storage devices before re-use, permanent deletion, or retirement.
  • Complies with more than 20 international standards for data deletion, including those set by DoD, NIST, and ISO.
  • Can erase all types of storage devices, including SSD, HDD, PATA, SATA, and NVMe drives.
  • Uses multiple wipes to ensure complete data erasure, including:
    •  US Air Force: standards fit for a military.
    • Safe data erasure, US Department of Defense (DoD 5220.22-M).
    • Russia: Data wiping in two passes (GOST-R-50739-95).
    • British HMG IS5: Data erasure in three passes.
    • Peter Gutmann: 35-point data erasure.

Steps of the Expert Solution to Delete CCTV Footage Permanently

Here is a detailed explanation of how to utilize expert solutions to safely erase CCTV recordings.

  • Download >> Install >> Run the software on your device.

software main screen

  • Click on the “Select Folder” button to add folders where the CCTV recordings are stored.

add folder


  • To start the folder and/or file scanning process, select “Next”.

click on add file

  • After the scanning process is completed, you can “Select” the data deletion method.

select the method

  • After selecting the deletion technique, click “Delete”.

data wipe technique

  • The wipe procedure started.

wiping process has been started

  • When a pop-up warning appears about deleting the folders, click “Yes”.

pop up option shown

  • When the pop-up window prompts that the deletion is successful, click “OK”.

pop up indicate

  • After the procedure is fully completed then you will see all the details of the deleted folders.

data wipe process completed

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have discuss on how one can manually delete CCTV footage permanently as well as the reasons why to delete CCTV footage. Therefore, it is essential to understand that monitoring efficiency, privacy, and legal concerns relate to the proper handling of CCTV records. That said, manual methods, though feasible, may often be less secure and involve a lot more work. The most reliable and efficient way to guarantee complete and permanent erasure and enhance privacy against incursions and legal risks of CCTV video recordings is by employing professional remedies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What are the top method to delete CCTV footage permanently?

Ans. Amongst them is the application of professional data erasure software in that the data cannot be recovered once erased.

Q. Under which circumstances can I be sure that the footage has been deleted for good?

Ans. Since the data erasure software is effective in eradicating the data you need to conduct data recovery on the footage to confirm that the data cannot be recovered.

Q. Can one erase the DVR or NVR footage?

Ans. Yes, but that may mean having to manually plug the DVR/NVR hard drive in a computer and then using other software to adequately delete the data.

Q. What are the legal consequences of erasing CCTVs?

Ans. Make sure that you follow some legal rules and regulations as to how you should deal with the data such as storing of data and disposal of the data. Erasing some of the video materials that are used during ongoing investigations is a risky action, as well as the materials that are needed for legal reasons.

Q. Can I still get back videos captured using CCTV after using the data erasure software?

Ans. No, once a file is deleted and its footage is permanently wiped out in the right manner using the right software then it cannot be retrieved.

Q. When is the right time to format the CCTV devices or delete the old CCTV tapes/digital files?

Ans. This depends on how much space you have for store the data and also on the legal regulations accordiing to your country. Frequent erasing to remove material that is not relevant often helps to create space on the gadget and in the system.

Read More- How to Delete Digital Footprint to Protect Confidential Data


By Chirag Arora

Having around 9+ years of experience in technical writing. Knows about the core technical areas. Also, provides easy and reliable solutions to resolve difficulties faced by users while working with different platforms.