I have a USB drive with confidential information(photos and videos) on it and I will need to access file on someone else's computer. The computer runs Windows 10. If I open the photos and videos directly from USB drive but do not save it to the computer's hard drive—just viewed—will it be possible for a subsequent user to access or recover the photos and videos and open it after I remove the USB drive?

It is a public computer, I have install a program named "CCleaner" that cleans the temporary files. I don't care if a subsequent user sees that I have used a thumb drive, or that I opened a file. I just don't want anyone to be able to access, recover or view those photo and video files once I remove the thumb drive.

Thanks Vipin Singh

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closed as too broad by DavidPostill Dec 5 at 14:16

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It depends on what program you use to open the file and how you open it.

Normally speaking, it will not be accessible or retrievable, but if the computer is configured in a weird way to copy files locally before opening them, then that could in theory leave the files behind.

The solution to this problem is rather simple though.

On your USB Drive, aside of the files, also place portable versions of programs that you can use to view the files themselves. Then open the portable programs, and from there, open your files. This way, files will for sure remain on the USB stick.

  • How Can I clean that leave files – vipin singh Dec 5 at 12:29
  • Avoid it in the first place. If someone went through the trouble to gather this, it is non-standard and it is impossible to tell you how they did it. – LPChip Dec 5 at 12:30

Depending on the software you use to open the files, the chances are that it gets copied to local temparies, which will continue to exist after you quit the program and remove the USB stick.

MS Office for example copies files from any non-local hard disk to a local temporary directory (it depends on the version and the settings if they consider an USB stick a 'non-local hard disk'). If you know where that directory is (check in the options of the respective Office program you use), you could go there afterwards and clean them. Note that the file names used for the temporary storage may be unrelated random strings, so you need to check the content of all files, or delete all temporary files. Browsers often do the same thing.
Unless you know the software very well, it can be quite difficult to find all such local copies and remove them.

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