Unappealing design, awkward navigation

Save your eyesight and skip this free privacy tool that works but with some unwelcome trade-offs.

There are so many privacy tools available, it's possible to dismiss one just based on an unappealing interface. In the case of Shredder, a free file and folder deletion tool, the design choices are not only questionable, they get in the way of using the program.

The black background is bad, but the green text on top of the black background makes it almost unbearable. The panel-style window displays your folders on the left, the individual files are displayed on the right, and the selected files and folders on the bottom. Blink and you'll miss the nondescript command buttons between the top and bottom panels. To be fair, a rollover on a button displayed a brief description at the bottom of the window. The Help feature also briefly explains each button's function, but that's about it for user guidance. The process for file and folder deletion was fairly standard, though, and Shredder duly removed selected items from test computers.

The program works, but there are plenty of others that offer the same functionality in a more appealing package. If you're not swayed by aesthetics, we also found that the publisher's Web site was no longer available, which may present problems if you need support. All things considered, we'd suggest you pick another tool to remove files and folders.

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