File Slack – the Easiest Explanation Available


For whatever reason, people who research file slack struggle to comprehend the concept. This isn’t a fault of the user, but instead of the explanations available. Fortunately, this article was written to make it simple for even the least technical users to understand.

What Is File Slack?

Imagine you have a sealable bowl. In this example, the bowl is a portion of a computer hard drive. Next to the bowl is a cup of pudding, in this case it is the file. You pour the pudding into the bowl, it fills the bowl about three-fourths, then you seal it. The pudding hasn’t completely filled the bowl. The remaining space between the pudding and the lid is the file slack. When a file is saved, the computer puts it into a hard drive cluster on the hard drive (bowl), and it has some leftover space. It’s really that simple, despite what it feels like when reading explanations with overwhelming technical jargon and complications.

File slack is basically extra space around a saved file.

How File Slack Is Utilized

File slack is currently a result of the reality of computer functionality, however there is unintentional benefits of them. The most prevalent is the computer forensics field, as the obvious result of file slack is the ability to later locate files deleted from sectors. An easy way to understand this is deleting files doesn’t fully delete them, it just moves them. This provides investigators potential clues as to the data that was erased by their suspects on the hard drive.

Notorious criminal cases are solved with the use of computer forensics, particularly by utilizing the data resulting from file slack to find missing information or clues. One of the most recent, high-profile cases involving file slack was in the investigation of American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and deleted emails. The investigators explained the task of retrieving data because of the file slack in deleted files.

File slack offers computer forensics a chance to recover deleted data.

What Does This Mean for Individuals and Businesses?

If nothing else, file slack should remind users of technology that it’s hard to erase something permanently from computers. Sensitive information should be evaluated often to determine whether it’s something potentially important enough to keep off digital mediums. From basic things like a secret recipe for an award-winning stew, or more complex issues like business data, understanding file slack will help companies stay protected.

As a result of file slack and space issues, companies and individuals alike are moving their data to online storage systems. Businesses with numerous files to store are increasingly choosing digital asset management for storage. Canto DAM offers secure file storage with quick retrievability. Consider DAM if traditional hard drive storage no longer meets your business needs.

Though file slack remains a rarely mentioned term, it resurfaces every now and then. Understanding its uses and possibilities keeps you ahead of the average user, researcher or business.