Windows Recycle Bin Questions

by Jane / Wed Dec 27 2017 / UPDATED in Wipe Hard Drive

Recycle bin in Windows operating system is a folder on each drive for deleted files and with a shortcut link icon on the desktop, with with users are able to retrieve accidentally or intentionally deleted files.

Files deleted via Windows Explorer are sent to recycle bin by default. For more info please check Windows Recycle Bin in Wikipedia

There are chances you may not find the recycle bin icon on a new or another computer, to show or hide Recycle bin is a customized setting, here’s how to toggle this icon

In Windows 7:

  1. Click the Start button and choose Control Panel
  2. Click Appearance and Personalization and Change the theme > Change desktop icons
  3. In the pop-up window, check / uncheck the Recycle bin icon to show / hide it

In Windows 10:

  1. Click the Windows button and click Settings
  2. Click Personalization > Themes > Desktop icon settings
  3. Check or uncheck the Recycle Bin box to show or hide it

With those steps, you can remove the Recycle Bin icon from the desktop like what Mac does

Like it’s name, it’s the recycle bin folder, in each drive of the disk, there’s a $recycle.bin folder to store the info the file deleted from on the drive.

It’s not a virus, as default setting, you can’t see this folder unless you change the folder settings to show hidden files and folders.

It locates in every drive but hidden, do the followings to show it:

  1. Press Windows + E to open Windows Explorer and click on the Folder Options
  2. Click Show hidden files, folders, and drives and uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
  3. Click OK to close this window and the $recycle.bin folder is at the root directory of that drive

Yes, it’s safe but not recommended, since it’s will be created again next time your reboot.

Deletion on this folder is performed only when you have Recycle bin issues like you can’t empty the recycle bin or delete files / folders inside Recycle bin.

Yes, but Do not be too optimistic, there are ways to view the Recycle Bin of other user profiles

spiceworks user Angus S-F contributed his answer

You need an alternative “explorer”. I registered Total Commander back in the Windows 3 days and it allows me to look inside X:\RECYCLER\ (where X is the drive letter in question). Each account has its own subdirectory inside \RECYCLER, but they’re not named and the files therein are named things like “Dc09.ext”.

Do you mean recovery files after emptied recycle bin?

Actually, Windows has no default tools to help recovering recycle bin deleted files, third-party data recovering programs are good options.

We have data recovery programs for Windows, feel free to download

To recover deleted files, run the program and click the file type you the deleted files were, and click Scan, then preview and Recover

Their original place / drive

If you have restored file in recycle bin, they went to their place where you deleted them, when you don’t remember where they were, just use the search function to locate them if you can still remember some file name of the fie.

The Properties option in the right-click menu of the file in Recycle Bin won’t show their location.

Yes, files or items in recycle bin are not really deleted, they’re still there waiting for restoring or finally (permanently) deleting, that’s why you can see the Restore and Delete options when you right-click on the file in Recycle Bin.

The screenshot below shows how much space Recycle Bin in C Drive take:


Yes, since files in Recycle Bin take space, too much space taken would slow down the reading and writing operations especially when the drive has limited storage.

Like the above screenshot, if there’re many files in Recycle bin, the time spend on scanning will be expanded when you click on the OK button to cleanup disk.

So empty recycle bin regularly to free up space and improve performance

Like the auto delete after 30-day function in iphone? No, Windows Recycle Bin doesn’t have such features, we had to manually empty recycle bin or go into it and right-click on the file to delete it.

But in superuser forum, one user provided one possible solution to auto delete file in Recycle Bin.

Check it

In Windows 10, however, you can turn on the Storage sense function so that Windows can automatically free up space by getting rid of files you don't need, like temporary files and content in your recycle bin

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