Recycle Bin is one of the default items available in Windows computer’s desktop. Though every user deletes files/folders and send to Recycle Bin, most do not care more about optimizing the process. If you are the one frequently deleting and accessing Recycle Bin, here are some useful Recycle Bin tips to improve your productivity.
Recycle Bin Tips for Windows Users
Though all these tips are useful to optimize your routine, deleting files from Recycle Bin will permanently remove them from your computer. If you frequently delete and then restore files from Recycle Bin, then do not use some of the tips like scheduling clean up or permanently deleting files bypass sending them to Recycle Bin. Other tips are reversible that you can reset back like earlier state like changing the icon or size.
1. Permanently Delete Files without Going to Recycle Bin
You can delete the files by selecting and pressing delete key or right click and choosing “Delete” option. By default, Windows will send the deleted files to Recycle Bin. You will also know that pressing “Shift + Delete” keys together will permanently delete the file with a warning.
What you may not know is that you can delete files permanently without sending to Recycle Bin and without any warning message. Right click on the Recycle Bin and select “Properties” option.
Select “Don’t move files to Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when delete” option. If you do not want any warning prompt then uncheck “Display delete confirmation dialog”. Click “Apply” button and save your changes.
We do not recommend to enable this setup as files deleted wrongly can’t be recovered from Recycle Bin any more.
2. Change Recycle Bin Size
As you can in the above properties screenshot, Windows automatically assigned 4590MB size for 49.6GB C: drive. This is around 10% of the drive size and automatically allocated for each drive for Recycle Bin. However, if you are running out of storage space then you can reduce the Recycle Bin size on each drive as per your need. Simply enter the size in MB in the “Custom size: Maximum size (MB)” text box and save your changes. You have to do this for selecting each drive one by one.
Remember, you can only choose either “Don’t move files to Recycle Bin……” or “Custom size……” option as they are radio buttons. It is not possible to setup custom size and choose deleting files permanently without moving to Recycle Bin.
3. Schedule Recycle Bin Cleanup Task
If you frequently clean up the deleted content manually then this option is for you. You can setup a schedule in Windows to periodically delete the content in Recycle Bin.
- Press “Win + I” shortcut keys and open Windows Settings.
- Navigate to “System > Storage” section and enable “Storage Sense” option.
- Then click on the “Configure Storage Sense or run it now” link.
- Select the number of days from the dropdown under “Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over” section. This settings will remind Windows to clean up your Recycle Bin content for the selected period.
4. Restore Deleted Items from Recycle Bin
If you have wrongly selected one or multiple files/folder then it is easy to restore them. Go to Recycle Bin and click on “Restore all items” button. Alternatively, you can select one or multiple files and click “Restore the selected items” button. This will restore the items to its original location.
5. Show or Hide Recycle Bin Icon in Desktop
By default, Windows operating system will show the Recycle Bin icon on the computer’s desktop. If you feel the desktop is cluttered, use this Recycle Bin tips to get rid of the icon shown in the desktop.
- Press “Win +I” and open Windows Settings.
- Go to “Personalization > Themes” section.
- Click on the “Desktop Icon Settings” link shown under “Related settings” section.
- On the “Desktop Icon Settings” dialog box, uncheck Recycle Bin option to disable it from your desktop.
6. Change Recycle Bin Icon
Windows will show an empty bin icon when no deleted files are there and filled trash bin icon when there are deleted files in the bin. If you do not like these icons, you can use your custom icons for the display. When you are in “Desktop Icon Settings” dialog box, select “Recycle Bin (full)” icon and click on the “Change Icon…” button. You can either choose one of the icons from the available list or upload your own icon.
Similarly, select “Recycle Bin (empty)” and change the icon.
7. Location of Recycle Bin
Do you ever wonder where is the location of Recycle Bin in Windows? Sometimes you need to know this location to fix errors like corrupted Recycle Bin. Each drive on your computer has a Recycle Bin and you can find it using the below method.
- Open File Explorer and go to “View” menu.
- Click on “Option” and select “Change folder and search options”.
- On the “Folder Options” dialog box, go to “View” tab.
- Select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option.
- Also, uncheck “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” option. Windows will show you a warning and press “Yes” to confirm.
Now, you can check on the File Explorer that $RECYCLE.BIN will be visible. You can see this system folder on each of your drive.
8. Rename Recycle Bin
Apple shows the Recycle Bin with the name as Trash in MacBook. If you are working with Mac and Windows, it makes sense to change the Recycle Bin name. Simply right click on the icon and choose “Rename”. Alternatively, select the icon and press F2 to edit the name. Provide the new name as Trash and press enter to change the name of your Recycle Bin.
9. Get Total Number of Files
If you wonder how to find the total number of files in your Recycle Bin, simply open it. You will see the number at the status bar. Earlier Windows versions (like 1809) was also showing the total size when select the files. However, you can only view individual file size with the latest version.
10. Pin Recycle Bin
The last tips is to pin Recycle Bin in Start menu. You can right click on the icon and select “Pin to Start” option to add the tile in the Start menu. In addition, you can drag the icon and drop in the taskbar tray. This will not add the icon in taskbar, but it will add the shortcut in File Explorer icon. You can right click on the File Explorer icon in taskbar and select Recycle Bin. Anytime later, you can unpin or delete the shortcut from File Explorer icon.
We hope the above tips helped you to learn something new when dealing with Recycle Bin in Windows. Do you have ay other Recycle Bin tips? Share your tips in the comments section so that it will be for all other readers.
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