How to manage Recycle Bin storage settings on Windows 10?

By Alexandra Bagratian | August 8, 2018 |

greater than 3 minutes

‘Your home is living space, not storage space’

Francine Jay

Good old Recycle Bin, that familiar wastebasket on your desktop, is a pretty helpful tool available at your disposal. By using it on your Windows 10 computer, you get access to certain handy features, not the last of which is the opportunity to store deleted files in case you need them later. Since you are here, you might be asking, ‘Can I change recycle bin storage settings?’ The answer is, you can do that and thus make your Win 10 experience more customized. So, it is time to know how to optimize Recycle Bin on Windows 10.

Adjust Recycle Bin storage settings

Regrettably, the amount of storage space your system uses to keep deletions in your Recycle Bin is not infinite. In practice, it can be up to 15 percent of the size of the partition involved. When your Recycle Bin gets crowded, old files are deleted to make room for new things. As a result, you can recover old deletions no more.

The good news is, your Recycle Bin storage settings are adjustable. This means you can increase the number of files kept in the bin so that you can restore them if need be.

Here are the instructions you should follow:

  1. On your desktop, locate the Recycle Bin icon and right-click on it.
  2. Select Properties from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select the Recycle Bin location (there might be several options available, so pick the one you would like to configure).
  4. Navigate to ‘Settings for selected location’.
  5. Select the Custom size option.
  6. Now move to the field ‘Maximum size (MB)’.
  7. Specify the maximum amount of hard drive space your Recycle Bin can use for storing your deletions (in megabytes).
  8. Click Apply and OK to save your changes.

Now Recycle Bin is capable of storing more (or fewer) files, depending of what you specified.

Sort files in Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin gets pretty messy with time, which makes locating files stored there quite a challenge. We recommend you to keep your Recycle Bin neat and tidy – just sort what is kept there, using one of the methods available for you:

  1. Proceed to your desktop. Open your Recycle Bin.
  2. Right-click on an empty area.
  3. Choose Sort by.
  4. Select the sorting method you consider appropriate for you needs. Thus, you can sort your files by their size, deletion date, original location, and some other parameters.

This way you can easily navigate your Recycle Bin contents.

Make your deletions bypass Recycle Bin

In some scenarios, you might wish to delete your files permanently without placing them into Recycle Bin. Here is what you should do in such a case:

  1. Move to your desktop. There locate Recycle Bin. Right-click on it.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select the Properties option.
  3. You might have several Recycle Bin locations (for each of your partitions), so make sure to select the one you wish to configure.
  4. Move down to the ‘Settings for selected location’ section.
  5. Select the option ‘Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted’.
  6. Press the Apply and OK buttons for your changes to become efficient.

After you taking those steps, your deleted items will not be going into Recycle Bin anymore. Nonetheless, that setting might not be perfect for everyone. Indeed, most of your files are most likely harmless, so why delete them permanently for no obvious reason? You might wish them back. For example, you may change your mind. Or you can even delete something accidentally by hitting the Delete button without planning to do so. Anyway, if you wish only some of your items (those sensitive ones that you want no one to be aware of) to bypass Recycle Bin, there is a trick for you as well. Just hold down the Shift button while pressing the delete Key – this will make the item you want to get rid of vanish into thin air.

Provide confirmation before deleting a file

To prevent deleting important files by accident, you can configure your system in such a way as to ask for your confirmation before sending files and folders to Recycle Bin. Here is how you can do what is needed for that:

  1. Go to your desktop and right-click your Recycle Bin.
  2. Select the Properties option.
  3. Move down to ‘Display delete confirmation dialog’.
  4. Select this option.
  5. Make sure to click Apply and OK to save the changes.

After doing that, you will see a confirmation message every time you are trying to delete a file or a folder on your Windows 10 computer.

Get files back after deleting them from Recycle Bin

Bad things happen: you might empty your Recycle bin and then suddenly realize you need some of those files erased. Fortunately, they are not gone for good. There is no need to despair since you can recover them. What you need to be able to do this is the helpful Auslogics File Recovery tool: this software allows you to recover all file types from any storage media.

Now you know how to optimize Recycle Bin on Windows 10. If you have any questions or ideas regarding Recycle Bin usage in Windows, do not hesitate to post them in the comment section below.

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