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How to Empty the Recycle Bin on Windows

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

When using Windows to delete items or files in your computer to create more space in your hard drive, the files are not deleted. Your files are temporarily stored by the recycle bin, but if you go further to empty the recycle bin, the files cease to exist in the recycle bin. Also, the recycle bin utilizes a certain amount of its space to store deleted content. When this space is limited, old files are deleted to create room for new ones. That is why you may find your file missing in the recycle even if you never emptied it. Here we will show you how to empty a recycle bin on Windows and how to recover deleted files from the recycle bin after empty.

Part 1: How to Empty Recycle Bin on Windows

Step 1. Right-click on your recycle bin

Select the recycle bin on your windows desktop and right-click on it. Your screen will display a dialogue box like this

empty recycle bin on Windows-right click recycle bin

Step 2. Select empty recycle bin

From the dialogue box on the right-hand side of the recycle bin, choose an empty to recycle bin.

empty recycle bin on Windows-select empty bin

Step 3. Empty the Recycle Bin

From the delete multiple items dialogue box, confirm by clicking YES. You will see a progress dialogue box showing the ongoing deletion process. Items in your recycle bin will disappear one by one. This will only take a few minutes given the number of items in your recycle bin.

Note that you can still retrieve your files after the recycle bin has completed deleting them permanently.

Part 2: How to Recover Files from Emptied Recycle Bin

To retrieve all files, which you had permanently deleted from the recycle bin, you require effective file recovery software. Recoverit is one of the best data recovery tools I know. It also allows you to recovers other files which were previously formatted or lost from the computed due to corrupt system and other removable devices like digital cameras, memory cards, and flash disks.

Recoverit - Your Best Data Recovery for Recycle Bin

  • Recover lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from any storage device effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders.
  • Supports to recover data for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations.

Video Tutorial on How to Recover Files from Emptied Recycle Bin


Download your copy of recovery for windows, install and run it on your computer. Follow the next steps to recovering deleted files from empty recycle bin. More importantly, DO NOT install this software on the disk where files and data where you can lose.

Step 1. Choose a data lost scenario to be recovered

Select the data scenario which you want the program to retrieve. You can also select the option "All-Around Recovery" to start.

recover empty recycle bin on Windows-select scenario

Step 2. Scan Recycle Bin

You will need a quick scan of the empty to recycle bin. If the quick scan can't find your deleted files, you can try "All-Around Recovery". With "All-Around Recovery" will deep search more files from the recycle bin but it will take more time.

recover empty recycle bin on Windows-deep scan recycle bin

Step 3. Recover your lost files

If you have selected All files in the previous in step 2, the retrieved files will be shown in file categories like archives, database, graphics, email, video, audio, and the like. These file categories are recovered after previewing. For PPT, RAR, Excel, PDF, and photos including and not limited to JPG, PNG, and TIF are previewed prior recovery process.

preview recover empty recycle bin on Windows

All You Need to Know About Recycle Bins:

Recycle bins are just like any other trash, collection bins you can think of. However, this kind of bin is unique since it is digitalized and whatever files trashed can be restored. Occasionally, when the recycle bin is accidentally emptied on the Windows, the items can be recovered using the best data recovery tool. Also due to the limited space in the recycle bin on Windows, it lost old files in the trash when new files are added. Never panic when your files are lost, they can still be recovered.

When the recycle bin does not appear on your Windows desktop, it is hidden. It is easy to restore it to the desktop without difficulty. The thing is you don’t need to be a computer expert to make you recycle bin reappear. Follow the correct steps and be sure the recycle bin icon will show on your screen. Then, you can empty the recycle bin on Windows after.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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