Files in the recycle bin take up space on the hard drive, so it deletes the older ones after a while to make room for fresh ones. But in the meantime, you get to recover the deleted files if you want to.
Although Windows automatically sets the recycling bin’s capacity, you can always customize its storage size.
Changing Recycle Bin Storage Size
If you want to increase or decrease the storage space of the recycle bin, follow these steps.
First, locate the Recycle bin icon on your desktop. If you can not find any icons on your desktop just right-click the open space on your desktop and hover your mouse over the view option on the context menu. A new expanded context menu will appear on your screen. Select ‘Show desktop icons’ from there.
Once done, head to the recycle bin icon.
After that, right-click on the icon. Now, a context menu will appear on the screen. Select the ‘Properties’ option from the menu.
Now, a pop-up window with the recycle bin properties will appear on the screen. Under the ‘General’ tab of the window, you will find two sections. The first is a list of all drives and the available space of the recycle bin in each drive. The second section is to configure the settings of the selected drive/recycle bin location.
If your computer system has multiple hard drives, each of them has its own Recycle Bin settings. The settings are stored as a hidden system folder named “$RECYCLE.BIN” at the root of each volume.
Now, in the first section choose which recycle bin location you want to configure.
Then, head to the second section which is ‘Settings for selected location’, and select the first option ‘Custom Size’. Specify the maximum size for the recycle bin in the text box which resides next to the ‘Maximum size’ option.
Keep in mind, you have to specify the storage space into megabytes. For example, if you want to assign 120GB space, you need to specify 15000 MB into the textbox.
After assigning the space according to your needs, hit ‘OK’ to save the changes.
Disabling Recycle Bin for a Drive to Permanently Delete Files
If you keep your junk files in a separate drive anyway and don’t want them to take up space in Recycle bin when you delete stuff from this drive, then you can easily disable recycle bin location for that drive so the files are never stored in recycle bin upon deletion and are permanently deleted from your PC.
First, locate the recycle bin app icon on the Desktop, right-click on it, and select the ‘Properties’ option from the context menu.
A pop-up window with recycle bin properties will appear on the screen. Under the ‘General’ tab of the window, you will find two sections.
On the first section, choose which recycle bin location you want to configure.
After that, select the second option of the ‘Settings for selected location’ section which is “Don’t move files to the recycle bin. Remove files immediately when deleted.”
Hit the ‘OK’ button. Now whenever you delete a file from the selected drive, it will skip the recycle bin and will be deleted permanently from your PC.
In the end, there is an option that lets you have a confirmation dialog box before deleting something. When you delete something by accident, this dialog box will come to the rescue.
To enable the confirmation dialog before deleting files permanently, check the checkbox beside the ‘Display delete confirmation dialog’ option and click on ‘OK’ to save the changes..
If you want to check if this option works or not, try deleting a file from the customized location and you shall see the confirmation dialog box pop-up on the screen asking if you really want to delete the file/folder, and that’s how you will know whether this option works. Select ‘yes’ if you wish to delete or no if you don’t.
These recycle bin storage tools are quite beneficial to us. They allow us to retrieve files if we believe they are critical after moving to the recycle bin.