Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Recycle Bin is still a very handy service on Windows computers. It is used very often to recover from a quick mistake, and is integral to the way we use our computers.

Why do we still use recycle bin? I suppose most of us don't restore files put in recycle bin or is it useful in recovering permanently deleted files?

In this excerpt from Answercast #10, I look at how people use the Recycle Bin and its usefulness to computer users.

What about that Recycle Bin?

Recycle Bin has nothing whatsoever to do with permanently deleted files and, in fact, the act of emptying your Recycle Bin IS permanently deleting files.

Permanently deleted files

The only option you have to recover permanently deleted files is using tools like " Recuva, which examines the free space of your hard disk to see if it can recover previously deleted files from that free space.

Why do we still recycle?

Why do we still use the Recycle Bin? I think you may underestimate the number of times people make mistakes. It is not at all uncommon to delete something and then wish you hadn't.

The Recycle Bin is the perfect solution for that because it gives you the opportunity to make that trade-off: to delete things without as much concern and then only physically, truly, permanently delete them as a specific action that you take later (or after a certain amount of time has passed or space has been used).

So, no, I think a lot of people use the Recycle Bin to undelete files that they've mistakenly deleted for any number of different reasons.

Next - Can I leave my TV hooked up to my PC through HDMI all the time?

Article C5219 - April 18, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Tom R.
April 20, 2012 8:56 AM

Leo, you shouldn't use the term "permanently delete" when discussing the "delete" feature found in Windows and other operating systems. It's somewhat misleading. "Temporarily unavailable" would be more accurate.
I have a little freeware tool called "Disk Digger" that can grep any disk or partition within Windows and expose "permanently deleted" files and recover them. It's so easy a 7 year-old could do it. Heck, it doesn't even need to be installed. Just click on the executable and run it.

When I want to actually and truly permanently delete files I have another freeware program I installed called "File Barricader 2007" that has a delete feature built into the right-click context menu in Windows. This overwrites the data 3 times to permanently delete the file. Data recovery becomes impossible by any conventional methods. I can even right click on a disk or partition and overwrite the free space on that drive using File Barricader.

April 21, 2012 2:37 AM

Think Leo 100% right on this one.
I myself, when certain all OK, delete the recycle bin with CCleaner (7 passes)
Would also advise to always delete Sandboxie with CCleaner or something similar. Otherwise I think your browsing history can be easily recovered.

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