Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Storing files in the Recycle Bin is not the proper way to organize a computer! It's better to create a system of folders and keep them there.
Hi, Leo - love your newsletter. I work IT for a small, medium-sized business and one of my users likes to use the Windows Recycle Bin to store files to keep them off of her desktop. The files are ones she intends to delete at some point, but often she finds that she needs to go back and retrieve them later so she never empties the Recycle Bin. Is there a downside to keeping files in the Recycle Bin? I personally don't like the idea since I tend to empty mine every chance I get. I've been trying to do some research as to if there's some sort of file corruption that could occur or ways the Recycle Bin could be emptied without actual command by the user to do so, but I haven't found anything. I'd love to get your opinion.
In this excerpt from Answercast #74, I look at the idea of storing old files in the Recycle Bin. It seems pretty dangerous!
Well, I'm kind of with you. I certainly wouldn't use the Recycle Bin for storage. That's really not its purpose.
There's no file corruption issue that I'm aware or that I could even conceive of that would result from using it in that way. I'd be much more concerned about accidentally emptying it.
There are definitely ways that it can get emptied without your actually directly emptying the Recycle Bin.
Typically, using a disk cleanup utility of some sort will do so. I'd also be concerned about someone else walking up to her machine and trying to be helpful by cleaning up some space and emptying the Recycle Bin when it's not what she was planning for.
Basically, the Recycle Bin files should be considered "deleted." The fact that files are still there is, really, just a safety net and nothing more.
If she's got too many files on her desktop the thing to do is to create a folder somewhere else and move the files there.
That way, they're actually in a place that they can be accessed legitimately. When she's finally ready to delete the files, she can move them to the Recycle Bin and delete them there.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
End of Answercast 74 Back to - Audio Segment
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