Files deleted on Windows 10 are moved to the Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin is a dedicated location where deleted items are located. They stay there until the user decides to empty the Recycle Bin.

Files are not automatically deleted. They can be deleted from the Recycle Bin selectively and can be restored at any time.


Windows 10 deleted items are not in the Recycle Bin

When you delete a file, it is placed in the Recycle Bin. This is how file deletion works on Windows 10 and all older versions of Windows (98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 / 8.1). This behavior has not changed in years, but there are a few exceptions to this rule.

Files, when deleted, are not sent to the Recycle Bin if any of the following conditions are true:

  • The user deleted the file by pressing Shift + Delete.
  • User deleted a file from Command Prompt.
  • The deleted file was exceptionally large and could not be placed in the Recycle Bin.
  • The file was deleted from a flash storage device, for example an SD card.
  • The Recycle Bin was full when the file was deleted.

Recover a deleted file

If you have deleted some files and they are not in the Recycle Bin, there is a small chance that you can get them back. If you have not restarted the system after deleting files, your chances of recovering the file will be better.

  • Use the Windows File Recovery tool created by Microsoft.
  • Open theCommand Prompt with administrator rights.
  • Run this command to recover the file (s) you deleted.
winfr lecteur-source: dossier-destination /n

Note : The destination folder must NOT be on the same drive as the source drive. Run the command Help to learn more about file recovery.

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Send deleted files to Recycle Bin

Windows 10 allows users to delete files without sending them to the Recycle Bin. If you want to start sending files to the Recycle Bin, you need to enable it.

  • Right-click on the Basket of Office and select Properties in the context menu.
  • Uncheck the option Do not move files to the recycle bin.
  • Click on Apply and then on okay.

Any files you delete from this point on will be sent to the Recycle Bin.

Increase Recycle Bin size

If you often run out of space in the Recycle Bin, you should increase its size. Note that the size of the Recycle Bin reduces the storage space available on your system. On devices with low storage capacity, such as a Surface tablet, this solution may not be practical.

  • Right-click on the Basket on the Office and select Properties in the context menu.
  • Under Settings for the selected location, select Custom size.
  • Enter a new, larger size for the Recycle Bin.
  • Click on Apply, then on okay.

Reset Recycle Bin

Your Recycle Bin may have encountered problems and you can reset it to operate normally again.

  • Open theCommand Prompt with administrator rights.
  • Run the following command to reset the Recycle Bin.
rd /s /q C:$Recycle
  • Restart the computer.

Check scripts and automated tasks

Many users run scripts or configure automated tasks to regularly delete files from the Recycle Bin. This relieves the user of this task, but it may be the reason why your files are not showing in the Recycle Bin. If you have configured a script or automated task to manage the Recycle Bin, turn it off and try to delete files.

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Recycle Bin is a reliable feature and storing files there allows you to easily restore them if you need a deleted file or if you accidentally deleted a file. It is always a good idea to send deleted files to the Recycle Bin first, and purge them later after a while.

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