Permanently delete files from the Recycle Bin

When you delete a file, it's usually moved to the Recycle Bin so that you can restore the file later if necessary. For information about recovering a file, see Recover files from the Recycle Bin.

To permanently remove files from your computer and reclaim any hard disk space they were using, you need to delete the files from the Recycle Bin. You can delete individual files from the Recycle Bin or empty the entire Recycle Bin at once.

  1. Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking the Recycle Bin on the desktop.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To permanently delete one file, click it, press Delete, and then click Yes.

    • To delete all of the files, on the toolbar, click Empty the Recycle Bin, and then click Yes.


  • You can empty the Recycle Bin without opening it by right-clicking the Recycle Bin and then clicking Empty Recycle Bin.

  • You can permanently delete a file from your computer without sending it to the Recycle Bin by clicking the file and then pressing Shift+Delete.

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