Ask Dave Taylor: Recycle Bin Automatically Deleting Files

Recycle Bin Automatically Deleting Files

By Dave Taylor

The Question: This is weird. Without me changing anything that I can recall, the Trash on my Windows 7 laptop is now automatically and instantly deleting any files I drag into it, rather than “archiving” the contents until I explicitly delete things. I’ve lost two things already because I went back to pull them out of the Trash just to find it empty. What’s changed and how the heck do I fix it??

Dave’s Answer:

The way that trash / recycle bins on modern computer systems are implemented, they seem to be no more than a folder with a special icon. Drag things into the Trash and it’ll just sit there until you’re ready to either really axe ’em or want to recover them. In fact, I sometimes store files in the Trash for a day or two until I’m sure one of my online services did what I queued it up to do. No worries.

Until it doesn’t work that way!

Turns out that in Windows you can actually change your Trash from being a storage bin that you can access later to something more akin to a shredder. Drop something in and that’s it. Gone. Kaput. Sayonara.

Fortunately, it’s easy to change back, because it sure sounds like that’s what has happened to your system.

Before I show you, though, let me illustrate a few pointers to identify if this is happening on your own computer. First off, when you drag a file onto the Trash, here’s what you see, as usual:

1

But the window that shows up immediately afterwards gives you a clue that somethings’ different. Read it carefully:

2

“permanently delete”? Sounds serious. And it is.

In fact, say “Yes” and the Trashcan stays empty!

3

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This post is excerpted with permission from Dave Taylor.

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3 thoughts on “Ask Dave Taylor: Recycle Bin Automatically Deleting Files

  1. Working in IT, When I see somebody storing things in the recycle bin I literally cringe. Why in gods name would anybody use the recycle bin for storage? Where the hell is the logic?

  2. I rarely go back into the old recycle bin, i just created a folder to store things i am not sure if i want hang onto or not and sort through once week to month. i perfer my bin to for things i know i dont want.

  3. I rarely go back into the old recycle bin, i just created a folder to store things i am not sure if i want hang onto or not and sort through once week to month. i perfer my bin to for thongs i know i dont want

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