Computer Tips

Computer Tips8/04:
  Recycle Bin

 ... permanently delete files from hard drive

by Bob Ross

On your desk top is a folder called Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin is an important part of Windows. Everytime you delete anything, it automatically makes a copy to the Recycle Bin.

This is good and bad.  

Good because we all make mistakes and delete something we did not mean to delete.

Bad because most people seldom empty the recycle bin and these files can take up huge amount of space on your hard drive.

Most seniors I have talked with said they never empty the recycle bin. Didn't know what it was for.

Everytime you delete anything (except EMail) it is sent to the Recycle Bin. To check what you have deleted, click on the icon. The window opens and a listing of all files you have deleted appear. You can scan through them to determine if you really intended to delete them.  

If you find a file you want to keep, click on that file to hi-lite it, click on File, click on Restore. It is sent to the original folder created in.

If you intended to delete ALL files, DO NOT click on any of the files, Just click on File, click on Empty Recycle bin. All files will be deleted.

The above is the simpliest method to permanently delete files from your hard drive.

If you definitely know something is to be deleted, you can bypass the Recycle Bin anytime you don't want the Recycle Bin to temporarily store a file for possible later recovery; just press and hold the shift key when you make the deletion. (The NUM Lock must be off for this to work.)

The file gets deleted with no Recycle Bin copy made. You get a visual confirmation of this in the deletion dialog box: the animation shows the files disappearing, instead of being deposited in the recycle bin.

There are other ways to do this, via a reg tweak, or with a permanent setting, but for occasional use, the shift-key method is the simplest, fastest way.

Note that this non-Recycle Bin deletion is not a secure deletion--- the file still can be recovered from the hard drive using file-recovery tools. But this does make it at least a little harder to call up a "deleted" file; and it also prevents your Recycle Bin from filling up with garbage you know you'll never want to try to recover.

August 6, 2004




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