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How to Disable the Recycle Bin and Delete Files Permanently

September 26th, 2012 | Posted by Costea Lestoc in Content | I've Always Wondered...

Sometimes you want to delete files quickly and securely.  The default setting on most computers places all deleted files into a isolated holding area, known as the Recycle Bin. If we don’t want those deleted files to be stored in the Recycle bin we must manually delete them. Unless we disable the recycle bin or remember to use the SHIFT+Delete command while deleting a file, we generally need to put in some extra effort to delete files manually from the Recycle bin (Clearing the Recycle Bin isn’t much trouble, however forgetting to regularly clear the recycle bin can cause a buildup of large files and sensitive data, potentially causing performance and security concerns).

Here are two simple tips illustrating how to disable the Recycle Bin (You should only do this when you are positive that you won’t need to recover the deleted files in future):

Disabling the Recycle bin

Recycle Bin Registry

  • Right click on the recycle bin icon on your desktop and click on properties.
  • A new dialog box should appear and there you will see a radio button that states “Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted” (Under “settings for selected location”).
  • Check that radio button and click Apply.
  • Finally, click on OK to close the dialog box.

You can disable the recycle bin from your system registry as well. To do so, follow the below mentioned steps:

Recycle Bin Disable

  • Click on Start Menu and on Search box write “Regedit.”
  • Hit Enter and the Registry Editor window should appear.
  • Now, locate this key from the left menu of Registry Editor Window: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\BitBucket
  • Now, select the value name “NukeOnDelete” and change its value to 1 (0 means that recycle bin is active, that is the default value in general).
  • Make sure the data type is “DWORD” before you exit the Registry Editor Window.
  • Finally, you need to reboot your system so that the changes are reflected.

The aforementioned steps are for Windows 7. That being said, the steps will be more or less the same for older operating systems as well, if you run into any problems I will be happy to help you through the comments section.

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