Recycle Bin is one of the system folders in the Microsoft Windows operating system. By default, it is located in the RECYCLER folder in the root directory of each hard disk partition, and it is hidden. Recycle Bin saves the files, folders, pictures, shortcuts, and web pages that you delete.

The deleted items will remain in the Recycle Bin and still occupy disk space. They can be restored if you need them again. Only by deleting files in the Recycle Bin or emptying the Recycle Bin can the files be cleared permanently, making your computer get more free space.

windows 10 recycle bin

Here are different ways to empty Recycle Bin in Windows 10. For Windows 10 beginners, you can learn the basic methods to clean Recycle Bin with ease. If you are experienced users, learn how to empty Recycle Bin in Windows 10 in CMD and how to empty Recycle Bin on schedule.

1. Empty Recycle Bin on Desktop

First, see how to clean Recycle Bin in its context menu. 

Step 1. Find the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop.  

Step 2. Right-click it and select "Empty Recycle Bin" from the drop-down menu.

empty recycle bin on windows 10 on desktop

Step 3. A pop-up window will ask you "Are you sure you want to permanently delete all of these items?", click "Yes" and wait for the files to be deleted.

Related readingCan't Find or Open Recycle Bin Windows 10/8/7

2. Empty Windows 10 Recycle Bin in Its Manage Menu

Steps to empty Recycle Bin with the Manage utility.

Step 1. Find and open the Recycle Bin.

Step 2. Click "Manage" and choose "Empty Recycle Bin" > "Yes" to empty your Recycle Bin.

empty recycle bin on windows 10 in manage

3. Empty Recycle Bin on Windows 10 in Settings

Check how to clean Recycle Bin in Windows 10 Settings.

Step 1. Click the Windows icon and then click "Settings". Next, choose "System".  

Step 2. In the Settings window, click on the "Storage" on the left panel. Then click "This PC" or other partitions under "Storage".

empty recycle bin in settings step 2

Step 3. Click "Temporary files". All the temporary files on the hard drive will be listed.

empty recycle bin in settings step3

Step 4. Check the "Empty recycle bin" box, then click "Remove files" and wait for your computer to delete files in your Recycle Bin on Windows 10.

empty recycle bin in settings

4. Empty Recycle Bin Windows 10 with Command Line 

For professionals who'd like to empty Recycle Bin in an advanced way, or when other ways don't work, you can still empty Windows Recycle Bin with command lines.

Step 1. Click the Search button, type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" from the search results and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Type the following command to empty Recycle Bin folder in the D drive.

rd /q /s d:\$Recycle.Bin

You can replace C with another drive letter, such as e: to empty the Recycle Bin on E drive.

empty recycle bin in cmd

Or you can also use this command to clean the Recycle Bin on your system drive.

rmdir /s %systemdrive%\$Recycle.bin

Type Y to confirm the deletion.

empty recycle bin with command line

You can replace %systemdrive% with another drive letter, such as type and run rmdir /s d:\$Recycle.bin to empty the Recycle Bin on D drive.

5. How to Empty Recycle Bin on Windows 10 Automatically on a Schedule

You can automatically clean the Recycle Bin at a fixed frequency by using the Windows built-in feature called Storage Sense, which can automatically free up space by getting rid of files you don’t need, like temporary files and content in your Recycle Bin.

Here's how to do it.

Step 1. Go to "Settings" > "System" on your Windows 10 computer.

Step 2. Click on "Storage" and find "Storage Sense".

Step 3. Under Storage Sense, click the sliding switch and set it to the "On" position.

Step 4. You can set the schedule to empty Recycle Bin by clicking "Change how we free up space automatically".

empty recycle bin automatically

Step 5. On the new page, you can change the frequency of when Storage Sense runs. You can set it to run every day, week, or month.

empty recycle bin on schedule

Step 6. Under Temporary Files, choose the option of "Delete files in my Recycle Bin if they have been there for over". You can choose "Never, 1 day, 14 days, 30 days, or 60 days".

empty recycle bin automatically

After these settings, the deleted files in Recycle Bin will be removed automatically.

How to Recover Deleted Files from Emptied Recycle Bin Windows 10

Emptying Recycle Bin can free up space on your computer for new data. But if you mistakenly clear the items in Recycle Bin and want them back, how to do it? Can you recover files from emptied Recycle Bin?

Yes, you can restore emptied Recycle Bin with an advanced file recovery tool - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, which is well known in the field of data recovery.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

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Free download this professional data recovery program and follow the steps below to recover deleted files from emptied Recycle Bin on Windows 10/8/7.

Step 1. To specifically recover files from emptied Recycle Bin on Windows 11/10/8/7, hover the mouse pointer over the "Recycle Bin" option under the "Locations" section and click "Scan".

select the recycle Bin to scan

Step 2. EaseUS data recovery software will start a quick scan immediately for all deleted files, and later a deep scan will launch automatically to scan more lost files. After the scanning process, you can use the "Filter" feature to select a specific file type, such as Pictures, Word, videos, etc. 

filter files to recover

Step 3. Once you locate the files you want to restore, you can double-click it for a full preview. Then, select the target files and click "Recover". We suggest you select a different volume or an external USB drive to save the recovered files to avoid data overwriting.

recover lost files from Recycle Bin

The Bottom Line

In this post, we've discussed how to empty Recycle Bin on Windows 10 in several ways. You can delete all files in Recycle Bin from the desktop, by using its Manage feature, Windows settings, and CMD.

For users who want Windows to empty Recycle Bin automatically, you can apply the storage sense utility to clean Recycle Bin on a schedule.

If you accidentally delete files you need from Recycle Bin, immediately use EaseUS data recovery software to help you get files back. It can restore data from emptied Recycle Bin, formatted hard drive, inaccessible external hard drive, USB flash drive, and so on.  

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.7

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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