Top 6 Ways to Remove Recycle Bin When Cannot Delete Files in Windows 11

If you change your mind or accidentally delete something, Windows stores all your deleted files in the Recycle Bin. Over time, The amount of data collected by the Recycle Bin can become large. That’s why it’s important to clean the Recycle Bin regularly.

However, If Windows won’t let you empty the Recycle Bin or you want to know more methods, you’ve come to the right place. This post will describe different ways to clean Recycle Bin in Windows 11. So let’s take a look at them.

1. Empty Recycle Bin via Context Menu

Let’s start with a method most of you are familiar with. The fastest way to empty the Recycle Bin on Windows is from the context menu. Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon and select Empty Recycle Bin from the resulting menu.

You can right-click anywhere in the Recycle Bin window and select the Empty Recycle Bin option.

2. Empty Recycle Bin Using the File Explorer toolbar.

Another simple way to empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11 is to use the File Explorer toolbar. Open Recycle Bin on your PC and select Empty Recycle Bin from the toolbar at the top. If you don’t see the option Expand the Recycle Bin window.

3. Empty the Trash via the Settings app.

If the above methods do not work; You can try clearing the Recycle Bin files from the Settings app. In this way, You can also configure Windows to automatically empty the Recycle Bin.

Step 1: Open the Start Menu and tap the gear-shaped icon to launch the Settings app.

Step 2: On the System tab, click Storage.

Step 3: Click on Temporary files.

Step 4: Check the Recycle Bin box and uncheck everything else. Then click the Remove files button at the top.

Wait for Windows to empty the Recycle Bin.

Alternatively, you can also use Storage Sense functionality in Windows to automatically empty the recycle bin. to do so Return to the Storage Settings page and tap on Storage Sense.

Enable the ‘Automatic user content cleanup’ option. Then, Use the drop-down menu under Run Storage Sense to specify how often Windows should use this tool. Use the Recycle Bin drop-down menu to set how long a file must remain in the Recycle Bin before Storage Sense deletes it.

4. Empty Recycle Bin with Disk Cleanup Utility

Disk Cleanup is a useful Windows tool for removing temporary files from your system. It can also be used to empty the Recycle Bin if the above methods don’t work. How to do that?

Step 1: Click the Search icon on the taskbar and type. disk cleaningSelect the first result that appears.

Step 2: Use the drop-down menu to select your primary drive and click OK.

Step 3: Check Recycle Bin under Files to delete. Uncheck everything else and click OK.

Step 4: When a confirmation appears, Click the delete files button.

5. Empty Recycle Bin with Command Prompt

Command Prompt allows you to communicate with your computer through text commands. It processes batch files; It’s a handy tool that lets you perform complex tasks like formatting hard drives and more. Here’s how to use it to empty the Recycle Bin in Windows.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and select Terminal (Admin) from the list.

Step 2: When the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears, select Yes.

Step 3: Type the following command to empty the Recycle Bin.

rd /s %systemdrive%$recycle.bin

Step 4: Press Y and hit Enter to confirm your selection.

6. Empty Recycle Bin using Windows Powershell

You can empty files from the Recycle Bin by entering a quick command into the PowerShell window. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the search menu; Enter it. Windows PowerShellAnd click Run as administrator.

Step 2: When the User Account Control (UAC) prompt appears, select Yes.

Step 3: Paste the following command and press Enter.


Step 4: Type Y to confirm and press Enter.

oh So empty

Recycle Bin files aren’t meant to stick, but sometimes they do anyway. One of the methods above should help you get rid of them. However, If none of the above methods work, a third-party app or service may interfere with the process. In that case, You can start your computer in a clean boot environment and try one of the methods above to clear the Recycle Bin.

Leave a Comment