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How to Disable the Recycle Bin on External Drives

by Shae Hazelton
Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

A Recycle Bin is a helpful tool that allows you to store your recently deleted files in a safe place in case you need to restore those files. Unfortunately, these bins can become more of a hindrance on some of your external hard drives because they take up space when they save your deleted files. If you have no fear of deleting a file without the opportunity to restore it, you can disable your Recycle Bin on your external hard drives. It expedites the deletion process and saves you some precious space.

Windows 7 and Vista

Step 1

Right-click your Recycle Bin and select “Properties.”

Step 2

Locate the external drive on which you want to disable the Recycle Bin and select it.

Click the “Don’t Move Files to the Recycle Bin. Remove Files Immediately When Deleted” option. Click “OK” to save your settings.

Windows XP

Step 1

Right-click on your Recycle Bin icon to pull up the menu. You can also right-click the open Recycle Bin window.

Step 2

Click “Properties.” A pop-up window appears. At the top of this window, you will see a Global tab and other tabs titled after each of your external hard drives.

Step 3

Click the “Configure Drives Independently” option. This allows you to keep your primary drive’s Recycle Bin working while you disable the bins on the external hard drives.

Click on the tabs for the external hard drives on which you want to disable the Recycle Bin. Click the “Do Not Move Files to the Recycle Bin. Remove Files Immediately When Deleted” option. Click “OK” to save your settings.

Tip

  • If you do not want Windows 7 or Vista to ask if you want to delete a file, remove the check in the “Display Delete Confirmation Dialog” box.

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