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From a Windows workstation when I delete files over the network (e.g. a file share, server disk, etc) those files are never put into a trash can, either on my Windows workstation or on the server - they're instantly and permanently deleted. This has always sucked IMHO.

Is there a software that, in this scenario, puts the files into a trash can somewhere for easy undelete?

Maybe a Windows policy change, registry setting value, software utility, etc ?

Looking for a specific solution instead of general "Hey look into this, or try this". I'm convinced somebody has already solved this and can explain it. Thanks.

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Since the files aren't on your drive they would have to be copied to your local drive then placed in the recycle bin. This is very time consuming and would be a waste of network traffic (in most cases) so what Windows does is it just tells the remote networked system that it shoudl delete that file itself. – Daisetsu Jul 15 '10 at 23:45
up vote 8 down vote accepted

A network recycle bin doesn't exist, there is two ways around it:

  • Use shadow copies or back-ups to prevent lost data.

    Locally the Recycle Bin is part of Windows Explorer -- and on the network you are NOT dealing with explorer on the server. Explorer locally isn't going to copy the file to the user's workstation just to put it into the recycle bin.

    You CAN implement Shadow Copy however, then users can undelete and compare versions.


  • Instead of pressing delete, move the file to the recycle bin.

    The provided link also suggests NetrBin as Revolter says,
    the big problem behind it is that every time you delete you transfer the file first.

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It's a shame that an easy and effective answer has been downvoted on here. Othniel Cressy's steps do solve the problem without needing any extra software. I don't have enough reputation to upvote him or comment on his post so I'm having to reply here instead but it's a great solution for people!

All you need to do is set the location of one of your Personal Folders to the root of the network drive and Windows automatically adds that location to the Recycle Bin. I use the "Contacts" folder as I have no other use for it, but you can use "My Music" or "My Games".

  1. Right click on the Personal Folder you don't use (e.g. Contacts) and choose Properties
  2. Find the Location tab
  3. Click Move... and set the new location to the root of the Network Drive
  4. I chose to not move existing files, there shouldn't be any anyway.

Done. Check your Recycle Bin locations and you should see your network drive on there! I found this a great tip so I hope it helps others.

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I came across an utility when I was searching this issue

people, on the way, says Microsoft does not handle deletes over networks shares ! looks true. can't find more details yet...

NetrBin, (Network recycle bin), is for this purpose, it moves deleted files from network drives to the recycle bin for later backups. (i didn't test it) so you may want to try it.

alt text

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"To implement the network recycle folder Samba uses a Virtual File System (VFS) module." -- In short, you'll need to configure the network share (rather than the client) for most of the solutions I've used.

A quick search found this information from

A more in-depth guide can be found here: (p551)


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Thanks for a solution. I'm not using SAMBA, just regular Windows facilities. Is there a solution without using something this large? It seems a little heavy for my situation - I'm searching more so for a software utility, registry setting or simpler software fix instead of an entire networking alternative. – John K Jul 7 '10 at 16:53
Samba is regular windows facilities... Link 1 however is for linux, and I think that the second one is too. – TheLQ Jul 7 '10 at 20:02
Hungry - Are you using basic file-sharing? What version of Windows are the hosts running? Everything I've found dictates that this is a server level change - so even with basic file-sharing this is a server (host) change. However... there are client level programs that basically cache the file locally to allow you to undelete them - including shadowcopy and winundelete (I've not used either). This discussion has a nice review: – JDB Jul 8 '10 at 19:34
various workstations XP thru Windows 7 connecting to Server 2003 and 2008. Shadowing rings a bell - I recollect some suite of security tools having it - not so fond. You might be correct. I'll look deeper into the info you provided. Thansk. – John K Jul 9 '10 at 14:53

You could make a network folder called "Recycle Bin" and just move files to it.

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Years ago, i finally found the software replacing the recycle bin, starting with the 2 researched features, that is handle of : - files deleted from the network - files moved

This software were "Undelete" from Executive software Unhappily, their activity stopped around 2003-2004. My release is still working under windows xp and didn't try under seven but i have doubts.

I saw your question yesterday and i found Undelete from Diskkeeper web site. The name and the features seem the same, didn't yet try the eval but i feel there is some good hope Diskeeper bought Executive software.

After a google search, the "Executive software" terms are often used on the diskkeeper web site so maybe a beginning of answer. Whatever, i invite you to try it.

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Following these steps, when you delete files on the server, they are saved to your local recycle bin. I found it handy. The steps are simple.

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Can you summarize the steps in that link, so that if the link goes dead, your answer is still useful? – John Bensin Sep 19 '13 at 22:54

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