You can view the contents of the Recycle Bin in the command prompt. Start by opening Command (not PowerShell), then enter the following, hitting Return after each line
This will take you to your C drive.
The Recycle Bin is a hidden directory. It will only show up when you type
dir /a:h to show hidden files and folders.
$Recycle.Bin folder there are several directories which are also hidden. These are named for the GUID/SID of the accounts on your computer. You can only access the one belonging to your own account, so you may need to check each in turn.
tab to autocomplete a
CD S- command to check each folder. Folders not belonging to you will return
Access is denied. Your own Recycle Bin directory will allow you in. Once you've found your Recycle Bin folder and entered it, enter:
This will show all the files in your Recycle Bin and allow you to tell whether any of the files need to be restored before emptying the Recycle Bin.
You should be able to retrieve the files by using
mv (move) or
copy commands. You'll also need to reset the Hidden attribute on these files in order to see them in their new locations in your File Explorer.
The Recycle Bin failing to open is a problem you MUST investigate. This could mean your Hard Drive is failing and folders in the Recycle Bin cross bad sectors. It could mean corruption on the disk and you should run Check Disk to try to find and repair this.
The Recycle Bin failing to open is the REAL problem here, and it could be serious so you should check into it soon to prevent it from becoming worse.
Update: OP Solved
OP notes the cause of these symptoms in their case was that the drive was out of space, and the Recycle Bin was using a significant portion of that space.
Once they were able to clear space in this drive, they were able to access the Recycle Bin and its contents successfully.