There is a "$REYCLE.BIN" folder in my external hard drive; can I delete it?

What do I need to do?

  • I believe this folder is the storage location for files in the recycle bin. It is likely that this file is locked by Explorer, therefore you can not remove it directly, you may possibly be able to remove it by emptying the recycle bin. Jul 23, 2011 at 9:57
  • Yes, you can delete it. Unless you might want to recover files that have been deleted from that drive. Jul 23, 2011 at 9:59
  • 1
    The recycle bin shouldnt be taking any space on your hard drive. Regardless of how big the size of the data is in it, Windows marks that space as free. Are you looking at its size with something other than windows explorer?
    – Keltari
    Jul 29, 2014 at 0:02
  • @Keltari, What do you mean? It should show the size of the folder right?
    – Pacerier
    Apr 25, 2015 at 16:46
  • That there are files in the recycle bin is perhaps/probably relevant when cloning the drive. Not sure.
    – Pablo H
    Jul 1, 2022 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


Personally I would not delete it, I would just disable it for that drive. It won't hurt to have on empty hidden folder on your drive.

Right click on Recycle Bin>Properties and highlight the drive. Then change the "Settings for selected location" to "Don't move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted."

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  • 3
    The question is whether it's safe to delete it or not...
    – Pacerier
    Apr 19, 2014 at 20:56

When you delete file from your external hard drive, it's been gone to some hidden place in your external hard drives. $REYCLE.BIN folder in this circumstances may be the folder contains those files or links to those files. If you can see some files in this folder, I suggest do not delete it. Delete it may be a harmless action, but we don't need to do that, right?

  • 5
    Yes we do, because it takes a lot of space in my external drive.
    – user850019
    Jul 23, 2011 at 10:02
  • 1
    Can we just clearing recycle bin to gains back some space?
    – Khoa Le
    Jul 23, 2011 at 10:04
  • 3
    Dude, this is called avoiding the question instead of answering it.
    – Pacerier
    Apr 25, 2015 at 16:51

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