I have noticed that Windows 7 handles the Recycle Bin much worse than XP did, particularly when there are a lot of items in it. Whenever I have a bin filled with a ridiculous number of files, and especially when in 7, what I do is to open a command-prompt (
cmd), and use a simple command to delete the Recycle Bin at the file-system level (change the drive as necessary):
rd /s /q C:\$RECYCLE.BIN > nul
There can be a few different names for the Recycle Bin directory depending on the version of Windows and other installed programs (e.g.,
RECOVERY BIN). For compatibility with different versions of Windows as well as the old Norton Protected Recycle Bin, use this version (it presumes that there are no legitimate files or folders in the drive’s root that happen contain
recycl; which is rare anyway):
rd /s /q C:\*recycl* > nul
What this does is to delete the folder and all of its contents, and redirect any output to
nul (ie, don’t show any output whatsoever).
This is probably the fastest method of flushing the Recycle Bin for a few reasons:
- Booting a live-CD will of course take a while to shutdown Windows, boot the other OS, then shut that down, and re-boot Windows, which altogether defeats the purpose
- Emptying or even deleting the Recycle Bin in Explorer (even with Shift+Del) causes extra house-keeping to take place which does not occur with the
- Redirecting the output to
nul speeds things up (technically, it should not be displaying anything like
deltree do, but it’s still a good trick to know)
Deleting the Recycle Bin folder completely is not a problem because it is recreated as soon as you delete a file.
In my batch-file, I use the above method (which uses the fast, built-in
rd command) but also have a few references to external, third-party executable programs:
o.OThat’s quite a bit. After ~20 years of extensive computer use, I only have ~300K files across all the volumes in my current system (not counting my thousands of floppies or other drives). Can you say what the heck was in that folder?