I scanned my hard drive with a disk space analyzing program and I noticed that I have hidden Recycle Bin folders on the "D" and "E" drives which are not empty. One is 4gb, the other 6gb. I can't empty these folders. If I empty the Recycle Bin from the desktop icon, it empties only the Recycle Bin folder on the "C" drive.

My question is how to delete the content of the Recycle Bin folders on the "D" and "E" drives, and is it safe to delete it?

  • Are these internal, or external drives? Mar 7 '13 at 19:15
  • It is one internal drive that is partitioned on three parts C, D and E.
    – peter7558
    Mar 7 '13 at 19:50
  • Do they appear in the Recycle Bin properties? (right-click on the recycle bin icon or folder) Mar 7 '13 at 19:56
  • Yes, they appear in recycle bin properties. I tried with checking "Do not move files to the Recycle Bin" individually for "D" and "E" but it still doesn't empty the Recycler folder.
    – peter7558
    Mar 7 '13 at 20:01
  • 2
    If you're sure nothing valuable is to be recovered, boot from a Linux LiveCD/USB and get rid of the folders entirely. Windows will automatically recreate them anyway, but at least the files will be gone.
    – Karan
    Mar 8 '13 at 2:04

I found a solution for my problem. Using these two commands in command prompt deletes recycler folders on D and E drive and after reboot recreates them again.

rd /s /q d:\recycler
rd /s /q e:\recycler

Windows may or may not allow you to delete these. You'll definitely need administrative access to do so.

Under the Recycle Bin folder, there are actually subfolders by security ID. Windows will actually protect you from seeing anything under a Recycle Bin that doesn't "belong to" you. (Isn't associated with your user SID.) You can see these other folders using a command window - since they're hidden, you have to use dir /a to see them.

The safest thing to do, in my opinion, would be to remove the subfolders that you don't want, rather than trying to delete the entire Recycle Bin. But as I said above, Windows might not permit you to do this.

You'll probably want to keep a backup (if possible) of anything valuable on those drives.

  • 1
    I found a way using the command prompt to delete the recycler folders on both drives using these commands: rd /s /q d:\recycler rd /s /q e:\recycler
    – peter7558
    Mar 8 '13 at 19:56
  • 1
    @user1800997 Good to hear. You can actually post your solution as Answer and select the checkmark next to it, indicating it's the answer that works and is best for you. This action can always be changed to another answer if needed.
    – Lizz
    Mar 9 '13 at 5:51

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