How do I get Windows 7 to NOT use the recycling Bin on a removable drive? I've already told Windows to not use the function on that drive but Windows still creates the "Recycling Bin" folder. It stays empty, but I don't want it there at ALL. Simply hiding it won't do. I'm using that removable drive in my car stereo and that "recycled" folder locks up the machine.

  • 3
    I agree that the Recycle Bin being forced on every mounted fixed volume without the option to disable it is bad and poor design. I just (not for the first time) ran into a situation where it is horrible because it causes problems with data-recovery. I lost a bunch of files on a volume, so I stopped using that drive to prevent anything being overwritten, yet stupid Windows went ahead and wrote stuff to the Recycle Bin files, thus overwriting a file, even though I did NOT modify any files on that volume!
    – Synetech
    Oct 28, 2012 at 20:49
  • 1
    How do I get Windows 7 to NOT use the recycling Bin on a removable drive? Define “removable”. Windows only creates a Recycle Bin on fixed (read internal) and external hard-drives. In both cases, including external drives, they are not considered removable drives. Windows only considers floppies, memory-cards, and flash-drives as “removable” and does not create or use a Recycle Bin on those. This question was presumably talking about an external hard-drive as opposed to a removable drive on which Windows does create a Recycle Bin.
    – Synetech
    Nov 17, 2013 at 21:02

5 Answers 5


Recycle Bin is a system directory and gets created anyway. There may be a registry hack, but restoring the OS, or installing a hotfix may reset it - so don't bother.

To avoid seeing the Recycle Bin, do the following:

  1. Hide operating system files in "Folder and search options":

    enter image description here

  2. Make sure deleted files do not get copied to the Recycle Bin (by right-clicking it):

    enter image description here

  3. Hide the Recycle Bin by personalizing the desktop:

    enter image description here

  • 4
    That's good info but the reason I'm looking for it to NOT be there at all is because when I plug that removable drive into my car stereo, that folder crashes it. I know it sounds funny to say your car stereo crashes, but it doesn't know how to deal with that folder. Your steps above only "hide" that folder. I need for it to not exist at all. But thanks.
    – JimDel
    Nov 30, 2009 at 0:34
  • 1
    If you follow step 2, then forcibly remove the directory, does it get recreated the next time you insert the disk? Nov 30, 2009 at 4:01
  • 2
    Yes (too short padding to get to 15 chars :)) Nov 30, 2009 at 7:09
  • 2
    > Another thing which may work for you is renaming the recycle bin's folder name to a normal string (no $ or .)… @TravelingTechGuy, that doesn’t change the filename of the recycle bin’s folder(s), it only lets you change the name of the desktop icon; it has no effect on the actual folder(s).
    – Synetech
    Oct 24, 2012 at 3:47
  • 2
    This is not a solution. It disables the bin for all drives instead of just the selected one(s).
    – Synetech
    Oct 28, 2012 at 20:50

but Windows still creates the "Recycling Bin" folder

That is pretty easy to be avoided:

Delete the folder, open Notepad and save the blank file as $Recycle.Bin in the root directory of the drive in question, now Windows cannot create the folder.

enter image description here

If you want to use the Recycle Bin again on this drive, just delete the file.

enter image description here

  • 4
    This is not a solution because Windows just re-creates the bin on every drive the moment any operation access it on any drive (e.g., if you delete a file on C:, then Windows creates the bin folder on every volume). This is unacceptable because it makes it effectively impossible to do data-recovery because Windows is writing to the volume for no reason.
    – Synetech
    Oct 28, 2012 at 20:51
  • 1
    @Synetech If you are trying to do data recovery, I'd advise using Linux instead. Oct 24, 2017 at 21:57
  • 1
    Data recovery? The whole point of this question is the premise that you do NOT want to use the Recycle Bin for that purpose. It presumes you have something like Acronis True Image for actual data recovery.
    – SDsolar
    Jan 15, 2018 at 15:36

Mount the drive under a Linux disk like Clonezilla and make a sector-by-sector copy. That way you have a copy to mess with and not the original. I don't think you can stop the default Windows process of creating a hidden Recycle Bin folder in each drive, but many Linux systems (like Puppy Linux) will not touch the drive with a write operation until you tell them to.

EDIT: My bad I was responding to a different post. However, if you boot your Windows machine with a Puppy Linux disk, THEN insert your external drive, you can delete the recycler and move your mp3s to your drive without getting any unwanted files written to the drive. Then you can remove your mp3 drive, remove the Puppy disk, and reboot to Windows without too much hassle. I don't know of any actual way to stop the hidden recycler file from being thrown on the drive, but this would work around it.

  • 1
    Oops! I was responding to a different post >.< My mistake, you are correct. However, the OP could still use a Puppy Linux disk to move files for his car stereo and avoid having any hidden recycler files written to the drive. Dec 6, 2012 at 23:02
  • Why don't you edit this to say that? (Would work with modern Linux like Ubuntu/Fedora/Mint too.) Dec 6, 2012 at 23:34

"How do I get Windows 7 to NOT use the recycling Bin on a removable drive?"

Run the following script on startup or login.

Source Windows 7: Disable creation of $recycle.bin folder?:

Yes this can be done... because I got annoyed that it can't be done so I wrote a script to do it (see below). It works for me but if you have any issues yourselves you may need to tweak it a bit.

' Author:      HSV Guy
' Description: Script to remove Recycle Bin folder. Run on Windows startup or login.
' Notes: 1)    See http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/11949-elevated-program-shortcut-without-uac-prompt-create.html
'              for how to run programs/scripts with elevated permissions without a UAC prompt.
'        2)    Update value of RECYCLEBIN as per version of Windows (configured for Windows 7).
' Date:        1 April 2011


Call RunElevated

Dim filesys, drv, drvcoll, folder, RECYCLEBIN
RECYCLEBIN = ":\$Recycle.Bin\"

Set filesys = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set drvcoll = filesys.Drives

For Each drv in drvcoll
  If drv.IsReady And filesys.FolderExists(drv.DriveLetter & RECYCLEBIN)  Then
     Set folder = filesys.GetFolder(drv.DriveLetter & RECYCLEBIN)
     MyMsgBox "About to delete: " & folder
    MyMsgBox "Skipped " & drv.DriveLetter & ". Folder doesn't exist or device not ready."
  End If  

'Source code of RunElevated function shamelessly taken from:
' http://www.insidethe.com/blog/2009/12/how-to-launch-a-wsh-vbscript-as-administrator-in-windows-7-and-vista/
Function RunElevated
    If WScript.Arguments.Named.Exists("elevated") = False Then
        'Launch the script again as administrator
        CreateObject("Shell.Application").ShellExecute "wscript.exe", """" & WScript.ScriptFullName & """ /elevated", "", "runas", 1
        'Change the working directory from the system32 folder back to the script's folder.
        Set oShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
        oShell.CurrentDirectory = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject").GetParentFolderName(WScript.ScriptFullName)
         MyMsgBox "Now running with elevated permissions" & SILENT
    End If
End Function

Function MyMsgBox(Message)
    If Not SILENT Then MsgBox Message
End Function
  • Please explain what does the script do?
    – Pacerier
    Apr 25, 2015 at 16:58
  • "Script to remove Recycle Bin folder. Run on Windows startup or login."
    – DavidPostill
    Apr 25, 2015 at 20:38

As for explorer, there seems to be corresponding group policy under User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Explorer called "Do not move deleted files to the Recycle Bin". Not sure if it works only for Windows Explorer or entire system tho.

Group policy

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