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I understand that when I empty the recycle bin, the files are still within the computer, and would be accessible by someone with special knowledge. My question is this: the next time that the recycle bin is emptied, would the original deleted files be completely erased?

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  • No; they would be gone when they are overwritten, when that happens entirely depends on how much data is being written since the deletion of the file – Ramhound May 8 '15 at 21:55
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No, the files would not be completely erased. If you are using an SSD then a TRIM command would erase them (How to manually trim an SSD in Windows 7?), otherwise you can use a utility like sdelete to make sure.

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Not absolutely, because recycle-bin removed files gets marked as unused (where they physically "are" on disk) in the file-system index, thus releasing the corresponding bits to be overwritten by some other data.

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It will depend on the type of disk you have. On a HDD, the files will be marked as deleted in the Master File Table (MFT) but the actual data is still there. If you do not write anything on the disk, programs like Recuva are able to recover the data.

If the disk is a SSD, the mechanism is different. The minute you delete the files from the recycle bin, Windows (7 and up) will signal to the SSD controller that those files are deleted (Trim command). That will erase any trace of the data on the SSD. The MFT will be handled like in the case of the HDD.

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