How Not to Place a Deleted File in the Recycle Bin

Whenever we need to delete a file/folder in Windows Explorer, it does not delete the file/folder totally. Instead it places a copy of the file/folder in the Recycle Bin. And again we have to go to the Recycle Bin, locate the file & then delete it again to remove it completely. But let me show you how to tweak the settings of Windows which will completely delete a file/folder whenever we delete a file using the Windows Explorer.

Trick 1 :

Follow the steps below to tweak your Windows XP :

1. Go to START -> RUN, Or simply press Windows key + R.

2. Type in “cmd” in the RUN window.

3. In the Command Prompt type “gpedit.msc” & hit enter.


4. Now the Group Policy window will open.

5. In the left pane, select the Administrative Templates under User Configuration.


6. Now in the right pane, double-click the Windows Components & then Windows Explorer.


7. Now in the list of content that opens find & right-click on “Do not move deleted files to the Recycle Bin”.


8. Now select Properties. And in the resulting check the “Enabled” radio button and click Apply. In the Explain tab you can read what Microsoft says about this tweak.


Now you have your windows tweaked not to send a copy of the deleted file/folder to the Recycle Bin instead delete it completely.

Trick 2 :

This trick works fine for both XP & Vista as well

In case we want to delete a file directly bypassing the Recycle Bin we can use Shift+Delete. but this can also be done pressing Delete button only. Follow the steps to get your job done.

1. Right-click the Recycle bin icon on Desktop.

2. Click the Properties.

3. In the resulting window, change the settings as shown in the screenshot.


4. Now every time we try to delete a file to the recycle bin or totally, we get a confirmation message. This message can also be bypassed by changing the settings as shown in the screenshot above.

You may need to reboot the computer to set the changes. And sorry to say sometimes like all other tricks it may not work for you at all. But do not doubt the tweak, as you can check what Microsoft says about this (step 8 for trick 1). Well that’s all for now.

Soumen Halder

Soumen is the founder/author for Ampercent, a tech blog that writes on computer tricks, free online tools & software guides.


  1. Thanks for these tips. Currently I’m using a combination of the regular recycle bin for everyday stuff, and Eraser (Open source, secure deletion tool: ) for more secure/sensitive files.

    Am I right in thinking that the above tweaks will ‘delete’ the file, but that the file would still be recoverable? If that’s the case I will try them out but hang on to Eraser to use on docs that have personal info, client details, etc.

  2. @Kris you are just right about what you told about Eraser. The above tricks only helps you bypass the Recycle Bin while deleting a file/folder.

    But I’m sad to say, that those deleted files will still be recoverable. As deleting a file only releases the hard disk space for getting occupied by another file/folder. But until it gets replaced, the old file still remains recoverable.

    If you wanna make the deleted file unrecoverable, you can refer to one of my post – How to make a deleted file unrecoverable or just carry on using Eraser.

    Anyway thanks for commenting.

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