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How to Empty Recycle Bin on Windows 10 PC

A recycle bin is temporary storage for files that have been deleted in a file manager by the user, but not yet permanently erased from the file system. Items in the Recycle Bin can be undeleted or restored back to their original location but still take up hard disk space.

If you want to free up space, you can manually empty the Recycle Bin, all files in the Recycle Bin will be permanently deleted. Here describes different ways to empty Recycle Bin in Windows 10.

How to Empty the Recycle Bin on Desktop

If you have showed Recycle Bin icon on the Desktop, follow this steps:

Step 1: Find the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop.

Step 2: Right click (or press and hold) and select Empty Recycle Bin.

Empty Recycle Bin on Desktop

Tip: If you have added Desktop toolbar to Taskbar, you can easily Empty Recycle Bin from Desktop toolbar.

How to Empty Recycle Bin in Storage Settings

Remove file of Recycle Bin in Settings, here is how:

Step 1: Open Settings app, click System > Storage.

Step 2: Click on This PC and then scroll down the list and choose Temporary files.

See the storage of this PC

Step 3: Click on Temporary files.

Temporary files

Step 4: Under Remove temporary files, select the Empty recycle bin check box and then choose Remove files button.

Remove previous version of Windows

How to Empty Recycle Bin using Disk Cleanup

Windows. old folder contains a copy of the previous Windows installation in C: disk, and it take up much of storage. It can free up several GBs of disk space by using the Remove previous Windows installations option in Disk Cleanup Tool.

Step 1: Open the Disk Cleanup tool in Run.

Press Win+R to open Run dialog, type in cleanmgr, and then hit Enter key.

run the Disk Cleanup tool

Wait while the system is calculating the amount of the used space.

Step 2: Once the tool opens, click Clean up system file button.

cleanup-system-files

Step 4: Scroll down till you see Recycle Bin. Check this option and click on OK.

select Previous Windows installation option

Step 5: Click on Delete Files to complete the task.

Delete files

How to Empty Recycle Bin in File Explorer Ribbon

Step 1: Open the Recycle Bin.

Step 2: Click on the Recycle Bin Tools Manage tab, and click on Empty Recycle Bin in the ribbon then click on Empty Recycle Bin.

Empty Recycle Bin from File Exploere

How to Empty Recycle Bin in Windows PowerShell

Step 1: Open the Windows PowerShell in Run.

Press the Win+R keys to open Run. Type powershell, and click on OK.

Open the Windows PowerShell in Run

Step 2: Execute command below you want to use into PowerShell, and press Enter.

Empty Recycle Bin for all drives: Clear-RecycleBin -force -ErrorAction:Ignore
To empty Recycle Bin for specific drives:Clear-RecycleBin -DriveLetter <drive letter> -force -ErrorAction:Ignore

Empty Recycle Bin for all drives