As you may already know, when you delete files from your computer, they aren’t actually deleted. Instead they are moved to a folder called the “Recycle Bin” were they will live forever until you empty the Recycle Bin. This is both good and bad. On one hand it gives you the opportunity to recover files you didn’t mean to delete. On the other hand, when you don’t routinely empty your Recycle Bin, it tends to fill up with all kinds of stuff, taking up valuable storage space.

I have actually heard of people using the Recycle Bin as safe storage location, assuming they can always recover files out of it. Unfortunately, when you run software that cleans up junk files from your computer, it will typically deleted everything in the Recycle Bin too. Since it is, after all, not intended to save valuable information.

A good rule of thumb is to check your Recycle Bin, maybe once a week or every other week, and empty it if you are sure you don’t the files contained in it. If you have files that you want to keep, please don’t leave them in the Recycle Bin.

If you want to delete a file outright, without it first going to the Recycle Bin, you can hold the shift key when you delete the file, and it will bypass the Recycle Bin all together. Just be sure you don’t need the file before you do that.

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