How to Empty Your Recycle Bin on a Schedule on Windows 10

You don’t systematically think about emptying the Recycle Bin, leaving your PC cluttered with useless files? Don’t worry, Windows 10 can empty your Recycle Bin on a schedule for you !

Like everyone else, you delete the files you no longer need by placing them in the Recycle Bin. But if you don’t regularly go to the Desktop – or if you’re not keen on cleaning – you probably don’t see its full icon and don’t think about emptying it…

How Does the Windows Recycle Bin work?

Nothing serious for the functioning of your computer. But you should know that files placed in the Recycle Bin are not deleted. In fact, they are simply declared as being to be deleted. And although they no longer appear in their original location in Explorer, they are still present on your PC, taking up space on your storage device! This is a very useful precautionary measure, which allows you to recover files deleted by mistake. In Windows, all you have to do is open the Recycle Bin, right-click on a file you want to recover and select the Restore function from the context menu so that it can be restored to its original location, as if nothing had happened.

In practice, the files placed in the Recycle Bin are not really deleted until the Recycle Bin is emptied – in fact, they are still present, it is simply their location that is declared free – this is the reason why the Recycle Bin is so important.In fact, they are still present, it is simply their location that is declared free – this is what allows specialized utilities to find them and recover them, as long as no other file has come to occupy the freed space. In fact, as long as the Recycle Bin is not emptied, the "deleted" files take up storage space. Hence the importance of emptying it regularly, after checking its contents, to free up space. A space which is sometimes measured in tens of gigabytes today, especially on large capacity disks…

The good news is that if this chore weighs you down, you can perfectly use the automatic emptying function of Windows 10. All you have to do is activate it and set a time limit after which the files placed in the Recycle Bin will be effectively deleted. However, it goes without saying that this feature is not smart: if you have inadvertently placed files in the Recycle Bin, they will be automatically deleted after the set time. It’s up to you to be careful.

How to Empty Your Recycle Bin on a Schedule?

  • Right-click on the Start menu, then click on Settings in the menu that appears.
  • In the window that opens, click on the System heading.
  • The contents of the window will change. In the left pane, scroll down and click on the Storage heading.
  • On the right side, in theStorage section, click the switch to turn it on, and then click Configure Storage Wizard or Run it Now.
  • The contents of the window change. In theTemporary Files section, leave the Delete temporary files that my applications don’t use checkbox checked by default, and click in the menu belowDelete files in my Trash if they’ve been there for more than to pull it down.
  • You can choose between several periods:Never,1 day,14 days,30 days or 60 days– there is no possibility to refine or customize these durations. Select the period that suits you: it corresponds to the retention period after which the files placed in the Recycle Bin will be automatically deleted. For example, if you have selected 14 days, a file will be permanently deleted two weeks after being placed in the Recycle Bin.

That’s it, there’s nothing else to do! Note that the deletion action is individual: and if the selected retention time is general, the date of deletion of a file depends on the date when it was placed in the Recycle Bin. Thus, unlike other methods, the Recycle Bin will not be emptied of all its contents at once: files will be permanently deleted as they reach their expiration date.