There are situations where you need to reset the Recycle Bin store folder to fix problems such as Recycle Bin not showing the files that have been deleted, or you’re unable to completely empty the Recycle Bin. Each drive has a hidden and protected folder named $Recycle.bin, which is where the Recycle Bin stores files and folders that you (and other users in the PC) delete. Windows creates a fresh $Recycle.bin folder automatically after you reset it.

Fixing a corrupt Recycle Bin

IMPORTANT:  The following procedure permanently deletes all files and folders which are already in the Recycle Bin (from all user accounts in the system) and cannot be recovered.

1. Open an elevated Command Prompt window. To open an elevated Command Prompt, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

2. Type the following command and press ENTER:

rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin

(This clears out the $Recycle.bin folder for the C:\ drive. You may have to do this for each hard disk partition in your system.)

3. Type exit to close the Command Prompt window.

Editor’s note: The above method only fixes Recycle Bin folder corruption if any. Using the above method as an attempt to fix any cosmetic problems (eg. Recycle Bin showing incorrect icon) with the Recycle Bin does not help.

See Also

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  1. Lex Dean
    said this on Saturday, January 31st 2015 5:28 am

    This is not a fix, The WINDOWS 7 pro ISO download has the error MS has to find an error free version.

  2. Lisa
    said this on Saturday, January 17th 2015 8:33 am

    Nothing happens when I hit Enter. The cursor goes to the next line and blinks at the beginning of the blank line. Can’t type there. What now? ugh.

  3. Phil
    said this on Sunday, December 7th 2014 4:53 am

    This did not work for me. I tested it by putting a folder into the recycle bin. It was not in the bin when I opened it. My Windows 7 is 64 bit. Would this make a difference.

  4. KISAN
    said this on Saturday, August 23rd 2014 6:26 pm

    giving result in command prompt “Access is denied “

  5. karthik
    said this on Tuesday, July 1st 2014 4:48 pm

    any data loss while we trying to this steps?

  6. John Trollsten
    said this on Monday, May 12th 2014 11:22 pm

    cheers ! perfect

  7. Christopher
    said this on Wednesday, January 29th 2014 12:10 pm

    Solution worked perfectly. Thank you.

  8. Steve
    said this on Saturday, November 9th 2013 1:13 am

    Worked a treat, many thanks.

  9. Maureen
    said this on Monday, September 2nd 2013 5:23 pm

    This fixed the problem. Many thanks!

  10. dominick
    said this on Sunday, August 25th 2013 3:40 am

    This solution worked for me, after trying several other methods. Thanks!

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