General Enable Recycle Bin for Removable Drives in Windows 11


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Recyle_Bin_full_banner.png

The Recycle Bin provides a safety net when deleting files or folders. When you delete any of these items from a hard disk, Windows places it in the Recycle Bin and the Recycle Bin icon changes from empty to full.

If you have multiple hard drives, partitions, or an external hard drive connected to your PC, each drive will have its own hidden $Recycle.Bin system folder and Recycle Bin settings.

Removable drives, such as USB flash drives and memory cards, do not have a Recycle Bin by default. Files deleted from removable drives are permanently deleted since they do not go to the Recycle Bin. You can enable the Recycle Bin for removable drives to have deleted files from them go to the Recycle Bin instead.

Each user account on the PC will have their own separate Recycle Bin, and will be referenced by their Security Identifier (SID) in each drive's hidden $Recycle.Bin system folder.

Items in the Recycle Bin still take up hard disk space and can be undeleted or restored back to their original location. When the Recycle Bin of a drive reaches its maximum size, Windows will automatically permanently delete (empty) older files in the Recycle Bin location to accommodate the most recently deleted files and folders.

When you manually empty the Recycle Bin, all files in the Recycle Bin will be permanently deleted to free up disk space.

This tutorial will show you how to enable the Recycle Bin for removable drives for all users in Windows 11.


You must be signed in as an administrator to enable or disable the Recycle Bin for removable drives.



EXAMPLE: Recycle Bin for removable USB flash drive

Recycle_Bin_for_removable_drives.png



Here's How:

1 Do step 2 (enable) or step 3 (disable) below for what you would like to do.

2 Enable Recycle Bin for Removable Drives

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Enable_Recycle_Bin_for_removable_drives.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"RecycleBinDrives"=dword:ffffffff

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"RecycleBinDrives"=dword:ffffffff

3 Disable Recycle Bin for Removable Drives

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

Disable_Recycle_Bin_for_removable_drives.reg


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"RecycleBinDrives"=-

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]
"RecycleBinDrives"=-

4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

7 Either disconnect and reconnect the removable drive(s), or restart the computer to apply.

8 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink
 

Attachments

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