How to Skip the Recycle Bin for Deleting Files on Windows 10

Recycle Bin on a Windows 10 desktop

Windows 10 normally sends the files you delete to the trash. They will be kept until you empty it – or, in some cases, until Windows 10 automatically empties your trash. Here’s how to ignore the Recycle Bin and delete files immediately.

This does not necessarily “delete” the files permanently. Your deleted files can still be restorable, especially if you are using a mechanical hard drive and not an SSD. We recommend use encryption to protect all your files—With full disk encryption, users cannot recover your deleted files without also bypassing encryption

How to delete one or more files immediately

To immediately delete a file, folder, or multiple files and folders, select them in File Explorer and press Shift + Delete on your keyboard.

You can also right-click the files, hold down the Shift key, and click the “Delete” option from the context menu.

Delete a file in File Explorer.

Windows will ask you if you want to permanently delete the file. Click “Yes” or press Enter to confirm.

You will not be able to recover files from the Recycle Bin if you delete them in this way.

The confirmation prompt when deleting a file with Shift + Delete.

How to always jump the trash

You can also ask Windows to stop using the Recycle Bin in the future. To do this, right click on your “Trash” icon and select “Properties”.

Open the properties window of the recycle bin.

Select the “Do not move files to the Recycle Bin. Delete the files immediately after they are deleted.” Option here.

Note that Windows uses different trash settings for different drives. For example, if you delete a file on the C: drive, it goes to the Trash on the C: drive. If you delete a file on the D: drive, it goes to the trash on the D: drive.

So if you have multiple discs, you will need to select them all from the list here and change the setting for each disc you want to change it for.

Tell Windows 10 to skip the trash for specific drives.

Click “OK” to save your settings.

You must beware: Any files you delete in the future will be deleted immediately, as if you had used the Shift + Delete option. If you accidentally press the Delete key with certain selected files, they will disappear immediately and you will not be able to recover them.

For this reason, you may wish to activate the “Display the deletion confirmation dialog” option. You will be asked to confirm your choice each time you delete files.

RELATED: How to enable full disk encryption on Windows 10

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