How to Change Recycle Bin Storage Settings in Windows 11

In Windows 11, when you delete files, they are not immediately deleted from the drive. Instead, they’re marked for deletion and stored in the Recycle Bin in case you need to retrieve them.

The only problem is that the files in the recycle bin are not kept indefinitely. Depending on the size of the drive (partition), Windows 11 will reserve a small percentage to store deleted files. As the space fills up, the system begins to delete the oldest files to free up space for the files, thus limiting the number of files you can restore.

However, it is possible to change the settings to allow the Recycle Bin to store more (or fewer) deleted files. You can even specify to completely bypass the Recycle Bin when deleting a file, and you can enable a confirmation prompt to minimize the times you accidentally delete files.

In this Windows 11 guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to manage the Recycle Bin settings on your PC.

How to Change Recycle Bin Reserved Storage on Windows 11

To specify how much space the Recycle Bin can use before completely deleting files, follow these steps:

1. Use the keyboard shortcut  Windows key + D  to see desktop icons.

Quick tip:  If you don’t see any items, right-click on the desktop, select  View , then click  Show desktop icons .

2. Right-click on the trash can icon and select the Properties option  .

How to Change Recycle Bin Reserved Storage

3. Select the local disk location (C:) .

4. Choose the Custom Size option  .

5. Use the Maximum Size setting  to specify the amount of space the Recycle Bin should use in megabytes.

Choose the Custom Size option

Quick note:  1 GB equals 1024 MB, which means that if you want to reserve 50 GB, you must specify 51,200 megabytes.

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6. Click the Apply button .

7. Click the OK button .

Once you complete the steps, the Recycle Bin will store deleted files until it reaches the maximum capacity you specify. Then it will start permanently deleting files from oldest to newest.

Although you can configure the recycle bin on the primary drive as well as the secondary drive, removable drives do not support this feature.

How to Delete Files Without Recycle Bin in Windows 11

To skip the Recycle Bin and immediately delete the files, follow these steps:

1. Use the keyboard shortcut  Windows key + D  to see desktop icons.

Quick tip:  If you don’t see any items, right-click on the desktop, select  View , then click  Show desktop icons .

2. Right-click on the trash can icon and select the Properties option  .

How to Change Recycle Bin Reserved Storage

3. Select Do not move files to Trash. Delete files immediately after delete option .

Select Do not move files to Trash

4. Click the Apply button .

5. Click the OK button .

After completing the steps, the files you manually delete will be deleted immediately, bypassing the Recycle Bin in Windows 11.

If you don’t want to enable this feature, you can press the  Shift key  while deleting a file to skip the trash.

How to Show Dialog Before Deleting Files on Windows 11

Although you can always restore files from the Recycle Bin, if you usually delete files by accident, you can enable an option to display a confirmation dialog before deletion.

To disable confirmation before deleting files from the Trash, follow these steps:

1. Use the keyboard shortcut  Windows key + D  to see desktop icons.

See also  How to Hide or Unhide Recent Files from Quick Access in File Explorer on Windows 11

Quick tip:  If you don’t see any items, right-click on the desktop, select  View , then click  Show desktop icons .

2. Right-click on the trash can icon and select the Properties option  .

How to Change Recycle Bin Reserved Storage

3. Select the Show delete confirmation dialog box option .

Show deletion confirmation dialog

4. Click the Apply button .

5. Click the OK button .

Once you complete the steps, you will see a prompt before sending the file to the trash when deleting a file.

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