The Recycle Bin in Windows is a purgatory for deleted files. Whenever you press Delete on a file, it goes to the Recycle Bin to await its fate. You can still recover the file while it’s there, so if you change your mind it’s a few clicks away from restoring.
But if you don’t empty the Recycle Bin every once in a while, the files in there could take up several GB of space on your system. For those on smaller SSDs, every bit of space counts. Fortunately, if you often forget to empty the Recycle Bin, Windows 10 can periodically do it for you.
Open the Settings app by opening the Start Menu and clicking the gear icon. Choose the System entry, then the Storage tab. Here, look for the Storage Sense header and turn the slider to On. This will make Windows automatically remove temporary files that you don’t need, but you should tweak how it works by clicking Change how we free up space below the slider.
Make sure Delete files that have been in the Recycle Bin for over 30 days is set to On. If you’d like, you can also tell Windows to delete temporary files and those in your Downloads folder. Those are up to you.
Now, nothing will stay in your Recycle Bin for over a month. Take care when deleting files if this setting is turned on, because if you delete something with the intent of recovering it later and wait too long, it will be gone. For most people, though, the automatic emptying will provide some extra, much-needed space.
For more geeky automation, check out boring tasks you can automate with the Windows Task Scheduler.
How much space is your Recycle Bin taking up right now? Do you have Windows empty it automatically, or do you prefer to empty it yourself? Let us know how you use the Recycle Bin in the comments!
Image Credit: By Aleksandra Suzi via Shutterstock