When you delete a file, Windows does not actually erase the file’s contents from your disk. Instead, Windows moves the file into a special folder on your disk called the Recycle Bin. Windows provides the Recycle Bin folder to help users “undelete” one or more inadvertently deleted files. If, after a user deletes a file (or files) the user decides he or she needs the file’s contents, the user may be able to move the file from the Recycle Bin folder back to the file’s original location on the user’s disk. Although the Recycle Bin can be very useful when you must “undelete” one or more files, Windows use of the Recycle Bin means your system does not immediately free up disk space when you delete one or more files. Assume, for example, that you must free up disk space, so you delete a 50MB file names BigReport.doc from your disk. After you delete the file, however, you find that your disk does not have an additional 50MB of space. In fact, you find that your disk’s free space has not increased at all!
The reason that deleting the file from your disk did not free up additional space is that Windows did not actually delete the 50MB file from you disk. Instead, Windows moved the file into the Recycle Bin. To recover the disk space, you must remove the file from the Recycle Bin. To empty the Recycle Bin (which users refer to as flushing the Recycle Bin), you have two choices. First, you can discard all the files in the bin, or second, you can remove a specific file. To empty the entire bin, perform these steps:
1. Within the Windows Desktop, double-click your mouse on the Recycle Bin icon. Windows, in turn, will open the Recycle Bin folder.
2. Within the Recycle Bin folder, select the File menu Empty Recycle Bin option. Windows will display a dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to discard the bin’s contents. Click your mouse on the Yes option.
3. To close the Recycle Bin folder, click your mouse on the folder’s Close button.