How to make files not go to the Recycle Bin in Windows

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

Following these recommendations make it much more difficult or impossible to recover a deleted file.

Windows Recycle Bin

There are two methods of making files NOT go to the Recycle Bin when deleting them.

Use the Shift key

When deleting the file, press and hold the Shift key and then press the Delete key. Holding the Shift key is a great shortcut key for users who may want to keep the option of sending files to the Recycle Bin by default, but want some files to not be sent to the Recycle Bin.

Disable the Recycle bin

Following the steps below will disable the feature of sending files to the Recycle Bin for all files.

  1. Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and select Properties.
  2. Select the option for "Do not move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted" or "Do not move items to recycling bin once deleted."
  3. Click Ok.

After following the above steps, you may also want to hide the Windows Recycle Bin desktop icon.

Additional information