Fixing the Recycle Bin is corrupted in Windows

Last Updated on April 26, 2020 by Next Century

If your Recycle Bin is corrupted, you can face various problems when using it.  The Recycle Bin may not show the files that you may have been deleted from your File Explorer, or you may be unable to delete the files in the Recycle Bin – or even empty the Recycle Bin completely. At times you may even receive an Access Denied or a Corrupt Recycle Bin error message.

In such a situation, you may need to repair or reset the Recycle Bin.

Recycle Bin is Corrupted

Each drive on Windows has a hidden and protected system folder called as $Recycle.bin. If you use the Unhide option from the Folder Options, you will be able to see this folder. When you delete files or folders from your desktop or any other folder, they are moved to the Recycle Bin folder for holding. But you may face a problem where your Recycle Bin gets corrupted and you have to repair or reset it.

If you repair or reset it, the Recycle Bin folder in Windows gets deleted. Windows will automatically create a new $Recycle.bin folder. This is of course not a new feature but has been present in Windows, since Windows XP at least.

To reset the Recycle Bin, follow these steps:

  • Click on Start and type in CMD in the Type here to search box

    NOTE: If you the Type here to search box is not visible, just start typing after you click start and it will appear

  • Then type the following command and press ENTER on your keyboard
    rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin

    This command will reset the $Recycle.bin folder which is present on the  C drive. You will have to do this for every partition on your hard disk, by replacing C with the drive letter/s. Be careful in using the correct command, lest you end up deleting the wrong files or directory!

    NOTE: Once you do this, the Recycle Bin folder and all the files and folders in it will be deleted.

  • You will then need to restart your computer

    On the restart, Windows will recreate a new Recycle Bin for you

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