Recycle Bin

Microsoft included the recycle bin idea in the Windows 95 distribution. It keeps all the files that have been deleted intentionally or by accident. Presently, the content of the recycle bin can be verified before permanent deletion, but with earlier operating systems the only solution to recover a deleted file was to start a recover procedure.

The recycle bin is permanently present on the desktop or can be seen as a regular directory in any Windows Explorer program. The icon representing the program suggests whether there are programs waiting for deletion or not. The capacity of the recycle bin directory varies according to the driver capacity and the windows distribution.

The recycle bin is similarly represented in most operating systems, for instance in Windows competitor, Linux, it is called trash. Believed to have been invented by Xerox PARC, and then adopted by Microsoft, the recycle bin has a location directory that varies with most operating systems.

There are several ways to send the files to the recycle bin, but the most familiar way is to right click on the object and select delete from the menu or choose the file and press the delete key, in both cases the effect is similar. Moreover, the delete command can be selected from the file menu, side menu in win XP or you can use the drag and drop system into the recycle bin. If you wish to avoid this folder use the SHIFT + DELETE keys combination.

When deleting a file from the recycle bin, the physical space isn't cleaned but marked as good for writing, so practically the old file will be overwritten by a newer one. If the file is larger than the directory storage capacity the user will be guided to permanently delete the file.

Another tip is that when deleting information from other media different from the hard disk files they are permanently deleted from the computer too. For example if you delete a picture from an CD card it won't be moved to the recycle bin but permanently deleted.

Having a full recycle bin slows down significantly your computer but this can be easy solved by the “Empty Recycle Bin” command. In former Windows versions the recycle bin icon couldn't be easily deleted from desktop and without advanced Windows knowledge you wouldn't have succeeded. Vista solved this inconvenient as the recycle bin and all the other special icons could be manipulated normally.

Using the directory properties the capacity of the recycle bin can be enlarged according to your needs. However, keep in mind that a larger recycle bin means less space for programs and data so it is very important to keep the balance.