Storage tip

How to fix corrupted Recycle Bin on Windows 10

If you can't use Recycle Bin on Windows 10, it may be time to reset it, and in this guide, we'll how to do it.

Fixing Recycle Bin on Windows 10

On Windows 10, you may end up with a corrupted Recycle Bin, which can cause problems accessing the drive, trash files may not appear with browsing the bin with File Explorer, or you may not be able to empty the deleted files.

Each drive includes a hidden $Recycle.bin folder that stores your deleted files, in case you need them back. However, if you can’t use the bin, it may be time to reset it.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to fix “Access Denied” or “Corrupt Recycle Bin” error message when trying to use the Recycle Bin on Windows 10.

How to reset Recycle Bin on Windows 10

To fix problems with Recycle Bin on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select Run as administrator.

  3. Type the following command to reset the Recycle Bin and press Enter:

    rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin
    Delete hidden Recycle Bin with Command Prompt
    Delete hidden Recycle Bin with Command Prompt

    In the above command, we’re deleting the corrupted Recycle Bin on the C drive (where the operating system is installed). If the problem is on another drive, make sure to change the C:\ on the command with the correct drive letter. For example, E:\.

Once you’ve completed the steps, the hidden $Recycle.bin folder will be deleted, and after restarting your device, Windows 10 will recreate the Recycle Bin automatically.

While we’re focusing this guide on Windows 10, you can also use these instructions to fix problems with Recycle Bin on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.