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:
Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select Run as administrator.
Type the following command to reset the Recycle Bin and press Enter:
rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin
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.