How to Empty the Recycle Bin

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A computer's recycle bin is a temporary holding area for unwanted files, and emptying the recycle bin simply means clicking on the right button and confirming the action. Find out why files aren't deleted until they are emptied from the recycle bin with help from a software developer in this free video on computer files.

Part of the Video Series: Computer & Internet Help
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Dave Andrews. Today I'm going to show you how to empty the recycle bin on your computer. Let's go to our computer screen. And I'm going to add a couple of files here that I'd like to delete, just basically a new text document. I'm going to copy that a few times. Let's say that you're cleaning off your desktop, and I'm going to delete these files by selecting them. And I'm just going to push the delete key. Now, if you'll notice when you delete files in Windows, it tells you, "are you sure you want to move these items to the recycle bin?" That's important to note. The recycle bin is sort of like a holding area for files that you've deleted. You can think of it as a trash can where you throw files into it and then you may be able to pull them out if you need them. On your desktop you'll see the recycle bin. Just double click on it and here are those files that I just erased. Now, with the recycle bin open, it's very easy to empty it just by clicking on this button right here that says, "empty the recycle bin." Now it's important to note that those files are not actually deleted until you empty them. So I'm going to click right here. It's going to confirm that I want to actually permanently delete all four of those items and you'll won't be able to get them back after you do this. Just click yes and as you can see our recycle bin folder is now completely empty and the recycle bin icon looks empty as well. My name's Dave Andrews and I've just showed you how to empty the Windows recycling bin.

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