How to Enable or Disable the Recycle Bin

Would you like to have more space on your computer?  Are you confident enough to delete files without ever needing them again?  Can you live without the Restore option in Recycle Bin?

If you said yes to all of these questions, you may be brave and bold enough to disable the Recycle Bin entirely!  If you would like to do this, read on.

Note that you have to be on a Windows XP based computer as this is what this tweak is designed for.  You will also be making changes to your registry so you will need to back-up first.

To begin:

  1. Click Start and go to Run.  Enter regedit.

  2. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, found on the left hand side, until you find the Software folder.

  3. Expand the Software folder.  Then go to Microsoft.

  4. Expand Microsoft to get to Windows.  Once you’ve found Windows, expand the folder.

  5. This will take you to CurrentVersion.  Expand CurrentVersion and look for Explorer.

  6. Once you’ve expanded Explorer, go to BitBucket.

  7. Look at the right hand side of the box.  You will find NukeOnDelete.  If this value is not there, proceed to the steps below.  If the value is already present, go to Step 8.
    – Right click on the white part of the right hand side.  Select New.

    – Select DWORD.  Rename the DWORD value to NukeOnDelete.  You may also choose to right click on the new DWORD value that comes up and select Rename.

  8. Double click NukeOnDelete.  A new box will pop up.

  9. Enter 0 in Value Data if you want to use the Recycle Bin.  Enter 1 if you would like to permanently delete all files.

  10. Exit the registry and reboot.

There is an alternate method if you do not want to modify your registry settings.

  1. Right click on the Recycle Bin on your Desktop.

  2. Now click on Properties.

  3. Check the box that says “Do Not Move Files to the Recycle Bin.”

  4. Click Apply and press OK.

As an additional note, did you know that your Recycle Bin’s default size is 10% of the size of your hard drive?  You can change the default size to something smaller if you would like to increase your hard drive space.