6 Ways to Empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11

The Recycle Bin on your PC stores any deleted files and folders from your Windows computer. Until you clear it, these deleted files/folders take up space on your PC. To empty Recycle Bin on Windows 11, you need to right-click on Recycle Bin symbol to bring up the context menu and select the “Empty Recycle Bin” option to empty it.

But occasionally, due to some reasons, users of Windows 10/11 are unable to empty the Recycle Bin. So, here are a few additional ways to clear the Recycle Bin.

Read Also: 7 Ways to Fix the Windows 10 Recycle Bin When It Won’t Empty

6 Ways to Empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11

1. Via Context Menu

Let’s begin with the most common and easy way, “Context Menu.” Right-click the Recycle Bin icon and choose “Empty Recycle Bin” from the context menu.


2. By using File Explorer

Using the File Explorer toolbar is another quick and easy method to empty Recycle Bin on Windows 11. The most effortless way to clear the Recycle Bin’s content is to open it from the desktop.

  • Double-click on the “Recycle Bin” icon to open it.
  • From the toolbar up top, choose the “Empty Recycle Bin” option.


That’s it! You’re done.

Read Also: How to Fix The Recycle Bin Is Corrupted In Windows 10

3. Use Windows Settings App

A useful tool for erasing temporary files is built within the Settings app. Even while the Recycle Bin contains files that aren’t truly temporary, users can still utilize that capability to choose to empty the Recycle Bin. You can set up Windows to automatically delete content from the Recycle Bin using this way as well.

  • Press the “Windows” keys with the key “I” to open the “Settings” application.
  • On the right side of the settings window, scroll down and tap on the “Storage” option.


  • Now tap on the “Temporary files” option.


  • Uncheck everything except the “Recycle Bin” box. Then, select “Remove files” from the top.


  • A prompt window will appear before you asking you to complete the action.
  • Click on “Continue” to finish the process.


Read Also: Retrieve Deleted Files With Best Recycle Bin Apps For Android

If cleaning the Recycle Bin by hand feels like a burden, you can also set up Settings to delete files automatically. The “Storage Sense” function allows you to plan periodic automated Recycle Bin cleanups that can be enabled and customized in Settings.

  • Re-enter the Storage options page and select “Storage Sense.”
  • By clicking the toggle switch, “On” Storage Sense settings.


  • By turning on Storage sense, you can now set customized diskspace management strategies. To delete files from Recycle Bin, Windows lets you specify how often and when it should run Storage Sense.


  • Click “Run Storage Sense now” after making your selections.


4. By using Disk Cleanup

Windows 11’s Disk Cleanup tool allows you to delete unnecessary files from your computer. Thanks to this utility, we have yet another choice for emptying the Recycle Bin. To do so, follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Type the “Windows” keys and type “disk cleanup” in the search bar and enter the key and open the “Disk Cleanup” tool.


  • A drive selection screen will appear in front of you; choose Local Disk C: and press “OK” to continue.


  • Now, under the “Files to delete,” tick mark the “Recycle Bin” box and uncheck every other box, then select “OK.”


  • A prompt window will appear before you asking you to complete the action. Click on “Delete Files” to end the process.


Read Also: How To Change Recycle Bin Storage Settings On Windows 10?

5. By Using Command Prompt

Here’s how to empty the Recycle Bin in Windows using the Command Prompt.

  • Press the “Windows” key with the key “R” to open the “RUN” dialogue box.
  • Now type the “cmd” and press the enter key.


  • Now type the following command and press the enter key: rd /s %systemdrive%$recycle.bin
  • If you’re prompted to confirm, click “Y” to complete the action.


6. By Using Windows Powershell

PowerShell is an alternative to the Command Prompt for emptying the Recycle Bin; it uses a different code. Here’s how to do it:

  • Press the “Windows” key with the key “X” to open the “WinX” menu.
  • Now click on the “Windows Terminal” to open it.


  • Type the following code and press enter: “Clear-RecycleBin”.
  • If you’re prompted to confirm, click “Y” to complete the action.


Read Also: How To Recover Deleted Files From Recycle Bin After Empty

To Warp it Up

So, these are the top 6 ways to empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 11. The first two methods are pretty common and basic. Even after using them, if the Recycle Bin is not empty, use the remaining four methods. Try them and tell us which one worked for you also, if you know any other ways to empty the Recycle Bin, let us know in the comments below.

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