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

Emptying the Recycle Bin on your computer is a good approach to get rid of useless files for good. This frees up disc space while also protecting your privacy by deleting confidential files. However, you can run into a problem where the Recycle Bin refuses to erase your files. For starters, it could happen because you don’t have administrator privileges or because a third-party app prevents you from cleaning out the Recycle Bin. This error could occur if your Recycle Bin is corrupted due to an unknown cause.

How To Fix the Windows 10 Recycle Bin When It Won’t Empty

Method 1: Exit All Apps

It’s possible that some applications are causing your Recycle Bin to malfunction. OneDrive is a popular example of such an application. Closing OneDrive, or any other malfunctioning software, may assist you in resolving your problem. Here’s how to go about it:

Step 1: To open the Task Manager, use Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

Step 2: Right-click OneDrive, or any other suspicious app you want to close, in the Processes pane, and select End task.


Step 3: Try deleting files from the Recycle Bin to see whether the problem has been fixed.

Method 2: Uninstall Suspicious Apps

If you’ve tried closing all open applications but still can’t cure the problem, try an alternative technique. You have the option of totally deleting your third-party software products, especially the ones that you don’t recognize. Following these steps will allow you to delete applications from the Settings:

Step 1: Press Windows + S to open the search box and type “Add Remove Programs”.

Step 2: Click on the Best match Result that states Add or Remove Programs.


Step 3: Scroll through the list of apps installed on your system and click on the one that you wish to remove.

Step 4: Once you click on it, and uninstall button will be visible. Click on this button and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the uninstallation of the app and fix the Recycle Bin corrupted in Windows 10.


Method 3: Alter Recycle Bin Settings

There are a few settings of the Recycle Bin that can be altered to delete its content. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

Step 1: Press Windows + I keys on your keyboard to open the Windows Settings.


Step 2: Click on the System option and then click on Storage from the Left Panel.


Step 3: Next click on Temporary Files in the right panel of the window and let the scanning complete.

Step 4: A new window will open where you have the option to check the box next to Recycle Bin and then click on Remove Files.


Step 5: Now check your Recycle Bin on the desktop to see if it has become empty.

Method 4: Restart the Windows File Explorer

Windows File Explorer may be interfering with the Recycle Bin, making it difficult to permanently delete items. As a result, restarting it may help resolve the problem. Here’s how to get things going again.

Step 1: To open the Task Manager, use Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

Step 2: Right-click Windows Explorer in the Processes tab and select Restart.


Step 3: Windows File Explorer should be restarted.

See if this strategy works by emptying the Recycle Bin. If this doesn’t work, try some of the other options.

Method 5: Clean Boot

If you’ve tried everything else and still can’t empty the Recycle Bin, you might want to try a clean boot. Here’s how to go about it:

Step 1: To launch the System Configuration window, use Windows key + R, type msconfig, and then press Enter.

Step 2: Select Selective startup from the General tab and uncheck Load startup items.


Step 3: After that, go to the Services page and tick the Hide all Microsoft services box before clicking the Disable all option.

Step 4: Scroll to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager from here.


Step 5: Right-click each item in the Task Manager’s Startup tab and select Disable. When you’re done, close the Task Manager.


Step 6: Return to the System Configuration window’s Startup tab, click Apply, and then OK to save your changes.

Step 7: Restart your computer after you’ve completed all of these instructions. This will start it up in a completely clean environment. Go to the Recycle Bin from here and see whether this method addresses your problem.

Method 6: Reset Recycle Bin

You may be having trouble emptying the Recycle Bin because it’s corrupted. To correct it, use the Command Prompt to reset it. The following are the steps you should take to do this:

Step 1: Press Windows + S to open the search box and then type CMD.

Step 2: Once the Command Prompt app appears in your search, click on the Run As Administrator option to open it in an elevated mode.

Step 3: In the Command Prompt, type the following command followed by Enter.

rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin


This command should help you fix this problem by resetting your Recycle Bin. Reboot your computer and see if you can clear the Recycle Bin.

Method 7. Advanced PC Cleanup


Advanced PC Cleanup is a fantastic program that finds all of the undesirable files in your system, as well as those that appear to be a threat to your computer. These possible dangers could be part of malicious malware attempting to gain access to your computer. Here are the steps to empty your Recycle bin using this app:

Step 1: Download Advanced PC Cleaner, or click the link below:

Step 2: After the download is complete, open the app and install it.

Step 3: Launch the App and click on the Recycle Bin option from the left panel.

Step 4: The scanning process will now initiate and soon confirm the number of items in your Recycle Bin.

Step 5: Click on the Clean Now button located at the bottom right corner to get rid of all the files in your Recycle Bin.

The Final Word On 7 Ways to Fix the Windows 10 Recycle Bin When It Won’t Empty

The above methods on how to fix recycle bin corrupted in Windows 10 have been compiled from various tech forums. These expert recommended methods have been tried and tested and work fine with no damage to your system. The Advanced PC  Cleanup is a powerful app that optimizes your system and can not only remove trash from the recycle bin but also remove junk files and uninstall unwanted apps.

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