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How do I know if I can empty the files in the Recycle Bin?


A year and half ago, I was cleaning out my hard drive and was able to delete a few of the Internet programs such as AOL and CompuServe that I never use. The AOL deleted as a full program but the CompuServe

separated out into 50+ files and ended up in my Recycle Bin. It contains 2.47 MB of files and I am not sure it is safe to delete these files since I question whether some still maybe linked to other files I am using. They are Application Extensions and Configuration Setting, etc, etc, etc. To free up more space is it safe to empty my Recycle Bin since I am not using any of the files?


This question was answered on June 23, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The purpose of the Recycle Bin in Windows 95/98/NT is to give you a quick way to restore a file that you may have inadvertently “thrown away” When a file is placed inside the Recycle Bin it has not been deleted from your system but simply placed in a different part of your hard drive Your actually just “moving” the file instead of deleting it If the files in the Recycle Bin were needed for anything, you would have experienced an error message or a problem by now A good rule of thumb for files in the Recycle Bin is to keep files that you are not familiar with for about 30 days just in case you learn that you actually needed them In most every case, if the file is needed for any programs, you will experience an error message within this 30-day time frame If you recognize the files, such as your old word processing or spreadsheet documents, you can remove them immediately To selectively “Empty” your Recycle Bin, double-click the Recycle Bin icon on your Desktop, then right-click on the file and select the delete option To put a file back where it came from, right-click on it then choose the “Restore” option This will place the file back to its original location Only when you delete files from your Recycle Bin will you clear the disk space that they are taking

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on June 23, 1999