How to delete or delete a file without sending it to the recycle bin

In 1982 the recycle bin was invented, a measure to avoid accidentally deleting a file. But sometimes it can be annoying to have to empty it. So in this article we show you how to delete a file without sending it to the recycle bin.

How does the recycle bin work?

If you want to skip the introduction and quickly learn how to delete files without using the recycle bin, you can skip to the next section.

In Windows, and in most operating systems, there is some kind of recycle bin. This implies that every time we delete something, it is not actually deleted, but is stored in a folder until we decide to permanently delete it .

This option not only minimizes human error, but saves time when working with files. A computer’s hard drive is generally slow to read, and deleting a file from there can take a while. For this reason, files are generally not erased from the disk, but are marked for later erasure. But, of course there is a way to permanently delete a file from the recycle bin .

However, this can be dangerous, as sometimes you want to delete a confidential file without it being transported to the recycle bin. This is especially the case when you share the system with other people who might see the file if it is allowed to go to the trash.

We also remind you that the size of the recycle bin in Windows is not infinite, so it is advisable to delete the files that go to that folder from time to time, and thus you can save a bit of disk space.

For this, we recommend that you program the automatic emptying of the recycle bin. In this way you will not have to worry about doing this process manually, but the system will do it on its own.

How to delete a file without sending it to the recycle bin?

There are several ways to delete a file without sending it to the recycle bin, you will have to choose one depending on what you need to do in each situation.

Quick way

In Windows, if you only need to delete a file, and you want to do it quickly and safely, you can do it by pressing the “Shift” key and the “Delete” key at the same time.

Doing this will open a dialog box asking if you are sure you want to permanently delete the file. If you select “Yes”, the file will be gone without any trace.

On Mac, you can select the file, then press the “Options” key and look for the “Delete immediately” option.

Disable the recycle bin

In Windows, you can disable the Trash so files are always permanently deleted. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Position yourself on the desk
  2. Click on the recycle bin with the right button
  3. In the options, select “Properties”
  4. Check the option “Do not move files to the Recycle Bin, Remove files immediately upon deletion”
  5. If you want a dialog box to appear to avoid deleting files by mistake, leave the “Show dialog box to confirm deletion” box checked, otherwise, uncheck it.
  6. Select «Accept»

Once you do this, all the files you delete will be gone without going through the recycle bin first. But you should keep in mind that it is still possible to recover the files you delete, if you act quickly.

Recover a permanently deleted file

If you accidentally deleted a file after disabling the trash, don’t worry. If you act quickly, you can still get the file back. The easiest way is to go to the folder where the file was and press the «Control» key and the «Z» key at the same time. If you haven’t done anything else after deleting the file, it will return to where it was.

If you already did something after deleting the file, this shortcut won’t work for you, but there is still something you can do. If you haven’t created a new large file yet, you can use a file recovery utility .

Some popular utilities of this type are “Recuva”, “PhotoRec” and “GetDataBack”. Always install programs from its official site and watch out for bundleware during installations. If you use Mac you can recover files with Recoverit.

Delete a file from disk

If you are very concerned about security, and reading that there are ways to recover files left you cold, don’t worry, there are ways to delete files in a way that they are unrecoverable.

A classic way is to change the contents of the file to random letters and save it, then delete it . If this fails, modern security programs like AVG allow you to delete files with almost impenetrable security protocols.


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