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Recycle Bin Capacity and Auto Emptying

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Last Modified: 2020-05-22
I would like to know how to prevent recycle bin from emptying it self on it's own. I would like to do that my self. Is it possible? Also, what is if there is such recommendations by Microsoft on the recycle bin capacity? How much space should be dedicated to it?

Thank you,
Basem Khawaja, R.Ph.
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Harjit DhaliwalSysAdmin
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Commented:
Do you have "Don't move files to recycle bin......" selected? You can check that by right-clicking the recycling bin and selecting Properties.


bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
it seems the author's Windows computer is automatically cleaning up the recycle bine without the author's consent?
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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Commented:
The recycle bin does not automatically empty itself under normal conditions.  When the cumulative size of the contents of the bin exceeds the space allocated, enough of the oldest files in the bin are deleted to make space for what is now being deleted.

This gets a bit complicated as the bin size is usually determined by Windows at install time as a percentage of the drive, but each drive's recycle bin size can be set individually.

Example:  Drive C is 40 GB in size and 10% of the drive is allocated to the recycle bin.  Up to 4 GB of files can be put into the bin before it will flush old files.  Drive D is also 40 GB in size but only 1% of the drive is allcoated to the recycle bin.  400 MB of files can be put into the bin before it will start flushing older files.

How much space should be allocated to the recycle bin is a matter of personal preference.  Remember that the only reason the recycle bin exists is to allow you later on to say "oops, shouldn't have deleted that" and get it back out of the bin.  If you never make this mistake then 1% is more than enough.  If you often recycle large files accidentally and want them back six weeks later then 25% of a drive might not be enough.

Under Windows 10 there is more control over when the recycle bin empties itself.

https://www.technipages.com/auto-empty-recycle-bin

There are issues with some add-ons such as Norton automatically emptying the recycle bin.

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/stop-auto-empty-of-recycle/cf204439-a3ef-49d6-92bd-f01a5f2cc967
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
bbao

You are correct. That is my problem. The recycle bin empties itself on it's own.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
is your Storage Sense option switched on? if yes, turn it off, as shown below.

Screen-Shot-2020-05-19-at-2.59.56-pm.png
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
D.Khlan
What is the correct maximum allocation space to the recycle bin? I was reading in one place as 5%. You mentioned couple of maximums 10% and 25%. Also, I do see the files that I had deleted at a given session when I go to the recycle binand I empty it when I see that it has any amount. But at times I leave it in the recycle bin not on purpose but next when I go to recycle bin then it is gone. My recycle bin set space is 25864 MB . Drive C is 464 GB. Which comes out to 0.0557=5.6%. How can I verify the recycle bin emptying frequency?
Under storage Sense I have it checked to be emptied every 30 days!!

Thank you,
Basem Khawaja, R.Ph.
Harjit DhaliwalSysAdmin
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Commented:
Let's face it. The recycling bin should not be used for temporary storage of data. Even tools like Disk Cleanup has a selection to empty this space. If unsure, create a temp folder like "To Be Deleted" and move files there until absolutely not needed and at that point delete. 
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
Can someone address my questions please?

What is the correct maximum allocation space to the recycle bin? I was reading in one place as 5%. You mentioned couple of maximums 10% and 25%. Also, I do see the files that I had deleted at a given session when I go to the recycle binand I empty it when I see that it has any amount. But at times I leave it in the recycle bin not on purpose but next when I go to recycle bin then it is gone. My recycle bin set space is 25864 MB . Drive C is 464 GB. Which comes out to 0.0557=5.6%. How can I verify the recycle bin emptying frequency?
Under storage Sense I have it checked to be emptied every 30 days!!

Thank you,
Basem Khawaja, R.Ph.
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Commented:
Increase the minimum size so that you will be able to keep enough files to be deleted in 30 days.  That depends on the sizes of the files you are deleteding.

There is no correct minimum allocation size.  It's all up to your preference.  As mentioned, if you don't want it deleted, create another folder to put the files in  Manually delete them instead of sending it to the recycle bin.  I frequently do shift delete to bypass the recycle bin. I'm used to the command line world where a delete means you don't go to a recycle bin.

Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
I still would like to know why does the recycle bin empty it self prior to the 30 days which I have checked in the storage sense? It empties it's self evry day without my manually emptying anything?
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
i guess the "30d days" option is for OneDrive only, not your local drive. please double check.

for the local drive, did you check how frequently you want Storage Sense to run? you can choose from Every Day, Every Week, Every Month and During Low Free Disk Space.

FYI -

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/storage-at-microsoft/windows-10-and-storage-sense/ba-p/428270
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
bbao
How do I check for my local drive?

One Drive indicates NEVER.

Storage Sense is turned on to run during Low Free Disk Space.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
@Basem

can i know if your current Storage Sense settings are like below or anything different?

Screen-Shot-2020-05-20-at-7.05.52-pm.png
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
Exactly just like your screen capture.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
do you see any unusual task, like the highlighted one below, in the Task Scheduler?

Screen-Shot-2020-05-20-at-7.32.47-pm.png
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
bbao

I looked at the Task Scheduler and there sems to be nothing unusual there.
bbaoIT Consultant
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Commented:
okay. if possible,  try keeping working in Windows Safe Mode for 2+ days and see if the automatic cleaning issue still persists or not.
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
bbao

I am sorry. I am not able to use safe mode for that long. If you can't think of any other solution, just don't worry about it. Let me see if I can monitor the recycle bin manually and see if I can come up with what  frequency it is being emptied on my own.

Thank you my friend.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi Basem,

It's actually possible that this is happening as a result of some software you have installed and either run manually, or that runs automatically periodically that clears out the recycle bin.

Can you list any "maintenance" type software that you run on an occasional or regular basis?

Things like Ccleaner (just as one example,) will, unless configured not to, automatically empty the recycle bin each time it is run manually, or automatically if set to do it that way.

Regards, Andrew
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
Hi Andrew,

Good to hear from you my friend. I have MWB, Webroots Secure Anywhere, Carbonite, Foxit PDF, and Microsoft Office 365 Suite. That's all I have running or using most of the time.

Thank you,
Basem Khawaja
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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Commented:
I have MWB, Webroots Secure Anywhere, Carbonite, Foxit PDF, and Microsoft Office 365 Suite. That's all I have running or using most of the time.

Ok, the only thing there that I can see that "could" be causing it is "Webroots Secure Anywhere" which is actually a very good security program, however, it 'may' have a function to periodically empty your recycle bin depending on how it's set up. Are you able to email Webroots Secure and ask them if such a function exists? That would be the best way.

If that's not possible for you, or you don't know how to get in touch with their support, let me know and provide a link to where you downloaded the product from. I'll download and install a trial in one of my Windows 10 virtual machines and take a look for you. After reading all the comments by the other experts in this question, I am 99% certain this is happening to you as a result of some installed software.

Let me know.

Regards, Andrew

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Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
Hi Andrew,

You might be right. Let me take a look into the Webroots console and see if there is such function. I will let you know.

Thank you,
Basem Khawaja
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
Andrew you were right based on your comment Webroots
I think I found the culprit in emptying the recycle bin automatically. It was Webroots Secure Anywhere. System Optimizer was checked to empty the recycle bin every day at 0900. I unchecked it and I will see what happens next.

Thank you,
Basem Khawaja, R.Ph.





Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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There you go :)

Excellent to hear Basem.

Wait and see by all means but I'm confident and would be willing to bet we've nailed down the cause of the behaviour.

I know how frustrating it can be when things happen without you wanting them to and in the past have identified software for clients who thought that (just as one example) "Mcafee Scanner" was a virus because it kept installing itself periodically, when all that was happening was that they were forgetting to uncheck the tick to install it whenever Adobe Reader would install an update. Not exactly the same problem, but along a similar vein.

I don't use Webroot myself so not sure if it turned that function on by itself with a default install, or whether you may have ticked it yourself at some point and forgot, but if it does turn it on it by a default install, then it shouldn't as I (personally) consider that would be a very poor installation design by Webroot programmers, which is actually (in general) a very good and effective security suite, so don't think I'm in any way suggesting you use a different product.

For the record (and your future knowledge), I have always been against using System Optimizers of any type that run "automatically" because they can often cause far more problems than what they solve.

That includes the following ones that I have installed and occasionally use on my own computer(s).

Ccleaner by Piriform, my Avast Premium Security Suite, Ashampoo WinOptimizer, and  Ashampoo Driver Updater. I own business licenses for all those products and all have system optimizing functions available, yet I've disabled them all from running automatically.

Don't get me wrong, they are all very useful tools when needed to help in fixing a problem, but should never (in my opinion) be set to run automatically and mine are all set to disabled until I feel I need to run one of them to fix something specific that they could help correct.

Other similar tools I've seen are AVG's PC TuneUp, Norton Utilities, lolo System Mechanic, Comodo PC Tuneup, and tons more that slip my mind at the moment. Many websites will praise such utilities and urge you to use them regularly, but in my >25 years of experience with computer maintenance, my opinion is that advice is bad and I've made quite a bit of money over the years "fixing" Windows computers that were actually ruined by such tools because it requires knowing what should be optimised and when.

I would give the exact same warning for automatic driver updating tools. Use the software updating function to search for updated drivers, not tools designed to notify you when your drivers need updating, or worse, update them automatically for you.

My Avast Premium Security has that function and the first thing I did was to turn it off and disable it from running! I -never- use that function.

Like System Optimizers, generic driver updating tools cause far more problems than they solve and have earnt me money for fixes over the years because people insist on trusting such tools lol :)

In particular, a further tip is to never use any registry cleaners on a regular basis either, or I guarantee you "will" eventually cause yourself headaches with your Windows performance. Even by tools considered safe like Ccleaner that I often recommend, but again, only when it's needed to help solve a problem.

On your snapshot settings there, I'd also recommend taking the tick off the Windows and System Temporary folders. It may be useful to run them occasionally, but I'd recommend you only turn them on and then run them 'on-demand' when there is a reason to, rather than have them clear out those temp files automatically daily. Windows 10 self maintains itself to a certain extent, so doing too much regular maintenance can often be the cause of problems.

You didn't ask for all that info, but I thought I'd give it to you as I know you're a member that has always been keen to learn.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
Hi Andrew,

Thank you very much for all the valuable information that you included in your post. I am learning alot from you. One day I will be just as good as you hopefullu when it comes to computers.
I wanted to ask you one more question if you can advise mon System Optimizer. What do you recommend that I turn it off completely and only use it when I need to. This is the problem. How do I know when to turn it on ? in other words, what would be the trigger for me to do so. Secondly, I am attaching screen capture of all the functions of System Optimizer. If I would to keep it on, what functions can be checked on and what needs to be turned off?  I went ahead and turned off the Windows and Systems Temporary Folders  as you suggested in your post [as seen below] which I trust your judgement with my eyes closed.

""On your snapshot settings there, I'd also recommend taking the tick off the Windows and System Temporary folders. It may be useful to run them occasionally, but I'd recommend you only turn them on and then run them 'on-demand' when there is a reason to, rather than have them clear out those temp files automatically daily. Windows 10 self maintains itself to a certain extent, so doing too much regular maintenance can often be the cause of problems"".

Thank you Andrew,
Basem Khawaja, R.Ph.

IT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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Hi Basem,
Thank you very much for all the valuable information that you included in your post. 
My pleasure. You've expressed many times in other questions that you want to learn and I enjoy that attitude with question askers. I don't view Experts Exchange as just a place to get a quick solution, but also a place where knowledge can be shared, so am happy to do it for those that appreciate it.

I am learning alot from you. One day I will be just as good as you hopefullu when it comes to computers. 

Given your willingness to learn, I've little doubt that one day you will be, and probably even better than me. I'm getting old! lol :)
I  wanted to ask you one more question if you can advise mon System Optimizer. What do you recommend that I turn it off completely and only use it when I need to. This is the problem. How do I know when to turn it on ? in other words, what would be the trigger for me to do so. 
I'll deal with that question in two parts. Firstly, here's your graphic again with all of the things I recommend you do not have run automatically highlighted in Yellow. The ones I've highlighted in the blue colour are harmless to regularly delete and up to user preference, depending on if the history they remove is useful to you or not. For me personally, I'd not have * any* of them run automatically.

This is the problem. How do I know when to turn it on ? in other words, what would be the trigger for me to do so. 
The only way you'll know that is through experience Basem. As you become more proficient in understanding the internals of how Windows works, those answers will become evident to you.

For the time being, I'd suggest doing exactly what you're already doing. Asking for help from experts that already have the experience and can advise you if and when you are having a problem. Sorry, but there's just no easy answer to that question, as it requires knowledge and expertise which you do not "yet" possess. You will one day I'm sure, because you're so keen to learn, but that takes a lot of time and experience troubleshooting computers to fully understand. You'll get there one day :)

One thing I'd suggest you could do to teach yourself is to look up what each of those functions does. Research each one of them on the web and find explanations as to what (just as one example) "Memory Dump Files" means. To be able to know when to use a cleaning tool on those dump files and delete them requires an understanding of what they contain, and when they might be useful.

For a 'general' computer user, those dump files are rarely helpful, however, to a computer technician, they could be very helpful when troubleshooting because they contain information about why a computer might crash with a blue screen of death for example, so they shouldn't be deleted just because they can. So that then begs the question "why delete them at all?" -- Because sometimes they can become corrupt so need to be cleared out completely (deleted) so that fresh ones can be generated. That's just "one" example.

The same goes for all the other categories. I hope that makes sense to you as to why I can't answer that question in a definitive way for you? At least not until you have a lot more understanding of what each of those categories is for, what they do, and when they can be helpful or unhelpful. Make sense?

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew


Basem KhawajaClinical Pharmacist

Author

Commented:
Andrew,

You are one of a kind my friend! Thank God for you and your knowledge that you impart on many people who come to you for answers. I wish you straight A's in your UNI courses and graduate with honours. That's the least you deserve. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement to me. I probably would be 100 years old by the time I get to know what you know right now. BTW you are not OLD my friend:)

Thank you,
Basem Khawaja, R.Ph.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist
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Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018
Thank you for your very kind words Basem. They are, as always, very much appreciated! :)

Regards, Andrew
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