When a file or folder is deleted in Microsoft Windows, it goes to a special folder called Recycle Bin from where these files or folders can be restored later. Such files continue to stay there consuming space on the hard drive, until they are cleared using the Empty Recycle Bin option.

But if the Recycle Bin is not cleared at regular intervals, it will occupy valuable space on the hard drive. To avoid this, files Delete File Permanently in Windows without sending them to Recycle Bin. This can be done by using the Shift+Delete key combination. But if you don’t want to keep the deleted files in the Recycle Bin, you can enable Windows to automatically delete the files permanently.

How to delete files permanently in Windows 10?

This method, already tried in Windows 10, will hopefully work in previous Windows versions also.

  • Go to the Desktop on your Windows 10 OS.
  • Right Click on the Recycle Bin folder.
  • Click the Properties option.
  • In the Properties, select the drive for which you want the files to be deleted permanently.
  • Then, under Settings for the selected location, click the radio button for Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted.

Note: The above steps need to be repeated for all individual drives for which the files should not go to the Recycle Bin. 

  • Finally, click Apply to save the settings. Click Ok to save and exit Recycle Bin properties.

It is required to set Windows to delete files permanently. Since it won’t be easy to recover the deleted files, this feature should be used judiciously. 

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The later versions of Windows including 8 and 10 don’t ask before sending files to the Recycle Bin. Similarly, if Windows is enabled to delete files permanently without sending to the Recycle Bin, it won’t prompt when you press the delete button, thus deleting the files permanently. 

Delete File Permanently


How to display Delete Confirmation Dialog in Windows 10

You can get back the delete prompt in Windows 10 using the following steps:

  • Go to your Desktop.
  • Open Recycle Bin properties.
  • Tick the checkbox for Display delete confirmation dialog.

Note: You don’t have to do this for every drive.

  • Click Apply to save the settings. Click Ok to save and exit the Recycle Bin properties.

Now, Windows will ask you before deleting any file, as it did in Windows 7. 

This option will also work if you set the files to go to the Recycle Bin.

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