Files Are Not Deleted From Recycler Folder

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Article ID: 229041 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q229041
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When you empty the Recycle Bin in Windows, the files may not be deleted from your hard disk.

NOTE: You cannot view these files using Windows Explorer, My Computer, or the Recycle Bin.


This issue can occur if a third-party filter driver is using the files you try to delete.


To resolve this issue, delete the files from an MS-DOS prompt. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Change to the drive and folder where you deleted the files. For example if you deleted a file from the C:\Windows folder, type cd\windows at the C: prompt, and then press ENTER.
  3. From that folder type cd recycler, and then press ENTER.
  4. From the Recycler folder type dir, and then press ENTER. You may see some UserSID folders where SID is the security ID for each user who deleted files in that folder.
  5. Type cd userSID, and then press ENTER.
  6. Type del *.*, and then press ENTER. If you receive an error message that indicates some files are open, quit all the programs running on your computer.
  7. Type cd.., press ENTER, and then repeat steps 5-7 for each folder in the Recycler folder.
  8. Type exit, and then press ENTER.


For information about the Recycle Bin, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
165126 Cannot Delete File Using Windows NT Explorer
171051 How To Bypass The Recycle Bin When Deleting Files
171694 Differences Between The Recycle Bin and the Recycler Folder


Article ID: 229041 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
kbdiskmemory kbenv kbprb KB229041

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