Article ID: 2394521 - View products that this article applies to.
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You cannot empty the Recycle Bin on a computer that is running Windows XP or Windows Vista.


This issue occurs because the Recycle Bin folder is corrupted.


Diagnose and fix the problem automatically

The Diagnose and repair Windows File and Folder Problems automatically troubleshooter may automatically fix the problem described in this article.
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Let me fix it myself

To fix this problem, follow these steps to regenerate the Recycle Bin folder by using the command prompt:
  1. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start Button
    , click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. Type the appropriate command for your operating system, and then press ENTER.

    Windows XP
    rd /s C:\recycler
    Windows Vista
    rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin

    Note For hard drives with other letters, substitute C: for the desired hard drive letter.
  3. Close the Command Prompt window.
  4. Right-click an empty area of the desktop and then click Refresh.

    Note The Recycle Bin should be empty now. If not, repeat these steps for any other hard drive letter that you have.


How the MATS package works to fix this problem

Click here to understand how the MATS package works to fix this problem

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Article ID: 2394521 - Last Review: June 28, 2012 - Revision: 11.0
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional for Itanium-based systems
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
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