Article ID: 320031 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q320031
This step-by-step article describes how to permanently delete a file and bypass the Recycle Bin in Microsoft Windows XP.
To protect users against accidental deletion of important files, the Recycle Bin collects deleted files and provides a method of restoring those files. You must explicitly delete the files from the Recycle Bin to make the deletion permanent. Until the files are deleted from the Recycle Bin, the disk space that is occupied by those files is unavailable for other uses.
Sometimes it is beneficial to bypass the Recycle Bin, especially if you are deleting a large number of files (or a smaller number of very large files) that you are sure are no longer needed, and you want to reclaim the disk space.
If you bypass the Recycle Bin, you receive the following confirmation-request message: If you do not bypass the Recycle Bin, you receive the following confirmation-request message:
Are you sure you want to send <filename> to the Recycle Bin?The confirmation message is a quick way to determine whether or not you are using the Recycle Bin.
The following deletion actions do not send files to the Recycle Bin, whether or not the Recycle Bin is active:
To bypass the Recycle Bin on a one-time basis, when you are deleting a file (or a group of selected files), press and hold down the SHIFT key while you press the DEL key (or use the Delete command). You receive the following confirmation-request message:
Are you sure you want to delete <filename>?
For more information about the Recycle Bin and its functions, please refer to the Windows XP Help and Support Center.