Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #116 8/24/2011

Question: What is the recycle bin?


The recycle bin is where Windows puts stuff you deleted. It stays there for a temporary period of time. On the Macintosh computers it is called the trash can.

When you delete a file on the computer Windows does not actually delete it, but moves it to the recycle bin, unless it is a real large file and Windows will warn you. The file is still on your computer so if you realize you did not intend to delete it you can still retrieve it back. This is similar to putting the newspapers in the recycle bin in the house before the trash company hauls off. If you realize you still wanted to look at paper you can get it out.

To retrieve an item from the recycle bin double click the recycle bin and you will see a list of all the files in it. Choose the file you want to bring back and then click the Restore this Item button at top and Windows will move the item back to its original location.

You can empty the recycle bin at any time to get rid of what’s in it and create space on the disk by right clicking the Recycle Bin and choosing Empty. The items are then deleted from your computer. Actually they are not removed but reference to them is removed and the space is available. By using utilities you can still find what was in them until some other file overwrites them. If you choose to do Disk Cleanup the recycle Bin will be emptied. The items in the Recycle Bin are also removed when it gets full to make room fro new files.

The recycle bin can be especially useful. On my trip west recently I apparently deleted 100 pictures from the disk in addition to my camera one evening. I thought I had lost the pictures until I looked in the Recycle Bin and discovered them there. I immediately restored them to the drive (and backed them up) and now have those pictures of Arizona.

The recycle bin can be a life saver