Every time you delete a file in a Windows-based system, it goes to the Recycle Bin. This is a temporary storage that works as a safety net in situations where you accidentally delete a file, You can always restore a file held in the Recycle Bin to its original location or proceed to erasing it permanently. The Recycle Bin reserves a certain amount of memory from the total hard disk space. This storage capacity can be adjusted.
- Open the Recycle Bin Properties dialog box. Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop. From the context menu that will appear, click on Properties. The Recycle Bin Properties dialog box could have one or more tabs depending on how many drives you have. If for example your hard disk was partitioned in two, you would see two tabs each labeled Local Disk followed by the corresponding drive letter, and one tab labeled Global which would contain the general settings for the Recycle Bin.
- Enlarge or reduce the storage capacity. The first set of options you can choose from is either to configure your drives independently (if your hard disk is partitioned or you have more than one hard disk) or to use one setting for all drives. If the second option is chosen, you can straight away set the storage capacity by moving the slider immediately below it. The slider doesn't indicate the actual amount of memory but a percentage of a hard disk's total memory. You can pull up each of the Local Disk tabs to see how much memory was actually set aside for storage for each of the drives.
- Configure storage capacity for different drives. You can choose to configure Recycle Bin to have different storage capacities for each drive if you have more than one. In this scenario, you must pull up each of the Local Disk tabs and set the individual sliders. The amount of storage capacity you set for each drive is entirely your discretion.
- Setting the storage capacity to zero. You can actually move the slider all the way to the left and set the Recycle Bin storage capacity to zero. When a file larger than the storage capacity is deleted it doesn't get stored in the Recycle Bin but instead is permanently deleted. By setting the slider to zero, you're actually bypassing the Recycle Bin as even the smallest 1 kilobyte text file will be gone for good when you delete it. Another way to practically disable the Recycle Bin is to choose the 'Do not move files to the Recycle Bin' option. When this is checked you'll notice that the slider will be inaccessible. Such settings are risky and rarely used except perhaps in extreme cases where you're really hard up for disk space.
Setting the Recycle Bin Storage capacity is part of managing your hard disk memory space. Even when you have disk memory space to burn, you shouldn't set this at an impractical amount. Disk space is better used for data and applications.