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For Seniors: How to Empty Your Computer’s Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin on your computer holds recently deleted items. Your old files sit in the Recycle Bin, and you can retrieve them until you empty it or until it reaches its maximum size limit, and Windows automatically dumps a few files.

After you empty the Recycle Bin, all files in it are unavailable to you.

To manually empty the Recycle bin, right-click the Recycle Bin icon on the Windows 7 desktop and choose Empty Recycle Bin from the menu that appears. In the confirmation dialog box that appears, click Yes. A progress dialog box indicates that the contents are being deleted.

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Up until the moment you permanently delete items by performing the preceding steps, you can retrieve items from the Recycle Bin by right-clicking the desktop icon and choosing Open. Select the item you want to retrieve and then click the Restore This Item link near the top of the Recycle Bin window.

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You can modify the Recycle Bin properties by right-clicking it and choosing Properties. In the dialog box that appears, you can change the maximum size for the Recycle Bin and whether to immediately delete files you move to the Recycle Bin. You can also deselect the option of having a confirmation dialog box appear when you delete Recycle Bin contents.

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