Hi. When you use your computer, you delete files as a matter of course, placing those files in the wastebasket or, as it’s officially called, the Recycle Bin.
Let’s talk a little about the file deleting process and what it means.
In general, when you delete a file or a folder, it gets moved into the Recycle Bin. You can open the Recycle Bin by double clicking on the icon on your desktop; you’ll see the files you’ve deleted in there.
So this means a couple of things. First, when you delete a file, it’s really not gone but merely moved to the Recycle Bin. If you change your mind and want to restore the file – to undelete it – you can open the Bin, select the file you want to restore, and bring it back with the menu or by right clicking it. Pretty cool, right? Whew!
Second, it means that when you delete a file and it moves to the Recycle Bin, you’re really not clearing any space on your hard drive but merely moving the file from where you had stored it to the Bin.
So that brings us to emptying the trash – deleting the files in your Recycle Bin. If you’re sure you won’t need any of the files in your Bin, you can empty it and reclaim the hard disk space on your computer.
To empty the Recycle Bin, right click on the icon on the desktop and click on Empty the Bin. You can also double click on the icon and delete the files in the Bin, emptying it. The files will be dumped and permanently deleted from the computer.
*note: while emptying the Recycle Bin does delete the file from the operating system’s view, it is NOT deleting it from the hard disk on your computer. In other words, emptying the trash doesn’t destroy your data, personal, private or otherwise…it’s still there! I’ll write a post soon about private data, security, and how hard disks manage your information *
If you haven’t dealt with your Recycle Bin recently, jump in and check out what’s there. Then, if you’re ready to blow away those files and folders, empty it and get back some additional hard disk space.