Data Destroyer
Purging files in the Windows 7 and 8 Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin (as it is called in Windows 7 and 8) is where files go to when you delete them (though they are not really deleted, just moved; and not even really moved, just marked as deleted). It is located in different places in different versions of Windows. With Windows 95, 98 and ME (using the FAT32 file system) it is located at Drive:\RECYCLED (where Drive is C, D, etc.). With Windows XP, NT and 2000 (NTFS file system) it is Drive:\RECYCLER. With Windows Vista and Windows 7 and 8 it is Drive:\$RECYCLE.BIN.

Note that the rest of this page applies only to the use of Data Destroyer running under Windows 7 or 8 or Vista.

To purge deleted files using Data Destroyer as explained below it is necessary first to tell Windows Explorer not to hide "protected operating system files" (or in Windows 8, to show "Hidden files and documents"). In Windows 7 this is done as follows: On the top bar of Explorer click on 'Tools', then 'Folder options', then 'View', then uncheck the box for "Hide protected operating system files"). The folder named $RECYCLE.BIN should then be visible in Explorer (one folder for each drive), as shown below.

Clicking on the Recycle Bin icon shows files which have been deleted. This includes files deleted from any drive (such as C and D). Windows 7 allows you to empty the Recycle Bin, but this just removes pointers to the deleted files and does not overwrite them (so the data can be recovered by special tools). When purging deleted files using Data Destroyer the deleted files for each drive must be purged separately. Thus, for example, if there are files in the Recycle Bin which have been deleted from Drive C, and also some which have been deleted from Drive D, it is not possible to purge them all in a single operation; two operations are required, one for each drive.

We now show how to purge the files in the Recycle Bin for Drive C. The same applies to any other drive. Any settings for folder and file specifications already made don't affect the operation of purging files in the Recycle Bin.

To purge files in the Recycle Bin for Drive C, first specify the type of purge you wish to use, if not already done. (There is no need to test the purge speed.) Then click on the Specify folder button, open the root folder and select $RECYCLE.BIN. (Do not select a subfolder Recycle Bin of the $RECYCLE.BIN folder.)

Click on the OK button and a confirmation dialog box appears:

Click on No if you wish to cancel the operation, otherwise click on Yes to proceed, in which case the deleted files are purged. The time taken for this depends on the number of overwrites (as implied by your choice of purge type) and the total size of the deleted files. Purging a few MB should take less than 10 seconds (if the Recycle Bin is on a fixed hard disk).

The number of files deleted from the Recycle Bin will be shown (but this is always a little more than the number of files originally deleted, for technical reasons).

Upon completion there may still be files shown in the Recycle Bin. If so, these are files deleted from drives other than C, and they can be purged by repeating for those drives the process described above.

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