Recycle Bin Always Empty

I have been using Win XP for about nine years but have not faced a problem like this before - my Recycle Bin always remains empty!

Whatever files I delete do not show up in the Recycle Bin and as such, the option of "Empty Recycle Bin" always remains inactive.

This has started after I recently installed Win 7 RC on another partition with dual boot. It created an extra folder called "$Recycle" for EACH of my partitions, which I left alone.

After I faced this problem, I reformatted my C: drive and reinstalled Win XP again (WITHOUT dual boot) and for a couple of days the recycle bin behaved correctly before going blank again!

I also manually deleted the "$Recycle" folders from all the drives without any avail.

I have scoured the Net for Microsoft's or anybody else's response about this particular problem but could not find anything.

I would appreciate if anybody can point me towards either the source or the solution of this problem.

7 answers Last reply
More about recycle empty
  1. You can try a Kelly Korners tweak to repair the recycle bin:

    Scroll down to line 64 Right hand side

    "Replace/Repair the Recycle Bin in Windows XP"
  2. Tried just now.

    Downloaded the reg script for "Repair/Replace XP Recycle Bin". Ran the script and rebooted.

    Then deleted a dummy file - Recyle Bin remains empty.

    No effect whatsoever.
  3. This may seem obvious, but sometimes it's the obvious that elude us.

    Have you right clicked the recycle bin, clicked on properties and made sure the option not to move items to the recycle bin is unchecked?
  4. The pc may have needed a reboot after the reg fix.

    Also there is this from Microsoft:;en-us;168570
  5. Hi btk1w1

    I wrote in my last reply that I rebooted after the reg fix.

    Mine, as I said, is a week old installation and I haven't yet changed any of the default settings. But I nevetheless went in and checked - in the properties dialog the "Do not move files to the Recycle Bin" box remains unchecked.

    Thanks for the Microsoft support link that you provided - but it does not apply to Win XP. Microsoft says its for Win 2000 and Win NT. Though XP is indeed an offshoot of NT, I think MS should have it mentioned if the article applied to Win XP.

    I also discovered that though my Recycle Bin stays blank, the "properties" dialog of the local "Recycler" folder mentions that it has 5 files and 3 folders in it! I just have no way to see or delete them...
  6. Resolved the problem today by methods explained below:

    Opened the "Recycler" folder on C: in Explorer. Saw a folder (for the first time) named "S-1-5-21-507921405-746137067-839522115-1003". This contained another folder within it with almost an identical name (can't remember as already deleted). This folder contained another empty folder named "com4".

    Tried to delete "com4". Explorer responded that it could not find the file! Trying to delete it's parent folder resulted in "cannot delete com4". So I guessed some serious sh*t has happened.

    Tried my old and faithful lieutenant, the "unlocker" ( It reported that nothing is using the "com4" folder. I then requested a deletion of "com4" folder. It took a bit longer than usual, but finally was able to delete the "com4" folder.

    I was able to then delete its parent folder successfully from Explorer.

    Came back to the Desktop and tested the Recyle Bin by using a dummy file delete. Saw that it has resumed its normal operation once again.

    Thanks a lot for letting me post my problem and the subsequent suggestions.
  7. Found out the source of this problem.

    It was being caused by a software called "Winmend Folder Hidden" - which must have been playing indiscriminately with the OS to hide folders and files.

    Uninstalled it. Everything runs okay now.

    Just thought I should let you guys know.
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