How to Automatically Empty the Recycle Bin in Windows 10 & 11

Recycle Bin is stores the files you delete in Windows. So, you can check your accidently deleted files in Recycle Bin. But with time, Recycle Bin keeps filling with garbage data. This garbage data keeps taking up space in your hard drive until you manually or automatically empty the Recycle Bin in your Windows 10 or 11.

However, you can limit the amount of disk space the Recycle Bin in Recycle Bin Properties. But with Windows 10 and Windows 11, you have options for clearing this garbage automatically using Storage Sense. Besides Storage Sense, you can also use Task Scheduler to automatically delete recycle bin data.

SEE ALSO: How to Recover Delete Files using Windows File Recovery?

Automatically Empty Recycle Bin in Windows 11 and Windows 10

This tutorial shows you how to clear Recycle Bin data in Windows 10 or 11 automatically. We are going to explain two methods in this tutorial – one using Storage Sense and other one using Task Scheduler. Let’s start with Storage Sense.

Method 1: Automatically Delete Recycle Bin Data using Storage Sense

Microsoft introduced Storage Sense in Windows 10 version 1703. So, we recommend you to update your Windows 10 to latest version if you are running older versions.

After updating, you can configure Storage Sense to automatically clear garbage data like Temporary Files and Recycle Bin. Let’s see how we can automate clearing the Recycle Bin data using Storage Sense. this tutorial is based on Windows 11 but will work on Windows 10 as well.

Step 1: Enable Storage Sense in Windows 11 and Windows 10

First of all, we need to turn on the Storage Sense in Windows 11 and 10. Steps are a bit different for Windows 11 and 10. So, we will show you the steps for Windows 11 and 10 separately. Let’s start with Windows 10.

Windows 10:

Go to Settings > System > Storage. At the top of the page under Storage turn ON the switch to enable Storage Sense. Next, click on Configure Storage Sense or run it now. There you can set automatically cleaning up of recycle bin.

Turn On Or Enable Storage Sense In Windows 10 And Click Configure Storage Sense Or Run It Now
Enable Storage Sense in Windows 10 and click Configure Storage Sense or run it now

Windows 11:

Go to Settings > System > Storage. Here scroll down to Storage management section and turn on switch for Storage Sense. After that click on Storage Sense to open storage sense settings.

Turn On Or Enable Storage Sense In Windows 11
Enable Storage Sense in Windows 11

SEE ALSO: How to Enable and Configure Storage Sense in Windows 10?


Step 2: Configure Storage Sense to Automatically Empty the Recycle Bin on a Schedule

In Storage Sense settings, you can configure it to automatically delete recycle bin data from your computer. However, as mentioned above, settings for Windows 10 and 11 differ slightly. So, we will explain for both Windows 10 and 11 separately.

Windows 10:

Click drop-down under Run Storage Sense and select Every month to run it on monthly basis. You can also select weekly or daily based on your requirements. After that click on the drop-down under “Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over:” and select 30 days. You can also select 7, 14 etc. days based on your requirements.

Schedule Storage Sense To Automatically Empty Recycle Bin Data In Windows 10
Schedule Storage Sense to Automatically Empty Recycle Bin in Windows 10

Windows 11:

In Windows 11, open Storage Sense settings and scroll down to Configure cleanup schedules. Here, select Every month to Run Storage Sense. You can also select every week or day. After that select no. of days to automatically clean recycle bin data under “Delete files in my recycle bin if they have been there for over:”.

Set Up Storage Sense To Automatically Empty Recycle Bin In Windows 11
Set up Storage Sense to Automatically Empty Recycle Bin in Windows 11

Now based on the schedule your selected in Storage Sense settings, your recycle bin files will be cleared automatically. Let’s now discuss other method for deleting Recycle Bin files using Task Scheduler.


SEE ALSO: How to Schedule Automatic Shutdown in Windows 10 using Task Scheduler?


Method 2: Automatically Delete Recycle Bin Files using Task Scheduler

Now, let’s see how can we automate emptying of Recycle Bin using Task Scheduler. Besides Windows 10 and Windows 11, this method can also be used on older versions of Windows as well.

So, let’s see how to set up a scheduled task for automatically deleting Recycle Bin files. This method has exactly same steps for Windows 10 and Windows 11, so, you don’t need to worry about the version of your Windows.

Step 1: Open Task Scheduler and click Create Task

First of all, open Task Scheduler. You can simply search for ‘task scheduler‘ on Start and click on Task Scheduler from search results.

Search And Open Task Scheduler In Windows 11
Search and open Task Scheduler in Windows

Task Scheduler will open. On the rightmost pane under Actions, click Create Task… to create a new task.

Click Create Task In Task Manager
Click Create Task in Task Manager

Step 2: Set Task Name and Set Privileges

New Create Task window will open. On the General tab provide a name for the task e.g. Automatically Empty Recycle Bin. After that under Security Options, check the box next to Run with highest privileges.

Type Name For The Task And Check The Box To Run The Task With Highest Privileges
Type a name for the Task and check the box to Run the Task with highest privileges

Step 3: Set the Schedule for Automatic Recycle Bin Cleanup

Next, move to Triggers tab. Click on New… button to add a triggering schedule. Now, setup the schedule according to your requirements.

In this tutorial, we have setup the “Automatically Empty Recycle Bin” task to run every Sunday of every Week at 8:00 PM. You can set your own schedule here.

Create New Trigger To Run The Task On Weekly Or Monthly Basis
Create New Trigger to run the task on Weekly or Monthly basis

Step 4: Set the Action to Automatically Clean the Recycle Bin in Windows 10 or 11

Now it’s time to setup main mechanism. Click on Actions tab and click New… to create new action to automatically clean the recycle bin.

In New Action window, select action as ‘Start a program‘. Under Settings, in Program/script box, type cmd.exe and in Add arguments (optional) field, type following command and click OK.

/c rmdir /s /q '%systemdrive%\$Recycle.Bin'
Set Up New Action To Automatically Empty The Recycle Bin Data In Windows 10 And 11
Set up New Action to automatically empty the Recycle Bin data in Windows 10 or 11

Finally click OK to create the task and close Create Task wizard. Task will be created in Task Scheduler Library.

Click Ok To Create The Task To Clean Recycle Bin Data
Click OK to create the task to clean Recycle Bin data

NOTE:

The command mentioned above will clear Recycle Bin folder from Windows drive (normally C drive) only. You can also add another action for other drives as well by replacing ‘%systemdrive%‘ by D, E, F etc. drives. For example:

cmd.exe /c rmdir 'D:\$Recycle.Bin'

However, you can use following single PowerShell command to clear Recycle Bin of all disk drives.

powershell.exe /c "$(New-Object -ComObject Shell.Application).NameSpace(0xA).Items() | %%{Remove-Item $_.Path -Recurse -Confirm:$false}"

Step 5: Run the Task to Clean Recycle Bin immediately

You can see newly created task in Task Scheduler Library. It will display the name, status and triggers set for that task as shown below.

This task will automatically run at the scheduled time. In case you want to clear recycle bin at any time, you can also run this task manually. Just right-click on it and select Run.

Run The Task To Clean Or Delete The Recycle Bin Data Immediately
Run the task manually to clean the Recycle Bin data immediately

SEE ALSO: How to Free up Space in C Drive in Windows 11 and Windows 10?


Automatically Empty the Recycle Bin on a Schedule in Windows 11 and 10

Above tutorial explained two methods to setup your computer to automatically empty the Recycle Bin on a schedule of your choice. While Windows 10 and 11 provide native ways to empty your Recycle Bin automatically via Storage Sense, the people using older versions of Windows can try Task Scheduler method for the same purpose. You just need to make sure your Windows 10 is updated to latest version.

Hope you liked this tutorial. Drop your comments, suggestions and queries in comment section below. Feel free to subscribe to our newsletter to get latest tutorials directly into your inbox.

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