How to change the size for the recycle bin in Vista

When files ore folders are deleted in Windows Vista, they are not really deleted, but they are first stored in the recyvle bin. That’s great if you need to retrieve them after inadvertedly deleting the files. But this also means that the disk space used by these files are folders is not free up until they are physically deleted from disk.
To control the disk space used by the recycle bin, or trashcan, you can change the maximum size that Vista can use for the recycle bin.
Here are the steps to change the maximum size for the recycle bin in Vista:

  1. First locate the recycle bin on the Desktop, and right-click it.
    Note: if the recycle bin is not visisble on the Desktop, change the personalization settings.
    Recycle bin popup menu
  2. In the popup menu that comes up, select the Properties option.
  3. Next, select the disk for which you want to change the maximum space (in case you have multipe disks in your system).
    Properies for recycle bin in Vista
  4. Make sure the Custom size option is selected, and change the value for Maximum size (MB).
    Note: the size is specified in Mega Bytes, so in the example, the maximum size is 5 GB.
  5. Click OK to confirm the change in storage space available for the recycle bin.

The option “Do not move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted.” Will effectively set the disk space allocation for the recycle bin to zero. This will save disk spave, but keep in mind that you can not restore files from the recyvle bin anymore with that option active. If you want to delete files without keeping them in the recycle bin, just use Shift+Delete instead of Delete when removing files. This will work even if the maximum size for the recycle bin is not set to zero.

To actually remove the files from the recycle bin, you use the Empty Recycle Bin option in the popup menu as shown earlier. This will present you with a confirmation dialog before the files are actually removed from disk:

Confirm empty of trashcan

If you do not wish for this confirmation to be shown everytime you emty the recycle bin, clear the checkbox in the recycle bin properties called Display delete confirmation dialog.

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