The article explains how to enable or disable the Recycle Bin for removable or external drives in Windows 11. By default, these drives don’t possess a Recycle Bin, leading to permanent deletion of items. To prevent accidental loss, the user is guided through the process of editing specific paths in Windows Registry to enable or disable the Recycle Bin on removable drives.
This article describes steps to enable or disable the recycle bin for removable or external drives in Windows 11.
The Recycle bin holds items that are temporarily deleted. Items will stay in the Recycle bin until the bin is emptied or restored by the user.
In a multi-drive computer, each drive or partition will have its own hidden $Recycle.Bin system folder and settings.
By default, removable drives such as USB flash drives and memory cards do not have a Recycle Bin. Therefore, when you delete items on these drives, they are permanently deleted and cannot be restored.
Suppose you want to provide some added protection so you don’t lose items accidentally deleted from externally connected drives. In that case, you can enable the Recycle bin for removable drives; the steps below show you how.
Add or remove the Recycle bin for removable drives in Windows 11
As described above, removable drives such as USB flash drives and memory cards do not have a Recycle Bin by default.
For additional protection, you can enable the Recycle bin for removable drives to protect against the accidental deletion of items.
Here’s how to enable it in Windows 11.
First, open the Windows Registry and navigate to each folder key path listed below.
And the one below also.
If you don’t see the Explorer folder key, right-click on the Policies parent key, then create the subkey (Explorer) folder.
Right-click on the Explorer folder key’s right pane and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Next, type a new key named RecycleBinDrives.
Double-click the new value name (RecycleBinDrives) and enter the Value data of ffffffff under Base (Hexadecimal) to enable the Recycle bin for removable drives.
If you leave it empty or delete the value name, the Recycle bin for removable drives will be disabled.
Repeat the same for the second Registry folder key path and do the same as demonstrated above.
You should see a hidden Recycle Bin folder at the root of each removable drive. You must show hidden “Protection operating system files” to view hidden files and folders.
That should do it! Restart your computer for the changes to apply.
This post showed you how to enable or disable the Recycle bin for removable drives in Windows 11. Please use the comment form below if you find any errors above or have something to add.