A lot of Windows users will often drag a file to the recycle bin to delete it and then never think about it again, presuming it’s gone forever with no chance of being seen.
However, the Recycle Bin was actually created as an area where files to be deleted could actually be recovered if the user tried to delete it accidentally. When you drag a file to the Recycle Bin or press the delete key while highlighting a file, you then have to empty the bin for the file to be deleted.
If you just want to permanently delete a file however, knowing that it won’t be needed ever again, without even touching the Recycle Bin in Windows, there is a really simple way to do it…
To permanently delete a file you can simply highlight the file which you wish to delete in Windows Explorer, like you would if you were to delete any other file normally. On this occasion though, hold down the Shift key when you press the Delete key. You will be presented with a confirmation message, warning you that the file will be permanently deleted. Click ‘Yes’, and boom! The file will be permanently deleted without even touching the Recycle Bin.
If you want, you can extend this behaviour to become to the default when you drag a file to the Recycle Bin as well. All you need to do is right click the bin’s logo on your desktop and select ‘Properties’. The resulting preference window will offer the option “Don’t Move Files to the Recycle Bin. Remove Files Immediately When Deleted”. If you check this option then anything deleted on your computer will be immediately erased, bypassing the Recycle Bin.
Have you got any Windows or Mac tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.