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Enable Recycle Bin on USB Drive

The Recycle Bin is an important tool in the Windows system, and as the name suggests, it is a place that collects all the files that the user deleted by himself when pressing Delete on the keyboard so that they are not disposed of forever until there is another opportunity to recover any file that was deleted by mistake, This is what everyone knows. But if you decide to delete a file from a memory stick or SD card connected to the computer, Windows will delete it permanently, meaning that it will not have a trace in the Recycle Bin tool, because by default, Windows does not create a special space for the recycle bin in any removable storage, but you can change so easily.


Contrary to what some think, the Recycle Bin is a program or tool integrated with the Windows system, but in fact it is a folder, but it has special standards that do not exist in any ordinary folder. So when you delete a file on your computer, what happens is that the deleted file is moved to the Recycle Bin folder instead of permanently deleted. This folder is located on any internal storage in the computer but is hidden as it belongs to the system itself and is not allowed to be tampered with or even deleted.


But as we mentioned in the introduction, the Recycle Bin is not available by default in external storage devices that are connected to the computer via USB as Windows does not create a Recycle Bin folder on them. The result is as shown in the image above, you can not delete files from a flash drive, for example, and restore them from the recycle bin again when needed, but they will be disposed of directly.


Fortunately, it is easy to activate the Recycle Bin on all storage devices connected to the computer, including removable ones such as a flash drive or an SD card, with a simple modification to the registry. All you have to do is press Win + R together, and in the Run window that appears, type “regedit” and hit Enter to immediately open the Registry Editor window. Now go to the following path:

 HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

After going to the folder explorer, right-click in any empty place on the right side, then New and choose DWORD (32-bit) Value [shown in the picture] to create a new value, then you will need to rename this value to "RecycleBinDrives".


After creating RecycleBinDrives, right-click on the value and select "Modify" to open the data modification window. Here, type "ffffffff" in the Value data field and make sure the Hexadecimal option is checked in the Base field. Finally, click OK and restart your computer.


After your computer restarts, Windows will create a hidden folder called $RECYCLE.BIN on any flash drive or SD card you connect to your device, which is responsible for storing files that you deleted from the flash drive for recovery from the recycle bin. And if you open the properties of the recycle bin through the icon on the desktop, you can easily select the flash and choose the maximum size of the deleted files.

If you want to see the $RECYCLE.BIN folder, you can simply open the File Explorer tool, click on the "File" section at the top and choose Change folder and search options from the drop-down menu. In the Folder Options window, go to the View tab, then select the Show hidden files option and uncheck the (✔) next to "Hide protected operation system files", then press OK to confirm. By doing this, the Recycle.Bin$ folder will appear in the flash drive and you can view its content, which will be your files that you have deleted.

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