How to Access Recycle Bin Folder on External Hard Drive and Delete Files

hidden files

We use external hard drive normally to back up our data. Some users use it for storing media files. Some other people use it for expanding the storage. Whatever the case we use these USB drives to store lots of files.

External hard drives have also a recycle bin folder. The files you deleted on this drive may stored in this folder. You can access the recycle bin folder on external hard drives and delete the files.

If you have media files deleted from your external hard disk and connected to a TV via supporting DVD player, the file on the recycle bin folder may also playable on your TV. It may cause embarrassment sometimes. The solution is to completely remove the recycle bin stored files on your USB drive.

This Windows tip will provide you answer to your following queries;

How to Access Recycle Bin folder on External Hard Disk?

How to Delete Recycle Bin files on External Hard Disk?

How to Get Extra Storage Space on External Hard Disk?

Now to the point.

How to Access Recycle Bin folder on External Hard Disk on Windows 8

On the Start screen directly type “exp” to find and open “file explorer”

Under the “View” menu click options and open “change folder and search options”

Under “View” tab enable “show hidden files, folders, or drives”

Remove tick mark against “Hide protected operating system files”

You can now see the recycle bin folder when you open the external storage drive. Delete the files inside it.

This way you can access recycle bin, open recycle bin and delete recycle bin files.

show system files and hidden files on windows 8

Now on other Windows versions.

How to Access Recycle Bin folder on External Hard Disk on Windows 7

On Windows 7 (Home basic I am using) you can find the above same folder options from the following way.

Start > Windows Explorer > Organize >Folder and Search Options

Other steps as above.

How to Access Recycle Bin folder on External Hard Disk on Windows XP

You can locate the folder options on Windows XP as follows

Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Themes > Folder Options

Now you have to learn one more thing. If you don’t want to send deleted files to recycle bin follow the below steps.

How to stop deleted files sending or moving to Recycle Bin folder

On your desktop, right click on recycle bin folder and select “properties”

Enable “Don’t move files to recycle bin……”

That’s all.

Remove recycle bin folder stored files on your external hard disk and get more storage space.


  1. In addition:
    Under system tools, bring up Disk Cleanup, pick the external drive and you will see an option to empty that drive’s recycle bin.


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