How to Fix a Corrupted Recycle Bin

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If you are experiencing a weird or uncommon behavior of your Recycle Bin, like when you cannot empty it, or when the Recycle Bin icon in your Desktop always shows clear or empty when in fact there are deleted items when you open it, then it is most likely a corruption issue. In this case, the very first thing that you can try is to RESET your Recycle Bin.

By resetting your Recycle Bin, Windows will automatically re-create the $Recycle.Bin folder after resetting the old and corrupted version.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open an Elevated Command Prompt. Detailed procedures are found HERE.
  2. In the command prompt, type this command and press the Enter key to execute

    rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin

    Note: When you are typing the part "C:\$", you can press the Tab key and Windows will complete the path for you.

  3. After pressing Enter, you will get back to the command prompt but the Recycle Bin folder has been reset already.