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Windows XP Pro: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by L.J. Zacker, Craig Zacker, David Pogue

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The Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin is your desktop trash basket. This is where files and folders go when they’ve outlived their usefulness, like a waiting room for data oblivion. Your files stay here until you empty the Recycle Bin—or until you rescue them by dragging them out again.

While you can certainly drag files or folders onto the Recycle Bin icon, it’s usually faster to highlight them and then perform one of the following options:

  • Press the Delete key.

  • Choose FileDelete.

  • Right-click a highlighted icon and choose Delete from the shortcut menu.

Windows XP asks if you’re sure you want to send the item to the Recycle Bin. (You don’t lose much by clicking Yes, since it’s easy enough to change your mind, as noted on the facing page.) Now the Recycle Bin icon looks like it’s brimming over with paper.

Tip

To turn off the “Are you sure?” message that appears when you send something Bin-ward, right-click the Recycle Bin. Then choose Properties from the shortcut menu, and turn off “Display delete confirmation dialog.” Turning off the warning isn’t much of a safety risk. After all, files aren’t really being removed from your drive when you put them in the Recycle Bin.

You can put unwanted files and folders into the Recycle Bin from any folder window, from within Windows Explorer, or even inside the Open File dialog box of many Windows applications (see Chapter 5).

Restoring Deleted Files and Folders

If you change your mind about sending something to the software graveyard, open the Recycle Bin ...

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