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Microsoft KB Archive/171051

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Knowledge Base

How to Bypass the Recycle Bin When Deleting Files

Article ID: 171051

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 95

This article was previously published under Q171051


When you delete files in the Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 95 operating systems graphical user interface, your files first go to the Recycle Bin so that they may be recovered. When deleting a large amount of files, this process may not be desirable because of the amount of time it takes to move them to the Recycle Bin and then empty the Recycle Bin, essentially deleting them twice. There is an easy way to bypass the Recycle Bin altogether.

NOTE: If you delete a file or folder from a resource that is not local (such as a network computer), the file or folder does not go to the Recycle Bin, the item is instantly deleted.


When deleting a folder or group of files:

  1. Select the folder or group of files to be deleted.
  2. Hold down the SHIFT key while pressing the DELETE key.


  1. Open a command prompt window.
  2. Use the MS-DOS command DEL to delete the folder or files.

NOTE: Be aware that after files are deleted in this manner, they cannot be undeleted or recovered.

Additional query words: win95 deleting permanent

Keywords: kbhowto kbui kbusage KB171051