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Article ID: 2394521 - Last Review: June 28, 2012 - Revision: 11.0

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You cannot empty the Recycle Bin on a computer that is running Windows XP or Windows Vista.


This issue occurs because the Recycle Bin folder is corrupted.


Diagnose and fix the problem automatically

The Diagnose and repair Windows File and Folder Problems automatically troubleshooter may automatically fix the problem described in this article.
This troubleshooter fixes many problems.Learn moreRun now

Let me fix it myself

To fix this problem, follow these steps to regenerate the Recycle Bin folder by using the command prompt:
  1. Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, Click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Start Button
    , click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. Type the appropriate command for your operating system, and then press ENTER.

    Windows XP
    rd /s C:\recycler
    Windows Vista
    rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin

    Note For hard drives with other letters, substitute C: for the desired hard drive letter.
  3. Close the Command Prompt window.
  4. Right-click an empty area of the desktop and then click Refresh.

    Note The Recycle Bin should be empty now. If not, repeat these steps for any other hard drive letter that you have.


How the MATS package works to fix this problem

Click here to understand how the MATS package works to fix this problem

Other issues that the MATS package fixes

949109  ( ) "The file or folder does not exist" error in Windows Vista
934160  ( ) "Network or file permission" or "folder does not exist" error
813711  ( ) Changes to the size, view, icon or position of a folder are lost
2394740  ( ) Can't select multiple items after upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista
2396571  ( ) Icons change incorrectly in Windows

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional for Itanium-based systems
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Starter
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
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