Delete Files To Recycle Bin From Command Prompt on Windows

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Deleting files from the Windows Command Prompt can be quite dangerous if you aren’t careful. When a file is deleted from the command line, it skips the Recycle Bin altogether and works like the Shift + Delete option while using the Explorer. Sure, you can recover deleted files if you’re quick enough. But if you want a more convenient option, have a look at Recycle.

Recycle is a small (164 KB) handy utility that will give you the functionality of the regular delete option in Windows. Instead of permanently deleting files, it moves them to the Recycle Bin.

Using Recyle

To use this tool, download and extract the zip file, and copy the executable file to C:\Windows\System32 folder. Administrative privilege is required for this action.

You can place “Recycle.exe” in any folder that you want, although adding it under the system’s Environment variable path would give you access to the command globally without having to specify the entire path each time you want to use it. If you want free software to create path, have a look at these free tools.

Once in place, use the “recycle” command to delete any file straight to the Recycle Bin, instead of the native “del” command. For example:

Recycle File.txt


To make usage even easier, you can delete multiple files and use wildcards.

Wildcard usage:

Recycle C:\SumTips\*

Delete multiple files:

Recycle File1.txt File2.txt

You can also restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin using the command prompt. To undelete files, you need to use /U switch:

Recycle /U C:\SumTips\File.txt

The program supports many other switches. To view them all enter this command:

Recycle /?

If you’re a regular command line user, this is something that should be in your arsenal.

I tested Recycle on Windows 7 64-bit, however it should work in all Windows versions.

Download: Recycle