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Weekly Computer Tip # 42
30 November 2003

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Removing items permanently when you delete them (Microsoft Windows)

The Recycle Bin provides a safety net when deleting files or folders. When you delete any of these items from your hard disk (or Desktop), Windows places the item in the Recycle Bin and the Recycle Bin icon changes from empty to full. Items in the Recycle Bin still take up hard disk space so if you're running low on hard disk space, always remember to empty the Recycle Bin by right-clicking over the Recycle Bin and selecting Empty Recycle Bin. However,

Did you know ...

You can delete an item permanently without placing the item in the Recycle Bin.

Here's how:

  1. If necessary open Windows Explorer (for instance, by right-clicking over My Computer and selecting Explore) to display a hierarchical structure of files, folders, and drives on your computer.
  2. Select the item(s) you want to remove permanently. (To select multiple non-adjacent items, hold down the CTRL key and then click the items you want to select. To select multiple adjacent items, hold down SHIFT, click the first item you want to select and then click the last item you want to select.)
  3. Press SHIFT and while you keep your finger on the SHIFT key do one of the following:
  4. drag the item(s) to the Recycle Bin
  5. press the Delete key on your keyboard
  6. click the Delete button on your Windows Explorer toolbar

Please note items deleted from a floppy disk or a network drive are permanently deleted and are not sent to the Recycle Bin.

Until next week.

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November 2003