Most of you reading this post must have at one point or the other wondered where the heck all the files you deleted on your PC went. Did they go into thin or were these files just forgotten forever by your PC. Well, the answer might not be what you’ve been thinking all along.

Where do Deleted Files on Your PC go

When you delete a file, the computer sends it to a temporary directory (Recycle Bin or Trash) where it awaits your final decision as to whether you still need to resurrect the file (Restore it) or not. But when you go ahead to delete the file from the Recycle bin (Empty the Trash), the space the said file occupied isn’t actually emptied but marked as empty and it’s now available for new files to move in.What actually happens is that the file hasn’t actually moved out, but the pointers to the particular file has been removed making it impossible for your Operating System to locate the said file. But with recovery tools, you could locate those file which were deleted because they still exist on your drive.

Now, when you get new data into your PC and your OS has no other space to place this data, it’s starts overwriting the space marked as empty, and that’s the reason when you restore some deleted files, they might appear corrupt since other files have overwritten some part of it’s data. Therefore the key to restoring a perfect file after having being deleted is to perform a recovery not long after you had deleted it.

Does this Mean You Can’t Actually Delete A File?

Well, not exactly. As you must have now known, deleting a file only removes pointers to the said file, but the file gets overwritten when new files occupy the space marked as empty. The only other perfect way to have a file deleted and return a zero file even when instantly recovered using recovery tools is to do what is called a “zero filling“.

Zero Filling involves filling every byte of the original file with a “0”, and then deleting the file. That way, even if you do restore the data in the file table, all you’re going to get back is an empty file. It effectively ensures that the disk sectors are already overwritten at the time of deletion.

Now you know what happens when you hit Empty Recycle Bin. 🙂


  1. Thanks Oscar but is there a software that i can download that can help me recover these files i may have deleted from my RECYCLE BIN


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