Fix corrupted Recycle Bin in Windows 10, 8, 8.1 in a minute

Andrew Wafer By: Andrew Wafer
3 minute read
fix corrupt recycle bin

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Do you have problems in using your Windows 10 , Windows 8, 8.1 Recycle Bin? If you used to have a smooth Windows 8 / Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 platform that worked without problems, but now when trying to access Recycle Bin you receive only the “corrupted” error, apply the guidelines available below to troubleshoot your Windows system.

recycle bin
So, if you want to fix the Windows 8, 8.1 or Windows 10 corrupted Recycle Bin error ‘The Recycle Bin is corrupted. Do you want to empty the Recycle Bin for this drive?’ this step by step guide will be more than useful for you.

Now, this problem might happen due to various reasons such as unexpected force close errors, DLL issues (learn how to fix any Windows 8 / Windows 8.1/ Windows 10 DLL error by using a dedicated tutorial), incompatibility problems and more. Anyway, the result is that you can’t access the Recycle Bin for removing your files or for restoring the same in case you have accidentally erased some files from your device.

As you might know, each of your Windows drive has a dedicated system folder dubbed as $Recycle.bin. Of course this folder is hidden so you can’t see or access the same unless you check the “unhide” option under “Folder Options”.

Now, when the Recycle Bin gets corrupted the $Recycle.bin also gets corrupted and in order to resolve your problem you must fix $Recycle.bin. Doing the same is easy as you only have to run a command in cmd window. Anyway, check the steps from below for the proper troubleshooting solution.

How to fix Windows 10, 8.1 Corrupted Recycle Bin

  1. Clean Recycle Bin in Command Prompt
  2. Use the System File Checker tool
  3. Delete Recycle Bin in Safe Mode
  4. Scan your computer for malware
  5. Update Windows

1. Clean Recycle Bin in Command Prompt

So, on your Windows 10, Windows 10, 8, 8.1 computer open an elevate command prompt window – run cmd with administrator rights.

  • In order to do so, from Start Screen right click on your Start button and select “run cmd as administrator” like in the image from below.cmd
  • Then in the cmd window type “rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin” and press enter.
  • Up next reboot your computer and enjoy your new and reset Recycle Bin.

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2. Use the System File Checker tool

In addition, of that isn’t working for you, open the cmd window once more and type sfc / scannow and press Enter.

sfc scannow

The System File Checker feature will be launched on your device so just wait while your Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 system is being fixed – on that matter learn how to fix chkdsk stuck on Windows.


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

3. Delete Recycle Bin in Safe Mode

Sometimes, you may encountered an ‘Access denied’ error when you want to perform the actions listed above on Windows 10. So, if your Recycle Bin corrupted Windows 10 and access is denied, try enabling Safe Mode.

  1. Hold down the shift key and click the on-screen power button
  2. Select the restart option while holding the shift key
  3. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > hit Restartsafe-mode-windows-10
  4. Wait until Windows 10 reboots, and select Safe Mode.
  5. Now, try to repair your corrupted Recycle Bin again using the steps available above.

4. Scan your computer for malware

Malware may cause various issues on your computer, including Recycle Bin corruption issues. Perform a full system scan in order to detect any malware running on your computer.

You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.

scan computer windows defender

5. Update Windows

Quite a few Windows 10 users confirmed that installing the latest system and driver updates solved the problem. So, go to Settings > Update & Security > click on the ‘Check for updates’ button and install all the available updates.

update windows 10

Good job! You have successfully fixed the corrupted Recycle Bin on your Windows 10, Windows 8.1 device. That was all for today, but stay close as we will update with similar and useful Windows tips and tricks.

Also, if you’ve got additional tips and suggestions on how to fix corrupted Recycle Bin issues, you can list them in the comments below.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

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