Why won't my computer use it's damn recycle bini?
March 16, 2007 12:17 PM   Subscribe

How do I change my computer's "delete" and "drag/drop" settings?

My work computer does two funny things:

1) When I delete a file, it neither double-checks whether or not I really want to delete a file, nor does it move the items to the recycle bin. It just makes them disappear, seemingly for forever.

2) Also, when I drag a file from one folder to another (say, from the desktop to My Documents), it copies instead of moving them. Less scary than the deleting problem, but still weird.

I have a brand new Dell Dimension E520 running XP SP2. I consider myself a pretty proficient Windows user and have never encountered this. I am assuming there is some option (or combo of) that is set differently than I am used to, but I can't find it.
posted by radioamy to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For #2, just hold down Shift while dragging and dropping to move instead of copy.
posted by 4ster at 12:26 PM on March 16, 2007

Best answer: 1) The Recycle Bin has properties. Just right click.

2) Usually same drive drag is a move, different drive drag is a copy. Could that be it?
posted by smackfu at 12:28 PM on March 16, 2007

Best answer: For number 1:

Right click on Recycle Bin. Select Properties. Select "Display Delete Confirmation Dialogs"
posted by 4ster at 12:31 PM on March 16, 2007

Response by poster: Geniuses. You guys are geniuses.
posted by radioamy at 12:33 PM on March 16, 2007

Also, unclick the 'do not move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted' check box.
posted by iconomy at 12:34 PM on March 16, 2007

Personally, I find it amazing that a new computer came configured like that.
posted by 4ster at 12:37 PM on March 16, 2007

For #2, I use the right-click-and-drag trick so I get a menu and can be sure I landed on the right folder, really want to move, etc.

Also, if you are in a networked environment, your My Documents folder may be redirected and is therefore technically on a different drive than your desktop folder. Hence the copy when a move is expected.
posted by hankbear at 1:07 PM on March 16, 2007

Response by poster: I realized that I am so used to saving everything to a network drive that I forget it's not on my computer - I was having the problem when I dragged something from the desktop to my network drive, now I see the problem!
posted by radioamy at 1:10 PM on March 16, 2007

4ster: "Personally, I find it amazing that a new computer came configured like that."

If I'm not mistaken, Windows NT defaults to that (deleting permanently and immediately) if you're on a network. No idea why.
posted by koeselitz at 1:16 PM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

The reason for the instant deletion rather than using the Recycle Bin for network files is that there's no built in support on most Windows file servers for a Recycle Bin functionality so the only way that the Recycle Bin could work would be to copy the entire file from the network to the local machine's Recycle Bin and then delete the original from the network - for a large file it'd take ages to do a deletion and it'd only be possible to undelete from the specific system that the file was deleted from.

Windows 2003 Server has a system called 'Shadow Copies of Shared Folders' that does allow the recovery of deleted files.
posted by koshmar at 4:15 PM on March 16, 2007

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