(rē-sī´k&l bin) (n.)
on the Windows desktop
that represents a directory
where deleted files are temporarily stored. This enables you to retrieve files that you may have accidentally deleted. From time to time, you'll want to purge
the recycle bin to free up space on your hard disk
. You can also configure Windows so that it doesn't use the recycle bin at all, but then you won't be able to retrieve accidentally deleted files.
The recycle bin is modeled after the Macintosh trash can, which has been part of the Mac GUI since its inception.
Also see Are Deleted Files Completely Erased? in the Did You Know . . . ? section of Webopedia.
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