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Delete files faster in XP

Ever try to delete a file in XP and watch as it takes 20 or 30 seconds?

The delay is because XP searches the recycle bin for similarly named items before deleting them (i.e. adding them to the recycle bin). This takes time - don't ask me why, since it takes nearly no time in Linux.

XP defaults to a recycle bin size of 10% of hard-drive space. Modern hard drives are typically 100, 200 or 300 gigabytes or more, so we are talking about a recycle bin of 10, 20 or even 30 gigabytes. That is an absolutely huge trashcan, and it is extremely rare that you would ever need a recycle bin this large.

To save you time and headache, trim down your recycle bin to 1% - which is 1 gigabyte per 100 gigabytes of storage. This is still very large - I'd rather trim it down to 0.5% on my laptop's 300GB drive, which would give me a 1.5GB trashcan - more than enough for typical daily use.

To set the size of your recycle bin, right-click the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop and select Properties. Push the slider down to 1%. You can go down to 0%, which means you don't want a recylce bin, but that would completely eliminate protection from mistakenly deleting files and folders. Something you probably don't want to do.

I also uncheck the delete confirmation dialog. So when I delete files, I don't get the annoy 'Are are certain?' dialog box. Because I have a recycle bin, I know I can always undelete something - so don't need an additional step to ask me if I'm certain I want to delete.

Doing these steps will almost certainly instantly make your system faster. As an additional step - don't forget to periodically clean up your hard drive and defragment the filesystem. The increase in performance is well worth the protracted time it takes to fix.


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