Fix: Can’t Empty Recycle Bin on Windows 10 after Creators Update

A few Windows 10 users have made complaints about the Recycle Bin creating errors when an attempt is made to delete a file in the recycle bin or empty it. For some users, the delete interface flashes and subsequently crashes Windows Explorer, and for some other users, they are informed that the Recycle Bin has crashed.

The main cause of this issue are some 3rd party software, which prevents the built-in recycle bin from working properly. Culprit softwares include Fences, OneDrive and MacType. We can fix this error by either updating these softwares or removing them.

For a quick workaround, you can use CCleaner to empty your recycle bin. This article teaches you how to fix this issue using alternative methods.

Method 1: Removing/Updating 3rd Party Software

As earlier said, certain 3rd software may cause the recycle bin to malfunction. Here’s how to remove them.

  1. Hold the Win + R to open the command prompt, type appwiz.cpl and click OK.
  2. In the programs window, click on the Installed On pane to sort the installed applications according to date. Here, you can find the recently installed applications.
  3. Double-click on any application which you suspect might be causing the problem and then follow the uninstall prompt.
  4. Reboot your PC and try using the recycle bin to confirm if the issue has been solved.

If you’re using Fences 2, support ended for it after the Windows 10 Creators Update. You may have to run this tool as an administrator and then install Fences 3. MacType users can also delete files from the Recycle Bin after disabling the software.

To upgrade any software rather than removing it;

  1. Open the application you want to update.
  2. Visit the Settings section and click on the Update button or tab.
  3. Download the update and then restart the app.

You can also download the application from the vendor’s website and then run the installation over the existing one.

Method 2: Resetting the Recycle Bin

Some users have been able to get the recycle bin to work by resetting it. Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt by pressing the Start button, typing cmd and then opening as a administrator.
  2. In the elevated command prompt type the following command:rd /s /q [Drive Letter]:\$Recycle.binWhere [Drive Letter] is replaced by the drive letter whose recycle bin you want to reset.
  3. Restart your PC and then confirm if the issue has been fixed.

Method 3: Fixing OneDrive

If the above methods do not work, you should try killing OneDrive. OneDrive has often been problematic with Windows 10 and killing the process should solve the issue, as it did for others.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Del to open the command prompt. Under the processes tab, search for OneDrive.
  2. Right-click on OneDrive and select End Task.
  3. Try to delete items from the recycle bin.

Method 4: Updating Windows Store Apps

Windows Store apps can also create issues for the Recycle Bin and should be updated to avert any issues.

  1. Click on the Start Button, type Store and then press Enter.
  2. In the store, click on your profile image and select Downloads and updates.
  3. In the Downloads and updates window, click on Check for updates and wait while new updates are checked for and installed.
  4. Restart your PC after the update and confirm if the Recycle Bin works properly now.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.