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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Empty Recycle Bin at Logoff and Shutdown on Windows XP

I had been looking for a simple solution for legacy systems (Windows XP) to perform a simply empty recycle bin during a shutdown and even better if it can be integrated into a logoff. To my surprise there were tons of requests for years and nobody gave a solution properly which does not require any 3rd party tools.

Most of the users suggest to turn off Recycle bin totally, but it can save lives sometimes, so that not what we want. Secondly, if we need to install a tool, we are just expanding our exposure to risk since the tool may have vulnerability and who knows what it can do when run as SYSTEM during a shutdown.

I found the simplest solution is to make use of Microsoft's built in shutdown and logoff script function:

Shutdown scripts:
Logoff scripts:

However, do take note that Shutdown scripts are run as SYSTEM and logoff scripts are run as the user logging off.

A simple "Empty the Recycle Bin" scripts using just batch file:

ATTRIB %systemdrive%\RECYCLER\* -R -S -H /S /D
DEL %systemdrive%\RECYCLER\* /F /S /Q
RD %systemdrive%\RECYCLER /S /Q

It's 3 lines to make sure it deletes and finish the job. Just copy and paste into a batch file which is your logoff / shutdown script.

There we have it. A simple and do-no-need-3rd-party solution. I hope you will find it useful.

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