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Recycle bin uses the $Recycle.Bin folder from C drive to display deleted files across the drives on your system. If this $Recycle.Bin folder on any drive gets corrupted, you get the Recycle bin on X: is corrupted error.

As for why the $Recycle.Bin gets corrupted, there are many reasons. The recycle bin may get corrupted due to a corrupted DLL (Dynamic Link Library) file, or it may even occur due to malicious program on the system itself. 

Aside from that, abruptly shutting down a storage device or corrupted files in the $Recycle.bin folder are also possible causes of a corrupted recycle bin.

How to fix a Corrupted Recycle Bin?

Talking about solutions, resetting the recycle bin folder should fix the issue with your recycle bin. In case it does not, you may need to perform some other fixes. So, without further delay, let us get right into it.

Reset Recycle Bin

Resetting will remove all data inside $Recycle.bin, and it even removes the file that is causing the corrupted error message. Deleting the $Recycle.bin folder will reset your recycle bin. However, accessing this folder is not quite simple.

You will either need to remove it using the command prompt or make the recycle bin visible and then remove it from the file explorer options.

Reset Using Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows + R key to open Run.
  2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as Admin.
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  3. Type rd /s /q X:$Recycle.bin and press Enter.
    Replace X with the drive letter that is on the error message. 
  4. If the command does not work, type rd /s /q C:$Recycle.bin and press Enter. 
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rd Is the command to remove the directory.
/s Removes anything inside the selected directory.
/q Disables any confirmation messages and removes the data.

Reset From File Explorer

By default, File explorer will not display protected Operating System files. Therefore, you will need to disable some settings to make these files visible.

  1. Press the Windows + R key to open Run.
  2. Type control folders and press Enter to open File Explorer Options.
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  3. Go to the View tab.
  4. Under Hidden files and folders, check Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  5. Scroll down and uncheck Hide protected operating system files(Recommended).
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  6. Click on Apply and then OK to show all hidden OS files.
  7. Now, press Windows + E to open File Explorer.
  8. Open This PC and open the drive that is shown in the error message. Here, you should see the $Recycle.bin folder.
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  9. Select this folder and press Shift + Delete to reset the Recycle bin.
  10. If that does not work, simply Shift + Delete the $Recycle.bin folder from the C drive.

Scan Disk Drives

If resetting the recycle bin does not work, a corrupted sector on your storage device might be the reason behind a corrupted recycle bin. Your OS might be using a certain sector on your storage device as a storage unit for the recycle bin.

If this sector gets corrupted, your recycle bin may likely get damaged as well. To fix this, you can try scanning your disk drives.

  1. Press the Windows + R key to open Run.
  2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as admin.
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  3. Now, type chkdsk : /r. Replace with the USB drive letter.
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Once the process ends, Command Prompt will give you a detailed status report about the scan. Alternatively, you can also scan disk drives from file explorer itself.

  1. Press the Windows + E key to open File Explorer.
  2. Go to This PC.
  3. Right-click on the drive, which is giving the recycle bin error, and select properties.
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  4. Go to the Tools tab and click on Check.
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  5. Click on Scan drive to scan the selected drive.

Scan Your PC

Malicious files on your PC could also be the cause of the error message. In such a case, you need to remove these files right away. In Windows, you can perform a full system scan using Virus and Threat Protection to detect and remove any malicious files or applications from the computer.

In our case, you can either scan the drive that is causing the recycle bin error. If that does not work, try running Virus and Threat protection in C drive. If that does not work you can also perform a full scan.

  1. Press the Windows + R key to open Run.
  2. Type windowsdefender: and press Enter to open Windows Security.
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  3. Click on Virus or Threat Protection.
  4. Select Scan options.
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  5. Check Custom scan and then press Scan now.
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  6. Now, browse the drive which you want to scan and press Select Folder.

Once the scan completes, it will display any threat and possible action that needs to be taken to fix the issue.

Perform System Restore

If none of the solutions works, you can try restoring your system to the previous version. However, this solution will only work if you have previously set a restore point.

The restore point acts as a snapshot of the computer at a certain point. Now when you restore the system, the PC reverts all the settings and configuration to the point of the snapshot. Therefore, if you had a restore point before you encountered this issue, you can revert your system to this state.

  1. Press the Windows + R key to open Run.
  2. Type rstrui and press Enter to open System Restore.
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  3. Click on Next.
  4. Select a Restore pointand click Next.
  5. Confirm the restore point and click Finish.
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  6. Click on Yes if it asks for any confirmation.

Wait for the process to complete. Once the restore process finishes, check if the issue with the recycle bin is fixed.


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