How to delete the trash

Android: Find and empty the recycle bin - that works

The virtual recycle bin is indispensable on the computer. Removed files can be found here or permanently deleted. But what about a recycle bin on Android phones? Is it possible to find deleted files or do removed content have to be permanently deleted from the recycle bin?

There is no recycle bin on Android phones. On the one hand, it is advantageous because there is nothing to empty and removed content does not have to be deleted again. However, if you have accidentally deleted a file, you will not find it in any of the trash cans. However, these files are often not lost forever.

Android 11 brings the recycle bin feature

Owners of a cell phone from Samsung, OnePlus and Co. are eagerly awaiting the release of Android 11. Then a “real” recycle bin will actually be introduced, as we already know it from the PC. The corresponding feature was presented in a video by Android developers:

After this, deleted files are retained for a certain period of time. There will probably not be direct access to the recycle bin. However, content should be able to be restored using an additional file manager app. In the future, you will decide for yourself whether you want to permanently delete content immediately or just put it in the trash for the time being until the file is automatically removed after 30 days.

Recycle bin on Samsung phones for deleted photos

Samsung users have been using a trash can feature for images in the gallery app since Android 9. Removed photos can be saved here for up to 30 days. This is how you can find the picture trash can:

  1. Open the Gallery app.
  2. In the overview of your albums you tap on the three points top right.
  3. Here you can find all recently deleted pictures. Tap an image to restore it.
  4. over To edit you select several images to retrieve or permanently delete.
  5. Select in the top right To emptyto permanently remove all images. This frees up storage space and ensures that the images cannot be found using file manager or recovery apps.

The image recycle bin can be deactivated in the settings of the gallery app. In this way you prevent others from looking through your deleted photos, for example. But be careful: if you switch off the function, all images currently in the recycle bin will be irrevocably deleted.

Android: Set up the recycle bin and restore files

If you would like to use a recycle bin feature on your Android phone now, you can find some apps in the Google Play Store, for example Dumpster or Recycle Bin. However, based on the ratings, you can quickly see that the apps are not working as intended. Many users report that removed files cannot be found again. In addition, with some of the applications, content does not have to be deleted in the normal way, but only deleted via the recycle bin app in order to be able to access it again later.

Until the correct recycle bin function is introduced in Android 11, you will protect yourself against data loss if you regularly create a backup. Deleted photos, videos, contacts, notes and more can usually be easily restored from these backups. We'll show you how this works on your Android phone: