Can't delete Recycle Bin

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Keep trying to empty it. Show us what happens when you do. Last time you showed lots of things happening at once, keep it simple.
I'll reboot again, make one attempt and provide the screen shot.
I did that. This time, unlike for the previous screenshot, I opened the menu that displays the details.

It took about 1/2 second after pressing the Delete button for the progress bar to display that it was 19% complete. More than two hours later when I took the screenshot, the display indicated as shown here that there was no more progress and that the action had been cancelled. (I didn't cancel it.) Though one might interpret the screenshot to indicate that 19% of the files had been deleted, in fact none were deleted. This behavior is consistent with all of the other times the attempt to delete files failed.

Recycle.PNG
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Might want to try resetting the recycle bin. Found this:

Step 1: Go to the search box of Windows 10, input cmd, right-click Command Prompt and run it as administrator.

Step 2: Type rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin in the CMD window and press Enter.

Step 3: reboot computer.
Try doing it with CCleaner ... if you don't have it, download the free version.
Have you tried the Windows Disk Cleanup tool? One of the places it cleans up is the recycle bin. Worth a shot and it’s a native Windows app.
Thank you to all of you. I'm doing things one step at a time, so I'll wait to hear from Richard about the screenshot he requested before trying any of those three suggestions.
 

Growltiger

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The screenshot was disappointing. It just tells us that things are screwed up.

I like all those suggestions. I would try them in the order 3, 1, 2 i.e. cleanup, reset, CCleaner.
In case you don't know how to find the cleanup tool, do as follows.
  1. Right-click on C: drive in File Explorer.
  2. Click Properties.
  3. Select the General tab.
  4. Press the Disk Clean-up button on the lower right.
  5. After that it should be obvious what to do.
 
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I tried using Cleanup but no luck. After 20 minutes, absolutely no progress was indicated in the progress bar. Same thing two hours later after I ran some errands, so I canceled it. I forgot to determine how many files were in the Recyle Bin before running Cleanup, but there are still over 1800 files, so I don't think any were deleted.

Next up is trying to reset the Recycle Bin.
 
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Which Windows are you using?. Is this an old computer that you have been "updating" periodically?. The trash bin can be set to a maximum storage size and will empty on it's own when the limit has been reached.
 
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Which Windows are you using?. Is this an old computer that you have been "updating" periodically?. The trash bin can be set to a maximum storage size and will empty on it's own when the limit has been reached.
Windows 10. Not an old computer, only about five years old. The only change I made is that I replaced the failed spinning hard drive with an SSD a few months ago.

When I configure Storage Sense, the choices of when it automatically deletes files from the Recycle Bin have only to do with how long the files have been there, not with the storage capacity of the bin. I changed the configuration to delete all files that had been there longer than one day. I then clicked the Clean Now button and it displayed that something was happening but there was no attempt to indicate the progress. An hour later, there was no change, so I closed the window. Only about 100 files had been deleted, so there are still over 1700 remaining.

When I conducted a search of Recycle Bin in the Settings, I saw nowhere to configure it to a maximum storage size. Even so, I've heard that when the Recycle Bin becomes full, the oldest files are automatically deleted as needed to make room for new files being added to it, not that it is emptied.
 
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SUCCESS!

Step 1: Go to the search box of Windows 10, input cmd, right-click Command Prompt and run it as administrator.

Step 2: Type rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin in the CMD window and press Enter.

Step 3: reboot computer.
Andrew's method worked. I'll keep an eye on the Recycle Bin in the future. Even if I develop problems deleting the files, I assume I'll be able to resort to that inelegant but effective method.

Thank you to everyone who so kindly offered their advice. Very much appreciated!
 
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Ahhhhhhhh. Thanks, West! Mine is set by default to a little less than 1 TB. I can't think of a reason to change it. Notice that that dialog box doesn't indicate what happens when the maximum capacity is reached; it doesn't indicate whether all files are deleted or if only enough files are deleted to make room for the new files being added to it.
 
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It deletes automatically once the size is reached. 1 terabyte is probably your problem, that is a life time of files.
* don't use your garbage bin as a storage cloud :D
 
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1 terabyte is probably your problem, that is a life time of files.
I delete all files in the Recylce Bin weekly as a part of my backup workflow. There was nowhere near a terrabyte of files in it. When I first encountered this issue, there were about 2200 files in the bin. Even if all of them were NEFs created by my Z6 at an average of about 30 MB each, that would be only about 66,000 MB.
 
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yes, maximum files allowed in bin, all others deleted. oldest go first. you probably don't want to have all your files deleted on a daily or weekly basis as on many occasions we tend to go back and retrieve a file deleted by mistake.
 
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you probably don't want to have all your files deleted on a daily or weekly basis as on many occasions we tend to go back and retrieve a file deleted by mistake.
The only type of file I remember ever needing to be retrieved because I accidentally deleted it was an image file. I maintain weekly backups of my entire hard drive on two external drives, so I use the Recycle Bin for retrieval purposes only when I accidentally delete an image file while I'm post-processing and cataloging them in between backups. If the image file is no longer in the Recycle Bin, it's on one or both of my backup drives. While doing the post-processing and cataloging, I've always got backups on my hard drive of image files in their state before they were post-processed or cataloged. I'm thoroughly covered. :)
 
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Your a lot more diligent than me, I only put some "keeper" stuff on a stick once or twice a year. Weekly backup of entire hard drive? ... you must work for Nasa or the IRS :D
 
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Even if I develop problems deleting the files, I assume I'll be able to resort to that inelegant but effective method.
I followed up on my issue to determine if it was possible to delete the 80 files that had been added to the Recycle Bin since I emptied it. So I selected the thumbnails and pressed the Delete key and experienced the exact same problems as before. The display this time however indicated that it was trying to delete a particular NEF -- $RP193NL.NEF. That filename does not exist in my or Nikon's naming system and no such file was being displayed in Windows File Explorer. After several attempts at using the Delete key I got the remaining files down to eight files. I was able to delete them one at a time except one file refused to be deleted.

I then tried restoring that file to its original location. No luck. I then tried cutting and pasting the file to its original location. Still no luck. Having given up, I then closed the Recycle Bin.

That's when a window I had never seen automatically appeared indicating that it was looking for the file mentioned above and couldn't find it. I clicked the Skip button repeatedly and each time a different file name of either a NEF or an XMP that should never have existed on my system was displayed, again indicating that it was looking for those files and couldn't find them. I closed that window.

I then returned to the Recycle Bin and that last NEF that I couldn't restore, move or delete was miraculously gone.

Interesting but probably not revealing anything helpful. I wonder if installing the latest Windows update will solve the problem. If not, I'll be emptying the Recycle Bin by using the command prompt and rebooting as explained by Andrew.
 
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Since Windows Vista, when a file is moved to the recycle bin, Windows renames the actual file $R<random>.original extension. It also creates a sidecar file named $J<same random>.original extension. The side car file holds the original path and name, date deleted and logical size of the file that was moved to the recycle bin. In order to determine the original name of the $R file, you need the respective $J file.
 

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