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Where is the Trash folder on Android devices?

Think carefully before you delete something.

android phone on table
Image: Unsplash

In most modern operating systems, files you delete get soft-deleted at first and stored in a recycle bin. That’s cool if you find you want to restore something you deleted accidentally, but what if those files are taking up too much space?

Well, usually you would go to the Recycle Bin (on Windows-based computers), or the Trash Bin (on Mac-based computers) to either restore or completely remove those files from your storage drive. So, can you do that on an Android-based device?

I mean, it has a similar file system and lets you delete files, right?

So, where does Android store files you delete?

  • Short answer: It doesn’t

See, unlike Windows or macOS, Android doesn’t actually have a Recycle Bin area. Most smartphones are very limited in storage space, with anywhere from 8GB to 256GB of space, so it doesn’t store soft-deleted files to save space.

Some apps are exceptions to this rule, with one of the most used being Google Photos, which does have a Recently Deleted Photos folder for storing deleted images for a short while before deleting them permanently.

If you find you need to clear some space, we recommend looking on individual apps. Head on over to Settings > Storage > Other Apps and select any app from the list. Then tap on the Clear Cache button to remove all the cached data for that app. You’ll still keep important data, and logins unless you also select the Clear Data button. You’ll probably want to clear the Download folder as well, as the chances are high that it is storing files that you don’t need anymore.

What do you think? Surprised that Android doesn’t store files that you delete? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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