« Some basic UI patterns for preventing accidental deletion | Main | Okay, death *TO* the lame Recycle Bin confirmation dialog in Windows »

February 16, 2006



It still shows up if you select a file and press the Delete key.


Still happens for me with files and folders - not sure what's wrong with your XP installs!


I get the confirmation too on XP.
Maybe you're missing the point of the warning? I find it useful as a reminder that I've pressed Del not Shift+Del. Rather than preventing accidental loss, it's warning about impermanent deletion (disk utilities aside).


I don't get the confirmation, but that's because I unchecked it in the Recycle Bin options.

The confirmation makes sense for most users, by the way.


At least windows lets you disable this. Since the first days of Windows 95 I have disabled the Recycle bin entirely and turned off the delete warning. When I press DEL or click on the red X, the file is permanently deleted with no warning whatsoever, and I like it that way.


"The confirmation makes sense for most users by the way"

Yeah, my arse. What should happen is a dialog appears saying "Did you know when you delete things they go in the recycle bin?" and then a link to open the bin and a checkbox that is checked by default that says "Don't tell me this again"

Even better would be if Windows animated the icon for the file showing it fly from where it is and into the bin. That's something they could do for Vista but they probably didn't think of it.

And yes, obviously the animations could be turned off for those who can't stand them, but the point is the visual metaphor would be very helpful for "most users".


The recycle bin won't warn you if you drag and drop items into the recycle-bin. The warning only happens if you select a file and press delete or use the menu operation. If you drag-drop it assumes you understand the metaphor.

Without this dialog files would disappear every time the cat walks across the keyboard.

Could you get rid of the confirmation? Sure. (There's even an option for this)

The extra confirmation is a good safety net for beginners.

Note: That most beginners will never empty the recycle bin, this happens automatically so most users will never see the extra 'Are you sure you want to empty the recycle bin' dialog.

Yes the dialog is still there even in SP2. You can turn it off if you hate it, but the reason it's there is because it helps more people then it hurts.

Michael Zuschlag

I'm very interested in hearing stories of where a user working without the benefit of a confirmation message deleted something accidentally and didn't know how to get it back. I'm also interested in stories where the user managed to delete something they didn't want to delete when there *was* a confirmation message because s/he clicked "Yes" anyway.

Oleg Zhylin

It's quite easy to manage to delete something even if there's a ton of confirmation dialogs before deletion. If you interact with computer often, you just get used to click Oks and Yeses subconciously.

Thus I agree with Jan that extra message boxes should be avoided when possible. A cat can accidentally send file to recycle bin, but the probability it will press Shift+Del and then Enter (or click OK) is low enough.

Kevin Dente

>even though the entire point
>of the Trash pattern is to
>avoid irritating the user
>with a confirmation dialog

Hmm - is that really true? Isn't the entire point of the trash pattern to allow the user to undo a deletion? The presence or absence of the confirmation dialog seems somewhat orthogonal to that.

Given that the dialog is only displayed when the Del key is hit, and not when something is dragged to the Recycle Bin, the dialog seems more intended to protect people who accidentally hit the delete key. Which seems more likely than accidentally dragging something across the screen and into the recycle bin - hence no dialog in that case.

The comments to this entry are closed.