GT Answers: Why Don’t Smartphones Have a Recycle Bin?

Let’s say you’re cleaning up your smartphone’s storage by removing unnecessary photos and files. You’re selecting multiple files and unknowingly you selected an important file and hit the delete button. Well, that’s quite unfortunate. The file is gone. But, why? Why can’t one restore a deleted file like we do on desktop PCs and laptops using the Recycle Bin? Why don’t smartphones have a Recycle Bin?

Why Smartphone Dont Have Recycle Bin
I wanna Recycle bro | Shutterstock

Well, it’s a rare question a smartphone user would ever ask. But, my brother did. He accidentally deleted some useful PDF files on his Android phone. I suggested him to use Dumpster, a nice little app to restore accidently deleted files and also works like a Recycle Bin for Android. But, the question still remains. Why Android or iOS doesn’t have an inbuilt Recycle bin?

Well, let’s first see how the recycle bin works on a PC.

Recycle Bin on a PC

Recycle Bin Windows 10

So, when you delete a file from your PC, it directly goes into the Recycle Bin. The recycle bin is specifically created so that you can restore deleted files. In order to restore the file, the file should still be on the hard disk. Yes, visually your File Explorer will show an increase in free storage space. But, the file is still on the storage.

The recycle bin only stores the file references and pointers on the hard disk. So, when you hit restore on a file in recycle bin, it will be back at the same location where you deleted it. Well, that is why disk cleanup utilities ask you to empty the recycle bin because the deleted files are still taking in the storage space.

Wanna easily manage Recycle Bin in Windows? Here’s a tool that will let you do so.

Now, you must have got the hint for the answer.

The Answer

Well, it’s simple. It’s because of the limited storage space that smartphones come with. You just can’t afford to have deleted files remained in your SD card or your phone’s storage.

Users have been yelling and even pleading to their favorite OEMs to increase storage space. Well, some listen and some merciless manufacturers think that users can survive with a 16 GB phone.

So, not having enough storage capability is the simple answer to this question.

Having a hard time in Freeing up some storage space on Android? Here are cool ways to do it easily.


If you think you can survive with a recycle bin on your smartphone then you should definitely opt for apps like Dumpster on Android . Also, you can use cloud services to backup your data. Most cloud services provide a Trash Can feature to easily retrieve deleted files. File explorers like ES explorer on Android also have this feature. Moreover, iOS 8 brought in Recently Deleted option in the Photos app.

ALSO READ: 5 Android Apps to Help You Survive Offline While on a Trip or Holiday

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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