Windows 7 cross-volume symlinks affecting recycle bin

recycle-binsymbolic-linkwindows 7

Related to this question but not identical.


C:\Folder\Symlink\ is a symlink pointing to E:\Folder\Folder\Target\


Deleting a file through C:\Folder\Symlink\* bypasses the Recycle Bin, even though both C: and E: have the Recycle Bin enabled. This only seems to happen with cross-volume symlinks.


  1. Using the above symlink structure, create a file C:\Folder\Symlink\somefile.txt
  2. Delete C:\Folder\Symlink\somefile.txt by using either the Delete key or right-click > Delete.
  3. The prompt comes up for immediate deletion, instead of offering to send the file to the Recycle Bin.


Can anyone else reproduce this, and is there a fix?


Did some more digging and was able to further isolate the issue.

In the list below, Denied specifies a folder that has access permissions revoked for the current user. All other folders have Full Control. Permissions are not inherited. Each folder has explicit permissions.

  • C:\Folder\Symlink\ => E:\Denied\Denied\Target\ = Recycle Bin? NO
  • C:\Folder\Symlink\ => E:\Allowed\Denied\Target\ = Recycle Bin? YES
  • C:\Folder\Symlink\ => E:\Allowed\Denied\Denied\Target\ = Recycle Bin? NO
  • C:\Folder\Symlink\ => E:\Allowed\Allowed\Denied\Target\ = Recycle Bin? YES
  • C:\Folder\Symlink\ => E:\Denied\Allowed\Denied\Target\ = Recycle Bin? YES
  • C:\Folder\Symlink\ => E:\Denied\Denied\Allowed\Target\ = Recycle Bin? NO
  • C:\Folder\Symlink\ => E:\Denied\Denied\Denied\Target\ = Recycle Bin? NO

Adding at least two Denied folders in a row introduces this issue. It seems the shell is not able to see through through more than one consecutive unreadable folder?

Best Answer

Sorry, nope, no fix. It's "by-design". If the delete dialog cannot determine the physical location of the file, the permanent delete dialog is shown instead. With a symlink, the physical location of the file is "indeterminate" at best... so no-chance for the move-to-recycle bin option.