It’s time Windows 11 got rid of this trashy feature

Microsoft has poured a lot of energy into making Windows 11 one of its cleanest-looking operating systems to date, but one Reddit user has pointed out that it could have gone further – and we completely agree. 

U/hyperactiverobot created a concept video in which the Recycle Bin can be moved to the taskbar, allowing Windows 11 users to drag unwanted files down onto it if they still want to preserve its functionality. It also allows quick access to mass-deleted unwanted data for good without hogging any of your precious desktop space.

its_time_to_move_the_recycle_bin_to_the_taskbar from r/Windows11

Right now, your options are to either leave it fixed onto your desktop as highlighting the application and pressing delete won't remove it alone. Or you can choose to unpin the recycling bin from the desktop by right-clicking the Windows 11 desktop, selecting “Personalization,” and then heading into “Themes”.

After that, select “Desktop Icon Settings” and a window will appear that allows you to uncheck “Recycle Bin” from the list of applications that are fixed to your desktop.

The icon for the Recycle Bin has been a fixed part of the desktop ever since Windows 95 was released 26 years ago (known as 'Trash' back then), but the way that people like to use their computers and laptops is changing. For some, a desktop space with no visible icons is preferred, especially if you like to use features like live wallpapers on Wallpaper Engine, or set your favorite photographs as your background.


Opinion: is this a feature anyone still uses?

When I saw the concept I had two immediate thoughts wash over me: firstly that this was preferable to the Recycle Bin being on the desktop space or absent entirely (which I'll touch on in a moment), but this was closely followed by “does anyone still drag/drop files into it?”.

I'm assuming that some folks do, out of habit if nothing else, but it's much quicker to simply click or highlight your unwanted files en masse and… press the 'Delete' key on your keyboard. It all goes to the same place after all.

The nuisance isn't how you get your files into the bin though; it's remembering to clear it out. If you're like me, you can be forgetful and emptying the files from the Recycle Bin isn't set to a schedule on the off chance that I need to restore a file in an emergency (unless you're a very well-planned person. If so, hats off to you). In fact, I only just cleared my bin for the first time in months because I saw this concept feature.

Removing it from your eyeline entirely if you're as susceptible as I am to forgetting to empty it manually shouldn't cause issues, but it's nice to have it easily accessible in case you need to rummage through and find files you've accidentally deleted.

If you do want to set your Recycle Bin to self-empty on a schedule then you can head into “System”, scroll down and click “Storage.” From there, click into the “Storage Management” section, click “Storage Sense” where you'll find an option called “Automatic User Content Cleanup.”

Enable this and then you'll have an option to run not just Storage Sense on a schedule (a feature that automatically cleans up unused files and downloaded data to free up disk space), but also set a timeframe for how often the Recycle Bin should self-empty.

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It’s time Windows 11 got rid of this trashy feature

Microsoft has poured a lot of energy into making Windows 11 one of its cleanest-looking operating systems to date, but one Reddit user has pointed out that it could have gone further – and we completely agree. 

U/hyperactiverobot created a concept video in which the Recycle Bin can be moved to the taskbar, allowing Windows 11 users to drag unwanted files down onto it if they still want to preserve its functionality. It also allows quick access to mass-deleted unwanted data for good without hogging any of your precious desktop space.

its_time_to_move_the_recycle_bin_to_the_taskbar from r/Windows11

Right now, your options are to either leave it fixed onto your desktop as highlighting the application and pressing delete won't remove it alone. Or you can choose to unpin the recycling bin from the desktop by right-clicking the Windows 11 desktop, selecting “Personalization,” and then heading into “Themes”.

After that, select “Desktop Icon Settings” and a window will appear that allows you to uncheck “Recycle Bin” from the list of applications that are fixed to your desktop.

The icon for the Recycle Bin has been a fixed part of the desktop ever since Windows 95 was released 26 years ago (known as 'Trash' back then), but the way that people like to use their computers and laptops is changing. For some, a desktop space with no visible icons is preferred, especially if you like to use features like live wallpapers on Wallpaper Engine, or set your favorite photographs as your background.


Opinion: is this a feature anyone still uses?

When I saw the concept I had two immediate thoughts wash over me: firstly that this was preferable to the Recycle Bin being on the desktop space or absent entirely (which I'll touch on in a moment), but this was closely followed by “does anyone still drag/drop files into it?”.

I'm assuming that some folks do, out of habit if nothing else, but it's much quicker to simply click or highlight your unwanted files en masse and… press the 'Delete' key on your keyboard. It all goes to the same place after all.

The nuisance isn't how you get your files into the bin though; it's remembering to clear it out. If you're like me, you can be forgetful and emptying the files from the Recycle Bin isn't set to a schedule on the off chance that I need to restore a file in an emergency (unless you're a very well-planned person. If so, hats off to you). In fact, I only just cleared my bin for the first time in months because I saw this concept feature.

Removing it from your eyeline entirely if you're as susceptible as I am to forgetting to empty it manually shouldn't cause issues, but it's nice to have it easily accessible in case you need to rummage through and find files you've accidentally deleted.

If you do want to set your Recycle Bin to self-empty on a schedule then you can head into “System”, scroll down and click “Storage.” From there, click into the “Storage Management” section, click “Storage Sense” where you'll find an option called “Automatic User Content Cleanup.”

Enable this and then you'll have an option to run not just Storage Sense on a schedule (a feature that automatically cleans up unused files and downloaded data to free up disk space), but also set a timeframe for how often the Recycle Bin should self-empty.

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Using Instagram’s time limit? Your sessions are about to double in length

Instagram has been beefing up its usage features in recent years by giving parents additional control over their sons and daughters' accounts, while also allowing users to set limits on how long they can use the app every day.

As reported by TechCrunch, the company has doubled its usage options from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, before you're greeted with a screen that limits you to use the app further for the rest of that day.

While it was assumed that this was because of new efforts by Meta, Instagram's parent company, to increase the time that users are on the app due to falling revenue, it's been dismissed by Instagram, explaining that the reason for the time increase was to give users additional time to manage their notifications.

However, while the feature can be difficult to find by going to Profile > Activity > Time Spent > Set time limit, there are other alternatives that could help limit your social media apps to any time you want on your device.


Analysis: there's better alternatives to controlling your usage

If you have an iPhone, you can use ScreenTime, a built-in feature of iOS that allows you to limit any app you have installed on your device. This can be limited to a certain time of day, or you can set a time limit. If you have more than one Apple device on the same AppleID account, you can apply these limits to all of your devices, thanks to iCloud.

But it's limited to your apps – ScreenTime doesn't currently allow you to extend your usage limits to the websites you visit. Apps like Ochi will be able to do this and will filter out certain sites if you try to go onto a social media site for example.

Android has its own take on this called Digital Wellbeing. This can do the same functions as ScreenTime, where you can set daily time limits to any app that's installed, except for website addresses.

These can easily replace Instagram's usage features, as they're arguably harder to find.

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You may occasionally spot a time when you're scrolling down your feed, and it prompts you that you've checked all the newest posts. But for usage limit options it's still hidden away.

While the increase in usage times makes sense, on one hand, there's no reason why Instagram could make another option available to set a custom time for all users, and in an area of the app where it's easier to spot.

But while the minimum is 30 minutes for the app, there's no reason why you can't use ScreenTime, Digital Wellbeing, and third-party options like Ochi to set your own time, regardless.

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We may not escape Zoom for a long time yet

The age of Zoom calls could soon be a long way off, according to perhaps unsurprising new predictions from the company itself.

The video conferencing giant, which has been one of the biggest success stories of the pandemic, has said it can play an important role in the post-pandemic world.

This would mainly be through helping facilitate and encourage hybrid working as employees look to split their time between the office and a more comfortable home environment.

Zoom future

“I think there are three big shifts that are happening post-pandemic that businesses are investing in and that’s spurring our growth and relevance,” Zoom's Ricky Kapur, head of the company's Asia Pacific zone, told CNBC in a televised interview.

This boldness follows the company's most recent financial results last month in which it revealed it is still expanding its customer base as hybrid working becomes more popular for businesses around the world.

The company added that it has seen particular success in drawing in larger customers contributing more than $ 100,000 each in trailing twelve months revenue, with Zoom also boasting 512,100 customers with more than 10 employees.

“Employees are demanding flexible work arrangements and the ability to work frictionless, irrespective of where they are,” Kapur added, noting that customers of all sizes are also looking for more customizable and flexible approaches to work.

“Whether it’s a retail experience, the ability to live feed into the store and speak with a live person — see a product, have a real conversation, and then make a purchase decision. Consumers are expecting that from companies,” he said.

Zoom has been working hard to continue the amazing growth it enjoyed during the pandemic as it attempts to keep track with rivals such as Microsoft Teams.

This includes recent updates such as live transcription, which is now available for all free Zoom accounts, after having only previously been offered to paid subscribers. 

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