Are you sure you want to delete...?

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 15, 2008
Updated • Oct 1, 2015
Windows, Windows tips

Confirmation messages seem to be pretty unique to computers. Have you ever used a coffee machine that did ask you if you really wanted to start making coffee, an iPod if you really wanted to play music?

Computers asks those stupid things all the time. If you ever played a game you noticed that every game, and I really mean every single commercial game that plays in full screen is asking the user if he really wants to leave it after pressing the Exit button.

The same can be said if you want to delete a file in Windows. You mark it, you press Delete and what happens? You are asked if you really, really want to delete that file or if you made a mistake. Not only that but by default the file goes to the trashbin where you can recover it so that it would not be completely lost, and even if it would not go there you would still be able to recover it with file recovery tools.

So what's up with these confirmation messages and computers? I recently installed a new operating system for a friend and the first thing that I noticed after booting into it was those dreaded are you sure you want to delete the files that you have selected. That message can be deactivated, I suppose most of you do now that already but for those who do not here is the way.

Right-click your Recycle Bin on the desktop and select Properties from the context menu. Locate "display delete confirmation dialog" there and make sure it is unchecked.

This is also a great way of selecting a proper maximum size for the Recycle Bin. I think Windows reserves 10% for the Recycle Bin by default, might be wrong on that but the number is definitely huge. When the Recycle Bin properties pop up you see a tiny option at the bottom that says "Display Delete Confirmation Dialog".

If you uncheck that you will not be asked if you surely want to delete the files that you have selected. It's a great time saver in my opinion and since it is possible to recover files it should not be a problem for most users.

Are you sure you want to delete...?
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Are you sure you want to delete...?
Find out how to suppress file deletion confirmations on Windows systems.

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  1. Ben said on November 18, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Thanks, I have been lookiing on how to turn it on in windows 8

  2. Rob said on August 19, 2012 at 5:02 am

    This is because a woman sued a software company after she deleted a file by mistake and the computer did not ask her if she was sure. This is what happens when a man lets a woman touch their thing. We all get the frustrating question are you sure? Only a woman would be stupid enough to want that question asked over and over. Have you been unsure of your actions lately? Stupid women.

  3. Tony said on February 22, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Re getting rid of ‘are you sure you want to delete’ notice – how can I do that on a Mac?


  4. Tony said on February 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Re getting rid of ‘are you sure you want to delete’ notice – how can I do that on a Mac?


  5. samantha said on May 1, 2009 at 12:02 am

    help i cant delete sites that i made can somone tell me how to an EASIER way

  6. hypert said on April 17, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    I’ve done this for years, but be aware that files deleted from a network/shared drive do NOT go into your Recycle Bin. They are immediately deleted. I’ve accidentally killed some network files this way, just by a slip of the fingers.

  7. Alan Dawson said on April 17, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Are sure I am using the Microsoft Internet Explorer? Are you sure you’re sure? Do you wish to delete the notice that says I am using the Microsoft Internet Explorer?

    Actually, no, I’m not using the Microsoft Internet Explorer. I find this error all over the Net, though.

    While I suppose it could be said to show concern for the user who arrives at the site, it could equally be said to be arrogant disrespect of a highly knowledgeable user who knows exactly how to obtain surfing faster and more secure than Firefox.

    Good tip on the Recycle Bin. I came from a site that seemed to say you had software that would eliminate the “are you sure” nonsense and of course you know you don’t need any such thing. Thanks for that.

  8. Jojo said on April 15, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    There is also software like this below that will push windows message buttons for you automatically. I have been using this one for years (Buzoff). Cost is $19.95.

    There is also another variation that I am aware of called PTFB that is $29.95.

    I don’t know of any freeware in this area.

  9. Dante said on April 15, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Cool. Just did it. Most useful tip.

    1. Anonymous said on June 21, 2014 at 5:55 am


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