How to enable file delete confirmations on Windows 11

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 23, 2021
Windows 11 Help

Files that you delete on Windows 11 PCs are deleted without a delete confirmation prompt. The default configuration sends the selection of files to the Recycle Bin. Users may restore accidentally deleted files from the Recycle Bin, unless it is has been emptied already manually or automatically.

Windows 11 comes with options to enable delete confirmation dialogs. These are displayed whenever files or folders get deleted by the user, e.g. by right-clicking on files in File Explorer and selecting the delete option, or by using the Delete-key on the keyboard while files or folders are selected.

Some users may prefer these confirmation dialogs to avoid deleting files or folders accidentally. It is a second safeguard that can be enabled, with the Recycle Bin being the first.

Tip: some users prefer to disable the Recycle Bin completely, or use the Shift-Delete shortcut to bypass it manually.

Enable Delete Confirmations on Windows 11 using the Recycle Bin

The process of enabling confirmation prompts when files get deleted is identical to the process on previous versions of Windows, including Windows 10.

Step 1: Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon that is displayed on the desktop by default and select the Properties context menu option.

windows 11 recycle bin

Step 2: The Recycle Bin Properties window displays all Recycle Bin locations and the available space on each. Locate and check the "Display delete confirmation dialog" option at the bottom of the window. Select Apply and then OK to complete the process. Note that the setting is a global setting, meaning that prompts will be displayed for all delete actions on all connected drives from that moment on.

enable delete confirmation

Step 3: Test the new functionality. Just open File Explorer and delete a file, e.g. by right-clicking on it and selecting the Delete icon or by using the Delete-key on the keyboard.

You may undo the change at any time by removing the checkmark from the preference again in the Recycle Bin properties.

Enable Delete Prompts on Windows 11 using the Group Policy Editor

The Group Policy Editor is only available on professional and Enterprise versions of Windows 11. Here is how you enable delete confirmation dialogs on systems for users.

Here is the description of the policy:

Allows you to have File Explorer display a confirmation dialog whenever a file is deleted or moved to the Recycle Bin.

If you enable this setting, a confirmation dialog is displayed when a file is deleted or moved to the Recycle Bin by the user.

If you disable or do not configure this setting, the default behavior of not displaying a confirmation dialog occurs.

Step 1: Open Start, type gpedit.msc and select open from the menu; this loads the Group Policy Editor on the system.

Step:2 Use the left sidebar tree to navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer.

policy file delete confirmation

Step 3: Double-click on the policy "Display confirmation dialog when deleting files".

display confirmation dialog when deleting files

Step 4. Set the state of the policy to Enabled. Select Apply and the OK to complete the process and close the policy window again.

The PC needs to be restarted before the change takes effect.

You may undo the change at any time by setting the policy to Disabled or Default.

Turn on delete prompts on Windows 11 using the Registry

If the Recycle Bin icon is not displayed on the desktop or if you prefer using the Registry or need to use it, e.g. on Home editions of the Windows 11 operating system.

Step 1: Select Start, type regedit.msc, and select the open options from the menu. Windows displays an UAC prompt that you need to accept. The Registry Editor is started afterwards.

Step 2: Paste the following path into the address field at the top: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer


Step 3: Right-click on Explorer and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value from the context menu.

Step 4: Name the new Dword ConfirmFileDelete.

Step 5. Double-click on the new Dword and set its value to 1. A value of 1 means that file deletion prompts are displayed.

A restart is required before the change takes effect.

You may undo the change at any time by deleting the Dword Value in the Registry.

Now You: how do you handle this on your machines?

How to enable file delete confirmations on Windows 11
Article Name
How to enable file delete confirmations on Windows 11
Find out how to configure Windows 11 to display file and folder deletion prompts, aka confirmation dialogs, when deleting files or folders on PCs running the operating system.
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  1. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 2:38 pm

    There is not still W11 23H2 and these instructions are nonsense by now. :[

    1. James said on August 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm

      It worked for me just fine. You’re probably not following the instructions clearly.

      1. Katrina Thompson said on August 30, 2023 at 3:25 am

        Just tried the password option and the OOBE option and didnt work.

    2. Anonymous said on September 7, 2023 at 10:33 am

      Worked perfectly. Thank OP.

    3. Anonymous said on September 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

      Worked perfectly for me just now. Specifically, the regedit option.

  2. 45 RPM said on August 22, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Is this cut and paste from a Microsoft PR paper, because it 1000% BS:

    “By listening to user insights, Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to refining the Windows experience based on real-world needs.”

    Windows 11 is proof they don’t give a s*it.

    1. elong45 said on August 23, 2023 at 12:25 am

      Worked for me just now

    2. Robert N said on August 28, 2023 at 10:55 pm

      I agree! Windows 11 was a downgrade to me and I kept all 8 computers in our family on Windows 10 as a result. They didn’t listen to any customers. The taskbar was THE main reason I stayed away from Windows 11. With 6 monitors, it is impossible to navigate so many browser tabs, without the feature. I will try the new version in the virtual box to see if it is worth it yet.

  3. Anonymous said on August 23, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    Microsoft did a terrible job with this implementation.

    They simply need to employ the creator of StartAllBack to fix Windows. He is smarter and more talented than the entire campus of Microsoft employees.

    1. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 11:36 pm


  4. Joe Mama said on August 24, 2023 at 12:10 am

    Thank you so much! I work in IT and this is extremely useful information!

  5. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks man. The second method worked great!

  6. Anonymous said on August 28, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    I used the second method, and i got exactly what i expected.

  7. adrian said on September 1, 2023 at 12:52 am

    Using the Bypass 2: Use a banned email address email worked fantastically as I had gone to far to use the bypass 1.
    I will be back when I next have a problem.
    Keep you the great work

  8. John G. said on September 4, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    W11 File Explorer is the worst crap ever done. W11 is the biggest shame ever.

  9. MarineRecon said on September 4, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    Just one more reason for me to go to Linux when Windows 10 ages out.

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:46 am

      @ MarineRecon,

      Be careful which Linux distro you choose. Some of them don’t include the Wayland protocol which is a security issue i.e. apps can copy, paste and inject data without user interaction.

      It’s included in Fedora:

  10. Dustyn said on September 4, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    How about a DARK MODE for your website? That would be oh so nice.

    1. Tom Hawack said on September 5, 2023 at 12:55 am

      Something like this : [] maybe?
      Done with ‘Dark Reader Extension for ? Firefox’ []

      This comment was written on [}

    2. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:49 am

      Definitely NOT! Once you get older and your eyesight starts to fail you’ll positively loathe dark mode.

  11. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 2:05 am

    Microsoft completely ruined File Explorer by converting to XAML/WinUI/whatever new bloated modern garbage. Its worse than it ever was.

  12. Invoker said on September 5, 2023 at 3:32 pm

    i tested it on win10 current edition. speeds up explorer like a charm

  13. LOEL LARZELERE said on September 13, 2023 at 8:07 am

    SO what is the priority numbers to give preference to ethernet over wireless?

  14. christop_bader said on September 14, 2023 at 1:50 am

    Worked very well happy to have Windows Photo Viewer back in action in Windows-11

  15. Anonymous said on September 16, 2023 at 4:29 am

    Worked for me (registry option) thank god, I can use the search option to find things on my computer again. Thank you so much!

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Install Everything Search and dispense with Microsoft’s crappy search tool.

      Martin wrote an article on it:

  16. said on September 17, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    I presume the text “WindowsCopilot,,” is a typographical error (2023/09/17/how-to-disable-windows-copilot-in-windows/). The broken comment system unfortunately looks like it is populating itself via AI autopilot.

  17. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Hopefully, this Windows Copilot nonsense fails even more spectacularly than Cortana. Who requested this? We want all of the UX features removed back in 11, not this copilot nonsense.

  18. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 10:51 pm

    I really don’t mind all of these Windows enhancement but Microsoft get one thing very wrong. ‘Opt in’, is far better than seek information and work to disable.

  19. ilev said on September 18, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Turn off Windows Copilot entirely is not good enough.

    How to uninstall Copilot entirely ?

    1. TelV said on September 19, 2023 at 11:57 am

      @ ilev,

      Use Gpedit or the registry. Explained in this article:

  20. WilliamGatesTheight said on September 21, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    With that snake oil salesman Panos gone, hopefully Windows can return to a normal desktop operating system without all the insanity it has right now in Windows 11.

  21. Tachy said on September 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

    Can we please stop being ‘politically correct’ (lying) and call them ads again instead of ‘suggestions’?

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