Recycle Bin in Mobile: Everything You Need to Know

If you're an Android user, you may have heard about the Android trash folder or recycle bin in mobile. It's like a lifesaver when you need to retrieve accidentally deleted files like an email or a photo. Think of it as having a safety net for all your deleted files!

But, unlike Windows or Mac, Android doesn't have a dedicated location to collect all your deleted files. This means that as you use your phone, junk files accumulate over time, taking up valuable space. Don't worry, though. As a bonus, we'll show you how you can empty your trash folder.

In this article, we'll show you how to access the recycle bin in mobile and retrieve deleted files easily. So, where's the recycle bin located on your phone?

Part 1: Where is the Recycle Bin on My Phone?

You may wonder, where is recycle bin in my phone? Technically, on Android phones, there isn't a dedicated Recycle Bin or Trash folder like you would find on a computer. This is because most Android devices have limited storage space, and having a Recycle Bin would take up valuable storage.

However, some apps like Google Photos and Gmail may have a separate Recently Deleted folder where deleted items are temporarily stored before being permanently deleted. This means that you can recover recently deleted media files and documents using the Trash folder in some apps.

For instance, if you accidentally delete a photo in Google Photos or an important email in Gmail, you can recover them within 30 days or so. That's why we said, "it's like having a safety net for all your files".

Part 2: Where do Deleted Files Go on My Android Phone?

When you delete a file on your Android device, it doesn't go to a Recycle Bin or Trash folder as it does on a computer. Instead, it remains in its original location on the device's internal memory, but is marked as replaceable or hidden. You can open recycle bin in my phone from there. This means that the file is not permanently deleted and can potentially be recovered.

However, Android devices often have limited storage space, so it is important to manage your files and clear out unnecessary ones to keep your device running smoothly. Some apps, like the Photos app, have a Recently Deleted folder where deleted items are temporarily stored before being permanently deleted. So, it's important to be aware of these options for restoring deleted files.

Part 3: How to Retrieve Deleted Files from Android Phone?

How to Access Recycle Bin in Android Phone?

Way 1: Open Recycle Bin in my Phone via Google Photos

If you're an Android user, you might be familiar with Google Photos - a handy app for managing, storing, and backing up your photos and videos. When you delete something from Google Photos, it's not gone forever – it's moved to the Trash folder.

If you want to recover and/or permanently delete these files, you'll need to go to the Trash folder and restore or remove them from there.

  1. Step 1: Open the Google Photos app on your Android phone.
  2. Step 2: Tap the Library at the bottom right corner of the app.
  3. Step 3: Select Trash to open recycle bin on your phone. Here, you can find all the deleted photos and videos that are still in the Recycle Bin.
  4. Step 4: Tap on the photo or video you want to restore and click the Restore button at the bottom right corner of the app to recover the photo or video.

    recycle bin

Way 2: Access Recycle Bin in Mobile via Gmail

Gmail is a popular email client used by many Android users. In addition to its email management features, it also has a trash folder where deleted emails are stored. To begin:

  1. Step 1: Firstly, open the Gmail app on your Android phone and tap on the three horizontal lines in the top left corner to open the menu.
  2. Step 2: Scroll down to find the Trash folder and tap on it. Once you're in the Trash folder, you can browse through your deleted emails and select the ones you want to recover.
  3. Step 3: To recover an email, tap on it the three dots at the top of the screen and select the Move to option.
  4. Step 4: Choose the folder where you want to move the email back to the designated file.
  5. Step 5: The email will now be moved from the Trash folder back to the folder you selected..

    android recycle bin

Way 3: Find Android Phone Recycle Bin via Dropbox

You can similarly also access your Android phone recycle bin in Dropbox, that is if you have it installed. To get started:

  1. Step 1: Open the Dropbox app on your Android device and go to its main screen.
  2. Step 2: Next, tap the three horizontal (hamburger) lines and scroll down and select deleted files. This will show you all deleted files.
  3. Step 3: Select the deleted file and hit on the Restore button to retrieve your lost file.
  4. recycle bin on android

How to Find Recycle Bin in Samsung Mobile

Way 1: Open Recycle Bin in Samsung Mobile via Gallery

To access the recycle bin feature in the Gallery app of your Samsung mobile device, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Launch the Gallery app and tap on the Menu option.
  2. Step 2: Choose the Recycle bin option and tap on Edit.
  3. Step 3: Select the photos or videos that you wish to restore and tap on the Restore button.

    recycling bin on my phone

Note that you need to activate recycle bin in my phone feature before you can use it to recover deleted items. Here's how you can enable it:

  • 1. Open the Gallery app and tap on the Menu option.
  • 2. Select Settings and then choose to Recycle bin to turn it on.

Remember that items in the Recycle bin are stored for 30 days before they are permanently deleted.

Way 2: Find Recycle Bin in Samsung Mobile via Samsung Cloud

If you use Gallery Sync to automatically back up your media to Samsung Cloud, you can find the recycle bin by taking the following steps:

  1. Step 1: Open the Gallery app on your Samsung mobile device and tap on the More options icon (three vertical dots) located in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Step 2: Tap on the Settings option and then choose Cloud sync.
  3. Step 3: If needed, connect your Samsung and Microsoft accounts by following the on-screen instructions.
  4. Step 4: Continue with the on-screen prompts until the sync process has started.

Part 4: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files without Android Recycle Bin?

If you have tried the above methods and still you can't restore your lost files from the recycle bin, there’s still hope. You can install a third-party software tool like UltFone Android Data Recovery and retrieve any type of lost file. To do so:

  • Step 1 Download and install Ultfone Android Data Recovery.
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  • Step 2 Select the Recover Lost Data option on its main page.

    where is recycle bin on android phone

  • Step 3 Once your device is connected, ccheck the files you want to recover and hit Start.

    where is the recycle bin on my samsung phone

  • Step 4 You will be presented with a list of all the deleted files that can be recovered. Click on the Recover button and choose a location on your computer to save the recovered files and wait for the process to complete.

    mobile recycle bin

Wrap up

By now you should know how to access recycle bin on my phone, despite the fact, there isn't a dedicated folder or feature for it. The term "Recycle Bin" is commonly associated with computers, but we have shown you 5 ways to access the Recycle Bin or Trash folder on your Android device using Google Photos, Gmail, Dropbox, Samsung Gallery, and Samsung Cloud. But if any of these doesn't work for you, remember you can install an app like UltFone Android Data Recovery to recover permanently deleted files.


It's always a good idea to back up important data and files to avoid losing them permanently.

Bonus: How to Empty the Recycle Bin on Android?

To empty the Recycle Bin in mobile, you'll need to open your Trash folder in the app where the files are stored, for example, in Google Photos, as we’ve shown you above, and follow these steps:

  • Tap and hold the files you want to permanently delete.
  • Tap the delete button, usually represented by a trash can icon.
  • Confirm the deletion when prompted and wait for the selected files to be deleted permanently.

It's important to note that once you empty the Recycle Bin, the files cannot be recovered.

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