Optimize Your Virtual Desktop Recycle Bin

I’m reading more and more Windows 7 optimization guides for virtual desktops and I’m starting to believe that many people are focusing too much on scalability and too little on the user experience. I’ve spoken about people taking optimizations too far before, but this time I want to talk about one item… the Recycle Bin?

I don’t know about you, but I love the Recycle Bin. Just in case I accidently delete something, I know that I can get it back. But because many different virtual desktop implementations delete modifications upon reboot (Provisioning services included), the general recommendation is to disable this wonder feature of Windows. Think about your desktop experience. Have you ever accidently deleted a file and tried to restore it within a few minutes or hours? I have, and it saved me many times. What if I took this feature away? I don’t know about you but I would be mad as hell.

With Provisioning services, the recycle bin is cleared upon each reboot, but does that mean we shouldn’t allow users to have this functionality within their current desktop session? Unfortunately, the XenConvert optimization utility also disables the recycle bin functionality, but I typically don’t stick to the defaults. I don’t recommend it. I deselect it. And I think if you are really a desktop user and focused on the user experience, you will likely do the same.

Daniel – Lead Architect

5 thoughts on “Optimize Your Virtual Desktop Recycle Bin”

  1. Hi Daniel,

    in a XenDesktop environment where you use a PVS standard vDisk normally a user doesn’t work with files which are located on the vDisk. Mostly the user works with file which are located on network shares, like redirected My Documents, Desktop and group shares.

    And files which reside on a network share aren’t going to be in the recycle bin if they are deleted. They are just gone until you implemented VSS or another third party solution.

    So disabling the recycle bin should be ok as it wouldn’t be used anyway.



  2. But will disabling the recycle bin really make a difference to performance? Based on what you said, network files won’t go into the bin. We assume everything is being redirected. But what if admins don’t redirect everything? What if desktop or downloads, or app data isn’t redirected? I’ve known too many users who have gone in and accidentally deleted some files.

    My point is if there is a chance that users need this functionality and it isn’t going to kill our performance to leave it running, then why disable it?


  3. Daniel,

    I totally agree that disabling the recycle bin won’t help to improve the performance very much. But in a stateless environment (standard vdisk) the user shouldn’t be able to safe files on the vdisk. And even if he’s able to the recycle bin wouldn’t be much help because if the desktop crashes, reboots or the user logs off everything is gone.

    In my opinion enabling the recycle bin would be counter productive as the user could be thinking it would work as expected an he could delete files and will be able to recover them every time he wants and that strictly isn’t possible.

    So disabling the recycle not just improve the performance but also the user experience.

    In a non stateless environment with persistent or private desktops it’s clearly the oposit.



  4. Tim, good point — I consider the Recycle Bin to be a home-user artifact in corporate Windows clients. Great for standalone family PCs but really no benefit in a business environment.


  5. I would say that “IF” you redirect everything to network drives, then the recycle bin might be useless. Again, that would mean users are trained not to store anything on the C drive of the new virtual desktop (which i hope is true). I have seen a few implementations where the Desktop folder was not redirected. That would make recycle bin useful, to a point.

    I don’t think enabling or disabling the recycle bin will have much of an impact. I actually think it might be better to simply hide the icon so users don’t ask “Where did my deleted files go?”


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