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How to Empty Trash on Samsung Phone in 3 Easy Steps (With Photos)

Hi there! Let me walk you through how to empty the trash bin on your Samsung Galaxy phone. Clearing out the trash regularly is an easy way to free up valuable storage space. In just 3 simple steps, you’ll learn how to delete items permanently.

On modern Samsung phones, storage capacity is limited, especially with no microSD card slot. The trash bin provides a safety net before permanently deleting files and apps. But when you need more available storage, emptying the trash is a quick fix.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to empty the trash bin on any Samsung Galaxy phone running Android. Whether you have an S22 Ultra or an older device, the process is the same. With just 3 steps and a few screen taps, you can clear out the trash and recover space.

Why You Should Regularly Empty the Trash

Emptying the trash bin provides a few benefits:

  • Frees up storage space – The trash takes up capacity until emptied.
  • Prevents slowdowns – Too much data can slow down the system.
  • Adds security – Wipes deleted files completely if they contained sensitive info.
  • Cleans things up – Gets rid of no longer needed files.

According to Samsung, the average user has over 100 apps installed, many of which cache data. Large photo and video files also eat up storage quickly.

Phone Model Storage Capacity
Galaxy S22 128GB or 256GB
Galaxy S21 128GB or 256GB
Galaxy S20 128GB

As you can see, even 256GB fills up fast. By regularly emptying the trash every few weeks, you ensure plenty of free space.

Now let‘s go through the steps to empty the trash bin on your Galaxy device.

Access the Trash in My Files

There‘s no dedicated trash app on Samsung‘s Android skin. Instead, the trash feature is built into My Files, the system file manager. Here‘s how to access it:

Step 1) Open My Files

Swipe up from the home screen to show all your apps. Tap on the Samsung folder, then choose My Files. Or, search for "My Files" using the Google search bar at the top.

Once you locate the app, I recommend adding a shortcut to My Files on your home screen for quick access later.

My Files app icon

Step 2) Navigate to Trash

When My Files opens, you‘ll see a storage usage breakdown and categories. Scroll down and look for the Trash icon, then tap it.

Trash icon

This takes you directly to the trash bin containing your deleted items.

Empty the Trash Bin

On the trash screen, you‘ll see a list of deleted files and folders. To permanently erase them all:

Step 3) Tap Empty Trash

Press the 3-dot menu button in the top corner. Select "Empty trash" from the popup. Confirm again on the warning prompt.

Empty trash prompt

And that‘s it! All your deleted files are now completely removed from storage.

Additional Trash Bin Tips

Here are some other useful things to know about managing the trash:

  • You can restore accidentally deleted items within 30 days by selecting "Restore" on the menu.
  • To delete items individually, tap Edit and select specific files.
  • Check Details to view metadata like file size and path.
  • Turn off the 30-day retention in Settings for certain apps like Gallery.

If you‘re still having trouble with storage space after emptying the trash, try deleting unused apps or large files you no longer need. You can also expand storage with cloud services like Google Drive.


Now you know how to empty the trash bin on your Samsung Galaxy phone in just 3 quick steps. Doing this every so often provides more available storage which keeps your phone running fast.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to help you learn more about managing files and storage on your Samsung device.

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