How can I get information about the items in the Recycle Bin from script?

Raymond Chen

Raymond

Today we’ll do a scripting version of an old C++ program: Printing information about the items in the Recycle Bin. (How you wish to act on the information is up to you.)

This is a pattern we’ve seen a lot. Bind to a folder, enumerate its contents, extract properties.

var shell = new ActiveXObject("Shell.Application");
var recycleBin = shell.NameSpace(10); // CSIDL_BITBUCKET
var items = recycleBin.Items();
for (var i = 0; i < items.Count; i++) {
  var item = items.Item(i);
  WScript.StdOut.WriteLine(item.Name);
  WScript.StdOut.WriteLine(item.ExtendedProperty(
                                "System.Recycle.DeletedFrom"));
  WScript.StdOut.WriteLine(item.ExtendedProperty(
                                "System.Recycle.DateDeleted"));
  WScript.StdOut.WriteLine(item.Size);
}

Wow, that was way easier than doing it in C++!

Just for fun, I’ll do it in C#, first as a straight port:

// add a reference to shell32.dll
class Program {
  public static void Main()
  {
    var shell = new Shell32.Shell();
    var recycleBin = shell.NameSpace(10); // CSIDL_BITBUCKET
    var items = recycleBin.Items();
    for (var i = 0; i < items.Count; i++) {
      var item = (Shell32.FolderItem2)items.Item(i);
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.Name);
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.ExtendedProperty(
                                    "System.Recycle.DeletedFrom"));
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.ExtendedProperty(
                                    "System.Recycle.DateDeleted"));
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.Size);
    }
  }
}

We have to cast to Shell32.Folder­Item2 because the default interface for the Item() method is Shell32.Folder­Item, but Extended­Property is a method on Shell32.Folder­Item2. We didn’t have to do this explicit cast in JavaScript because JavaScript is a dynamically-typed language.

So let’s use the dynamic keyword to mimic that in C#. Note, however, that if you use dynamic, then you miss out on a lot of IntelliSense features.

class Program {
  public static void Main()
  {
    var shell = new Shell32.Shell();
    var recycleBin = shell.NameSpace(10); // CSIDL_BITBUCKET
    var items = recycleBin.Items();
    foreach (dynamic item in items) {
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.Name);
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.ExtendedProperty(
                                    "System.Recycle.DeletedFrom"));
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.ExtendedProperty(
                                    "System.Recycle.DateDeleted"));
      System.Console.WriteLine(item.Size);
    }
  }
}

Now you can do things like list all the files deleted today

class Program {
  public static void Main()
  {
    var today = DateTime.Today;
    var shell = new Shell32.Shell();
    var recycleBin = shell.NameSpace(10); // CSIDL_BITBUCKET
    var items = recycleBin.Items();
    foreach (dynamic item in items) {
      if (item.ExtendedProperty("System.Recycle.DateDeleted").Date
                                                       == today) {
        System.Console.WriteLine(item.name);
      }
    }
  }
}

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