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Manage the Delete Confirmation Dialog box in Windows 7

The confirmation dialog box that pops up when you want to delete a file or folder is meant to prevent accidental deletion of data. It can be a great thing in some situations, and very annoying in others. Let’s take a look at managing the messages and how to prevent users from turning it off.

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Turn Off Delete Confirmation Dialog Box

If you’re a system administrator or a power user, having Windows pop up a confirmation screen every time you want to delete a file becomes annoying. To turn the messages off, simply right-click the Recycle Bin and select Properties.

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In the Recycle Bin Properties screen uncheck the box next to Display delete confirmation dialog the click Apply and Ok.

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Prevent Users from Turning off Delete Confirmation Dialog Box

Unless you know what you’re doing, it isn’t recommended to turn off the delete confirmation dialog box, as it can prevent accidental deletions. For beginner and novice users, taking the extra step of answering the confirmation message is quite important. We can change a setting in Local Group Policy Editor to make sure this safeguard is always on and can’t be turned off.

Click on Start and type in gpedit.msc into the search box.

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Navigate to User Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Windows Components \ Windows Explorer then double click on Display confirmation dialog when deleting files

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You will want to Enable it to make sure it is always on and users can’t turn it off.

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After you close out of Local Group Policy Editor, go back to the Recycle Bin properties and you’ll see the dialog is enabled and grayed out so users cannot change it.

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You can also achieve the same setting through the Registry. Click Start and type regedit into the search box and hit Enter.

regedit_Start 

In Registry Editor navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer then right-click and create a new DWORD value.

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Name it ConfirmFileDelete and give it a value of “1”. You’ll need to log off and back on again for the setting to go into effect.

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Again, these steps are not meant for beginners and unless you know what you’re doing there is no reason for you to try this. However, if you’re an experienced user and annoyed by the Delete confirmation box but want to make sure it stays enabled for others, these steps will help you out.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/3/09

Comments (3)

  1. JonMCC33

    FYI that gpedit.msc is not an option in Windows 7 Home Premium. That is most likely the version that your readers will be using.

  2. gregg

    Is there a desktop shortcut that I can create to enable / disable the “Confirm delete” dialog?
    Thank you

  3. Tommy

    I have the opposite problem to everyone else. If I select a bunch of files and hit delete, it prompts me first to say are you sure (as was the case with winXP) but it ignores the read-only attribute I have set on some of the files in the list. XP used to prompt again “are you sure you want to delete the read only file xxx?”. Windows 7 just deletes everything no matter what. I used to use this to lock certain photos on my camera, then remove all the rest which did not make the cut. The only way to achieve this in Windows7 is to go into the command prompt and do a del *.* – that gives an access denied if a file is read only. I dont want to have to go into the command prompt to do this every time.

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