Why Empty the Trash ASAP?

Man holding a full trash bag bin liner

If you're using a website powered by the Joomla! web Content Management System, when you delete a content item or menu item, Joomla! moves the entry into the Trash Manager. The Trash Manager is much like the Recycle Bin in Microsoft Windows — sometimes useful if you delete an item by mistake: you can simply go to the Trash Manager and choose the commands to recover the item you want.

However, the Trash Manager could also cause confusion in certain circumstances. Consider the following guidelines when using the Trash Manager:

  • Remember, any items you have in the Joomla! Trash Manager are not actually deleted until you use the relevant commands to empty the Trash Manager.
  • If you definitely don't want to keep any items listed in the Trash Manager, I recommend you fully delete them as soon as possible. Why? Sometimes, Joomla! may still count or consider items even though they are in the Trash Manager. Sometimes, this behavior may lead to confusion.
  • You can't delete a Category that still contains content items. For example, imagine that you decide you no longer need a specific content Category in Joomla! Before you can delete the Category, Joomla requires that you delete or move any content items currently stored within the content Category you no longer require. You could of course opt to move the content items into one or more other content Categories. If yes, then thereafter, the Category you want to delete should delete without problems since it is now empty of content items.
  • However, if you decide that you want to delete a content item, when you choose the command, Joomla! moves your unwanted content item into the Trash Manager. Then, when you then try to delete the content Category that you now think has no content items, Joomla! may still count any related content items that have been moved into the Trash Manager, and therefore, prevent you from deleting the unwanted content Category. The remedy is to empty the Trash Manager, then you should find that you can easily delete the content Category you no longer require.
  • These additional steps may seem like a nuisance. However, they are present to help protect you from making deletions by mistake and to give you second chances to recover deleted items made in error (that are not yet fully deleted). When you're sure, fully delete items that are no longer required.

Key tip: therefore, to prevent possibly wasting time later trying to work out why you can't delete a content Category or Section, providing you're sure that you no longer require any files listed in the Trash Manager, I recommend that immediately after you have deleted any unwanted files or menu links, go to the Trash Manager and fully delete these items you no longer require.

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