ES File Explorer recycle binI was running low on disk space after a series of Nandroid backups while testing out the new Lollipop/Sense 6 ROM that HTC and Sprint delivered last week (and a kernel, and Xposed). I was down to about 2.5GB free on my SD card and needed to make some room as I was doing five different pieces across two ROMs.

I decided on deleting some of my emergency toddler entertainment, as we’ve been stuck at home and I could reload it later. I fired up ES File Explorer, deleted enough Elmo and kid movies to handle my next Nandroid, rebooted, and was told I didn’t have any disk space.

Booting back into the ROM, launched ES File Explorer again, noted that indeed there was no more disk space free so I deleted something else assuming that perhaps I’d copied over 0 byte files for some reason. This time I checked to ensure that the nearly-gig I freed was indeed free. It wasn’t. I was at the same disk space I had before. Anything I deleted didn’t seem to recover any disk space.

Jumping into a terminal session I went and verified that the directories I had deleted were indeed no longer in the kids movie folder. “df” returned what I expected, the movies I deleted had not freed up any space.

I decided to delete another file from the command line to verify, and this time the space was freed up. A couple of other test lead me to the realization that the only thing not recovering the space was ES File Explorer.

What the issue turns out to have been is that ES File Explorer has an option much like Windows and Mac that when a file is deleted, rather than deleting, it move it to the recycle bin. Somehow this had gotten turned on in a new install (or maybe a Titanium restore), but whatever the case was anything I deleted was just going to a recycler directory. Both the Recycle Bin and Root Explorer settings were not what I use.

Disabling the Recycle Bin in ES’s settings fixed that and once again everything that’s deleted is wiped like I like it.

This setting also could have been the long term results of a toddler attack.