Microsoft on Tuesday announced it has added recycle bin functionality to its SkyDrive cloud storage and collaboration suite, adding yet another layer of redundancy to the service to make sure the unthinkable doesn't happen and you actually delete a document.
I've "accidentally installed" plenty of things that have made me want to punch my own teeth out, and plenty of my work files have become corrupted, or have crashed before I could save changes…but I can say with some degree of confidence that I've never accidentally deleted a file. Maybe I'm some kind of keystroke wizard or something, because Microsoft likes to make extra sure people don't mistakenly delete something they need.
For example, SkyDrive previously popped an alert dialog when you attempted to delete something, which you could dismiss, or embarrassedly click "Undo [my overzealous delete hammering]" to prevent the deletion from taking place. Now, instead of that warning, the new SkyDrive delete function will simply send your junk to the Recycle Bin where you can pull deleted files back out if you need.
Items in the recycle bin do not count against your SkyDrive storage limit, but Microsoft has made it kind of troll-proof. Generally speaking, your recycle bin will amount to 10% of your total storage space (or 716 megabytes per 7GB free account) before Microsoft starts deleting the crap itself.
"We save all items you delete in the recycle bin for at least 3 days. If the content in your recycle bin gets large enough to exceed 10% of your storage limit (which will be pretty rare), we’ll start to delete the oldest content (after it’s been there 3 days), and will permanently remove items from the recycle bin after they have been there for 30 days (and not restored)."
The new "Recycle Bin" tab link is in the left-hand navigation pane, and it takes users to a list of recently deleted files. Once inside the bin, files can be restored to their original location in the same way that files are moved elsewhere across SkyDrive.
In SkyDrive's document collaboration mode, however, SkyDrive already saves iterations of your documents, allowing users to roll back changes when they need. This is the sort of feature that was meant to supersede the whole "save file" concept a few years ago.
The redundant non-deletion safeguard on automatically backed-up documents is one thing, but there's another element of silliness going on here...Microsoft says the recycle bin feature is now only available on SkyDrive.com, but it will make its way to "other SkyDrive experiences" too.
Okay, so that means you'll be able to sync your garbage with your mobile device, and protect your desktop from accidentally deleting files, because there clearly isn't already a recycle bin there.