The recycle bin is a visual representation of the deletion process. When you send something to the recycle bin, it is "marked for deletion" and not available in its usual place. But so many people would regret a delete, that this gave them an opportunity to retract it. If the user chooses to restore the file or folder, the mark for deletion is removed and the pointer to it which was in Windows Explorer is restored. If the user empties the recycle bin, the file or folder is "permanently" deleted and you cannot call it back.
I put "permanently" in quotes because the file is still there, until overwritten by a new file or a defragmentation; but the user cannot reach it. A pro could if the file's 'space' isn't overwritten.
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