Last year, Android 11 picked up a “hidden” feature straight from the 90s: a “trash can” for deleted files. At that time, the files in the trash were not really user-manageable. Apps could mark items for deletion (they’d bite the dust 30 days later) and offer their own ways to restore them, but it wasn’t the kind of centralized “trash” or “recycle bin” for actually deleted files that we’re used to. other platforms. But according to a recent report, that could change in Android 12.

For a bit of context, that change was part of Android’s ongoing “Scoped Storage” tweaks, and it wasn’t directly user-friendly. That means developers could use it and build support for it in their apps, something like Google Photos or Google Drive’s new 30-day delete policy, but you couldn’t just directly manage your local files with it. At least not yet.

That last part seemed set to change late last year when a feature was spotted in development for the Google Files app that would allow it to display Android 11 “deleted” files in a convenient folder accessible from the sidebar menu. of the application. That hasn’t actually been implemented yet, but alongside it, Android 12 itself may be supporting garbage file management.

Images of the new system -> “Trash” section of storage, through XDA Developers.

All of this is of course subject to change, but a recent teardown from the folks at XDA Developers indicates that the Storage panel in Settings may get a new “junk” list indicating the space occupied by these files in the trash, the number of files in the trash. files and offers to let you empty the trash and delete them. The controls are a bit less granular than the detected feature in the Google Files app development, but this is also built into the system itself.

It is curious that, although the function in Google Files was detected last year, and should only depend on Android 11 to work, Google has not implemented it yet. According to this latest development, Google can keep its appearance there until Android 12 is finished, although there’s nothing really stopping Google Files from getting it first. Either way, Android 12 is ready to catch up with Windows 95’s next-generation file deletion technologies.