Remove Recycle Bin From Desktop

Need to remove recycle bin from desktop? Easy. Follow these steps:

Make sure your desktop is visible. You can do this by right-clicking your Windows Task Bar and selecting “Show the desktop” from the context menu.


Show the Desktop


In Windows 7 and 8, you can also click the small ar ea immediately to the right of the clock:


Show Desktop


That will also immediately bring you to your desktop.

Now, with your desktop visible, right-click an empty spot and select “Personalize”


Personalize Desktop Icons


In the dialog that appears, select “Change desktop icons”


Chenge Desktop Icons


That will open the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box.

To remove recycle bin from desktop, de-select the checkbox next to Recycle Bin.


Show Recycle Bin Checkbox


Click Ok to confirm the Desktop Icon Settings and then click Ok once again to confirm the Personalization settings.

This will remove recycle bin from desktop.

Of course, it will also work the other way around. Meaning if your recycle bin is missing from your desktop, you can use the above procedure to show the recycle bin icon on your desktop.

Finding the recycle bin when your recycle bin is missing from desktop

If your recycle bin icon is missing from your desktop, you can also access your recycle bin via your Windows Explorer, but this is a bit cumbersome.

First of all, you need to ensure that your Windows Explorer option to hide protected operating system files is turned off. (The recycle bin folder in Windows Explorer is a protected operating system file).


Hide Protected Operating System Files


Don’t be alarmed by the “recommended” next to this option, this is because folks from Microsoft want to protect you from deleting critical operating system files. If you can’t see these files, you can’t accidentally delete them.

But if you are trying to locate your recycle bin folder in Windows Explorer, you’ll have to disable this option.

With the “Hide protected operating system files” option disabled, you’ll be able to see a folder called $Recycle.Bin right in the root folder of your system drive. This is the folder that represents your recycle bin.


Recycle Bin Folder in Explorer


As you navigate into your recycle bin folder in Windows Explorer, you’ll notice a somewhat different context menu when you right-click on anything in the recycle bin folder. The option “restore”, which is normally not present, will allow you to recover deleted files from your recycle bin.

If you remove recycle bin from desktop for any reason whatsoever (some people prefer to have a minimalistic desktop with no clutter at all), you’ll still be able to access your recycle bin via Windows Explorer.

Besides the fact that the option “Restore” is available in the context menu in your recycle bin folder, you’d expect that the properties of the recycle bin would also be accessible via this approach, but interestingly enough, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In order to control the behavior and size of your recycle bin, you’ll need to un- remove recycle bin from desktop, right-click the icon and select properties and then configure the settings according to your needs.


Recycle Bin Options


For instance, if you don’t like being asked all the time whether or not you’re sure that you want to delete a specific file, you can de-select the “Display delete confirmation dialog” option. You can also specify the maximum size that you want to make available to your recycle bin or select the option to not move any deleted files over to the recycle bin, but have them permanently deleted right away.

Please note that “permanently deleted” is not entirely accurate, as you can read in our article on deleting files permanently.

Note: a simple trick that many people don't know: press and hold down your shift key while you delete items. This will delete files immediately, without being moved to your recycle bin first. And yes, this works even when the "Don't move files to the recycle bin" option is not selected.

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