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How do I open the Recycle Bin from the command line?

I'd be very glad if there is a built-in Windows command.

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What version of windows? – Raystafarian Feb 28 '12 at 17:06
Do you mean the Recycle Bin window or just the directory? Does it have to be for all drives or a specific one? – Synetech Feb 28 '12 at 23:02

4 Answers 4

up vote 46 down vote accepted

Command line

On the command line, type

start shell:RecycleBinFolder

It is not case sensitive, so you can just type start shell:recyclebinfolder.

Run dialog

An alternative is to use the Run dialog (menu Start/Run or Win + R) - there is less to type. Type


and press OK (or hit Enter).

It is portable!

This method works on all versions of Windows, at least back to Windows 2000.

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More shell shortcuts (94). – Peter Mortensen Nov 9 '12 at 13:46

(Depending on the OS and filesystem, the directory may be $Recycle.bin, Recycled, or Recycler.)

  • To open the Recycle Bin window (showing deleted objects on all drives):

    C:\> start ::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
    C:\> start shell:RecycleBinFolder
    C:\> start C:\$Recycle.bin

  • To list deleted objects on a specific drive:

    C:\> dir /s/a <driveletter>:\$Recycle.Bin

    (NB, the original filenames will not be shown in this mode.)

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In windows 7 start C:\$Recycle.bin just gave me an empty directory. I needed to use start shell:RecycleBinFolder – icc97 Apr 17 '13 at 9:01

You can open the Recycle Bin window by using its GUID:

explorer ::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
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This should work. Tested on Windows 7 successfully.

Open a command prompt and enter

CD \$Recycle.Bin
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Cool! How do you view files in RecycleBin that way? dir doesn't work for me. Are you also able to empty recycle bin? – Alexander Bird Jul 31 '13 at 17:17

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