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

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

  • 2
    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, 2012 at 23:02

6 Answers 6


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.


(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.)

  • 2
    In windows 7 start C:\$Recycle.bin just gave me an empty directory. I needed to use start shell:RecycleBinFolder
    – icc97
    Apr 17, 2013 at 9:01
  • That command does not show files in this directory, because they are Super Hidden files. You must use a Super Hidden solution. Go to: Tools > Folder Options > View and select 'Show hidden files folders and drives', and untick 'Hide protected operating system files'.
    – Ed999
    Mar 15, 2017 at 13:42

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

explorer ::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
  • This works in Windows 7, in a command window. And it opens the Recycle Bin normally: i.e. it shows you the original names of the files.
    – Ed999
    Mar 15, 2017 at 13:39

This should work. Tested on Windows 7 successfully.

Open a command prompt and enter

CD \$Recycle.Bin
  • 1
    Cool! How do you view files in RecycleBin that way? dir doesn't work for me. Are you also able to empty recycle bin? Jul 31, 2013 at 17:17
  • In Windows 7, to view the files, at the command prompt type the following (although, if the Recycle Bin contains a lot of files, the results will possibly scroll off your screen) - but this method will not show you the original filenames: DIR /A /S
    – Ed999
    Mar 15, 2017 at 13:34
  • To save the list to a log file, type the following: DIR /A /S > C:\LOG.TXT
    – Ed999
    Mar 15, 2017 at 13:35
  • I get Set-Location: Cannot find path 'D:\.Bin' because it does not exist.
    – Ooker
    Mar 24, 2022 at 16:57

None of the previous 'run' commands for Recycle Bin worked on my Windows 10 machine. The start shell:RecycleBinFolder from inside the command window worked. I could not however find a way to have the system display the usual desktop icon. None of the solutions worked. I was however able to re-create the icon by making an Internet Explorer shortcut:

Target = "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" shell:RecycleBinFolder

And then changing the icon to the expected icon by browsing the shell icon DLL file. I now have it back...


Windows button on keyboard + R; then type "shell:RecycleBinFolder" and press Enter: This will take you into the Recycle bin folder and shows the deleted items.

Items deleted using "Shift + Delete" won't be available in Recycle bin because they are permanently deleted. These items can be recovered using data recovery software like Easerus data recovery

Tried and worked perfectly on Windows 10.

  • 4
    Welcome to Super User! This duplicates another answer and adds no new content. Please don't post an answer unless you actually have something new to contribute.
    – DavidPostill
    Dec 2, 2015 at 21:10
  • The bit about Shift + Delete was new to the thread and relevant (IMHO).
    – BillP3rd
    Feb 7, 2016 at 18:42

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