I hate having anything on my desktop. I usually remove all the icons from the desktop, even the recycle bin. Occasionally I need to access the recycle bin, but having to re-enable the icon just to open it, is annoying.

I was hoping I could use the windows search bar built into the start menu but typing "recycle" or "recycle bin", but that returns nothing.

How else can I access the recycle bin without using the desktop icon?


11 Answers 11


Open Explorer (Windows Logo + E) then type "Recycle bin" in the address bar.

That should work just fine, else add Recycle bin to your favorite locations in Exlorer.

Or press the Windows logo and type: explorer.exe ::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} Which you can of course assign a hot-key to any arbitrary keyboard key or key combination.

  • 1
    @Ivo, Please elaborate on ::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} . What is it all about and how is it different from shell:recyclebinfolder?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 9, 2015 at 6:19
  • Typing "Recycle bin" in the address bar isn't locale agnostic. I just tried it and it results in a Bing search for that phrase opening. shell:recyclebinfolder works though.
    – antak
    Sep 2, 2016 at 2:08
  • No shortcuts or menu to get there, if you don't have the icon on your desktop. What a ridiculous excuse for an operating system.
    – Thomas W
    May 8, 2017 at 2:38

Make sure you've spelled it correctly. I just click "Start" > "Computer", and typed rec... then Recycle Bin was shown underneath

I can also type "Recycle Bin" as a whole and it goes straight there.

alt text


Sure, just type this into the search box:


  • Thsi is only slightly slower than the Windows Key quick jump to an address bar, but still a decent answer. Sep 29, 2009 at 14:52

You could pin a Recycle Bin shortcut to the Taskbar:

Recycle Bin pinned to the Taskbar

  1. In a folder of your choice, create a shortcut to
    %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe shell:RecycleBinFolder
  2. Change the icon (found in C:\Windows\system32\imageres.dll)
  3. Right-click the shortcut and select 'Pin to Taskbar'
  • 1
    Why do you use %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe shell:RecycleBinFolder instead of recycle bin or c:\$recycle.bin\recycle bin?
    – Pacerier
    Jul 9, 2015 at 6:21

How about a recycle bin in your Computer:

Recycle bin in your computer

For this create a new text file and paste the following in it by using your notepad:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Save it as .reg file and execute it.

To remove your recycle bin from your Computer again, use:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



  • 1
    Very nice! On my Win8.1 system, the icon showed up in "Devices and drives."
    – cxw
    Jan 28, 2016 at 19:17

Even I hate having anything on my desktop. What I do is :-

  1. Create a shortcut of recycle bin
  2. Name it 'r' or whatever you like
  3. Cut it and paste it in C:\Windows

Now whenever I want recycle bin I just need to :-

  1. Press Windows Logo+r which opens run
  2. Type r and hit enter

Create a shortcut to the recycle bin (re-enable the icon on the desktop if you have to, you can disable it again after the shortcut is created) and drop the shortcut into the start menu somewhere convenient.

  1. Open Windows Explorer

  2. In the address bar > Click the First Dropdown (arrow)

  3. Choose Recycle Bin from the drop-down menu.

    Explorer > Dropdown > Recycle Bin


Just create a folder named "Recycle Bin.{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}". This will be you new Recycle Bin.


Open Windows Explorer, type Recycle Bin in the address bar and press enter to open the recycle bin.

Now in the tree view on the right side of the Explorer window right click Favorites and select "Add current location to Favorites". The Recycle Bin will now appear as a icon under your Windows Explorer Favorites tree node.

This way you are always able to access the Recycle Bin from Explorer without having to have its icon on your desktop, with no registry key edits or virtual shell folder text files required.


I also hate having anything on the desktop. I usually create Desktop toolbar on taskbar (right-click on empty taskbar space, Toolbars, Desktop) with the smallest possible size (you can change the toolbar size when the taskbar is not locked). When I press », I have access to expandable Recycle Bin with appropriate icon (empty or full), with all right-click options like Empty Recycle Bin (the same applies also to My Computer and the Manage option).

You can also disable the toolbar Text and Title when the taskbar is not locked (by right-clicking on left toolbar separator). Then you can change the size of the toolbar to see only one icon, and rearrange the icons to see only Recycle Bin. In such a case you will you will see the icon alone (with only a small ») without need to click anything, right-click will work also correctly, though the icon will not be expandable.

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