This may sound like a stupid question but I've configured my Desktop to display the Trashcan but I cannot click on it because I've got so many files and folder on my desktop that these flow past the right side of my desktop and the Trashcan or Recycle Bin or whatever it's called is no longer visible so I cannot empty it.

Is there a quicker way to open the trash can / recycle bin without having to tidy up my messy desktop?


I've tried running a search for Recycle bin (AKA Cestino on my localized version of Windows 7) in Windows Explorer but no luck:

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Open Windows Explorer (Win Key+E), select the address bar (Alt+D), type in "Recycle Bin", hit enter, your in.

Alternatively, open the Run window (Win Key+R) and type shell:recyclebinfolder

  • I was able to use the Win Key+E shortcut to bring up Windows Explorer but Alt+D never worked for me. Anyways, apart from this, using this method the search took forever and after all of that (five minutes later the search showed up as about 99.99% done in the address bar of Windows Explorer) I still was not able to see the recycle bin among the search results. Any ideas? Thanks. – John Sonderson Jan 14 '15 at 23:05
  • Also, while we're at it, where can I find a list of key combinations which I can use in association with the Win Key on Windows 7? Thanks. – John Sonderson Jan 14 '15 at 23:06
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    I have updated my answer with another option. I am sure a Google search will tell you all the Win Key shortcuts you could ever need. bit.ly/YGceiT – Jonny Wright Jan 14 '15 at 23:10
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    Thanks. As your solution is programmatic it works across localized versions of windows including my own without having to change the English names such as shell and recyclebinfolder. Works everywhere! – John Sonderson Jan 14 '15 at 23:17
  • @JohnSonderson, When you say that Alt+D doesn't work, What Windows version are you using? – Pacerier Jul 9 '15 at 5:09

You can try powershell:

@ECHO OFF start /b /wait powershell.exe -command "$Shell = New-Object -ComObject Shell.Application;$RecycleBin = $Shell.Namespace(0xA);$RecycleBin.Items() | foreach{Remove-Item $_.Path -Recurse -Confirm:$false}"

(from: https://stackoverflow.com/a/21111992)

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    Seems a very long-winded way to get to the Recycle Bin! – Jonny Wright Jan 14 '15 at 23:12
  • Thanks. The solution by @JonnyWright was a little easier though. Thanks anyways. – John Sonderson Jan 14 '15 at 23:16
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    All good. My understanding was explorer was locking on access to the recycle bin. – elw Jan 14 '15 at 23:21
  • @elw, "locking access to the recycle bin"? And how would that even happen in the first place? – Pacerier Jul 9 '15 at 5:11

You could left click on a blank space on your desktop, start typing "recycle", then press enter.

This will open the recycle bin and show you the contents. Then you will have options across the top to "restore the files" or "Empty the recycle bin".

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    This does not work for me on Windows 7. Perhaps you're on some other version of Windows. When I left-click and type "r" the control panel shows up and displays the Personalization screen (despite the fact that I don't see a hotkey in the drop-down menu). – John Sonderson Jan 14 '15 at 22:56
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    Nope...using win 7 myself. Did you only type r or recycle? – Carl B Jan 14 '15 at 23:00
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    Well, I'm using a localized Italian version of Windows 7. Perhaps that's why it didn't work. – John Sonderson Jan 14 '15 at 23:02
  • @JohnSonderson - so do you have to type riciclare? – Carl B Jan 14 '15 at 23:09
  • No, that's a verb meaning recycle, the noun for recycle bin is cestino. ;-) – John Sonderson Jan 14 '15 at 23:19

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