How to Recover the Recycle Bin Windows Icon

by Jack Gerard

If you're cleaning up your desktop, it can be easy to accidentally delete the Recycle Bin icon. While it's possible to set up a shortcut to the Recycle Bin, this isn't necessarily an ideal solution for most users. It is possible to restore your Recycle Bin completely without the need for in-depth computer knowledge; here is how you can recover the Recycle Bin icon and have it display when it is full and empty.

Right-click on your desktop and select the "Properties" option. This will cause a window to open up with several different tabs to allow you to view and change different options.

Select the Desktop tab. This will give you the option of viewing and adjusting several of the options relating specifically to your desktop. Click the "Customize Desktop" button.

Choose the "Recycle Bin (full)" option and click "Restore Defaults." Repeat this with "Recycle Bin (empty)" in order to restore both versions of the Recycle Bin so that it will not only show you the Recycle Bin icon but also display whether anything is in the Recycle Bin or not.

If using Windows Vista, right click on the desktop and select "Personalize" instead of "Properties." This will open up a new window where you should select the "Change Desktop Icons" task. From this point you can make sure that the Recycle Bin option is checked and restore the defaults as mentioned above.


  • check Programs such as Tweak UI can be used to restore the Recycle Bin icon as well, in addition to letting you make more specific tweaks to the Windows interface.

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.

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