Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

While there are many reasons as to why your Recycle Bin can disappear, there is a fairly easy way to get it back.

My desktop Recycle Bin has disappeared - why, and how, do I get it back?

Windows Vista Users: please see this article:
I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin in Vista - how do I get it back?

Why is a good question. The recycle bin can certainly be hidden, but exactly how or why it disappeared is hard to say.

Getting it back is fairly easy. The quickest is probably to download and install Tweak UI, one of the "Power Toys" available from Microsoft. Run that, and the Desktop section allows you to select which icons to show on the desktop by default. You should be able to turn the recycle bin back on there.

Article C2116 - July 11, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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62 Comments
tanya
July 29, 2004 6:49 PM

I download Tweak UI and saved it on my computer and click on the icon to install the problem and it say it had to run in the control panel so i went to the control panel and the problem will not run. How do i fix this problem ??

John A. Booth
October 30, 2004 8:56 AM

The whole of my desktop somehow has disappeared! But the Recycle Bin function was the icon most used. All I get when I log on is my beautiful Desktop Background Picture ! Can you help or at least tell me how to get my recycle bin back. Thankyou. John.

Leo
October 30, 2004 10:54 PM

If you click on the TweakUI link in the article that will take you to a page on the Microsoft site. On the right-hand side will be a list of programs you can download, and one of them will be TweakUI. Click on that. When it asks, select "Run" or the equivalent, and is should install TweakUI.

Lee Ricciardi
February 19, 2005 3:31 PM

I get my desk top picture and can change it, BUT I HAVE LOST MY DESKTOP ICONS. HAVE TRIED THE FOLLOWING==WHEN YOU LOCATE THE FOLDER OR FILE THAT YOU WANT ON YOUR DESKTOP, YOU RIGHT CLICK THE MOUSE ON IT AND HIGHLIGHT "SEND TO" AND THEN "DESKTOP" AND IT WILL GO THERE AUTOMATICALLY. NOTHING HAPPENED, I CLICKED ON MY RECYCLE BIN AND IT SHOWED WHAT WAS IN IT AND I CLICKED RESTORE ALL. AND NOTHING HAPPENERD. AM A 79 YEAR OLD MALE, NEED HELP, HAVE THE XP COMPUTER

aojafoh
May 18, 2005 8:27 PM

try doign a system repair
with the windows disk (xp)
(you must change the bios priorities to boot of cd-rom) or press f8 in the P.O.S.T
otherwise try pressing start(key)+e and find the desktop folder or watever

Charlie
June 27, 2005 7:48 PM

Hey, I have the answer to your problems. Your problem lies within your registry. Email me at bo0koo@yahoo.com and i will send you a file that will fix your registry so that it properly displays the recycle bin on your desktop. I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of your download, however i do gaurantee that if all tweak programs are completely uninstalled, that this will work. Enjoy and feel free to email me about other windows invironment or UI problems\questions at bo0koo@yahoo.com.

Charlie
July 31, 2005 9:05 PM

Hey I posted earlier and mentioned that I can help with these kinds of problems and I have been recieveing many emails, however it would help me if you include your operating system along with a very detailed description of your problem. Some emails have been somewhat vague and it's hard to help if i dont know whats going on! and YES, i can help with the recycle bin so email me at bo0koo@yahoo.com. Also, repair computers for 50$ and under so if you live near Greer, SC, let me know!

Charlie
August 1, 2005 4:46 PM

Hey ashley..yeah you can delete a file right away by pressing shift+delete. That way it wont send it to the recycle bin..it will just delete it right away. If you need your recyclebin back, email me at bo0koo@yahoo.com and I will give you a download link. Hope this helps!

Margo
September 22, 2005 5:29 PM

I downloaded TweakUI, it is an .exe download, but
cannot find where it went. It does not give you
a choice and I have searched with no avail.

Where did it go? I need it to get my recylec
bin back.

Leo
September 22, 2005 10:10 PM

It probably went into your temporary internet files folder. Another way would be to use Search for files to locate the file on your hard disk. Be sure to tell search to include hidden files and folders.

nicole
December 9, 2005 11:41 PM

Hi,
Can I know the source path of the recycle bin for winxp pro? where is it normally store? tried to look in the windows folder but there are too many subs folders..pls advise

Leo
December 15, 2005 9:25 PM

It's typically a hidden folder at the root of the drive.

Roshan
December 28, 2005 7:41 PM

hey..i tried to delete the recycle bin from the desktop and i successfully did!...but the problem is that i dont know where does the deleted files go now...and i didnt find recycle bin on my hard drive...please advice me how to get it back..thnx in advance...

Leo
December 28, 2005 9:23 PM

I don't know what more to tell you. The article has a link to tweak UI which you can use to re-enable the Recycle bin.

Leo
January 4, 2006 9:20 PM

The recycle bin is usually a hidden directory at the root of your drive called "\RECYCLER". Note that it is NOT just a directory of your files - they are renamed and indexed - you really want to use the recycle bin interface. You can find the recycle bin in Windows Explorer also, if you need to retrieve deleted files.

Scott
January 27, 2006 11:59 AM

This is what I had to do when I recently loaded a new computer with XP. This may help some, all or none of you, but for what it's worth:

Right click your desktop,
Click on properties,
Click on the appearance tab,
Under the windows and buttons menu: Click on Windows Classic style.

After that, click on the Theme tab and change the theme to windows classic.

Between these two, your recycle bin short cut should return.

You may also find it my right-clicking your start icon and then click explore.
Click on my network places (near the bottom, under document folders).
Scroll to the bottom of the drop down list on the left and Recycle bin should/may be there. You can open it from there, if so.

Reg
April 5, 2006 9:28 AM

right click on desktop
select "arrange icons by"
check "show desktop icons"
of course this also turns on the "my computer" icon

daphne
July 17, 2006 8:07 PM

DO NOT follow this advice for XP home edition. changing to classic on appearance and themes results in a shut down and reboot, doesn't restore anything

Sharon
August 7, 2006 11:01 AM

I recently was in the process of searching for my Recycle bin as well... And i came across some advice Which i found quite useful!:

You can get your Recycle Bin back by creating a new folder. Then,
rename it "Recycle.{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}". Name the
folder exactly as it appears between the quotes. The name before the
period can be any name but the part after the period must be exactly
the same. After the period is the CLSID identifier that Windows uses
to identify the Recycle Bin.
I'm pretty sure that this is the same CLSID for all of Microsoft's
versions of Windows. If it doesn't work for your version, do a
registry "Value" search for "Recycle Bin". The Key Name for that value
is the CLSID for the Recycle Bin that you need to enter as part of the
folder's name, instead of the one above.

Richard Piper
October 5, 2006 1:53 PM

Thanks for the info sharon ,

I foolishly deleted my recycle bin but I have managed to get it back thank heavens !

by the way renaming the folder recycle followed by them no's on vista beta OS works to ;) just incase anyone is interested .

vikram
October 13, 2006 2:15 PM

Just search for TweakUI and download and install it.
once u do that run the program and click on the word "desktop" and the put a check mark where it says recycle bin,,, and presto recycle bin is back..

AUS
December 8, 2006 8:11 PM

you all my want to check out this web page, best regards!!!
http://www.petri.co.il/delete_recycle_bin_icon_from_the_desktop_in_xp_2003.htm

the jester
March 1, 2007 12:55 PM

If this ever happens in vista then go to your control panel / personalization / then change desktop icons. Tick recycle bin and it will reappear.

Gaberielle
June 2, 2007 12:35 AM

*sighs* I'm glad that'd worked for you guys. I've never had a problem with my RB before but now for some reason everytime I turn around I've accidently deleted it instead of emptying, sad thing is, while it was frustrasting, I never had a problem getting it back...till now...nothings changed...I just can't get it back, I can't find where to change desktop items, I've looked everywhere...a little help? maybe I'm going blind -.-

Paul Newman
June 10, 2007 8:03 PM

i found a way to bring the recyling bin back on vista its very simple. Go to control panel then on the search box on the top type desktop icons and u will see PERSONILIZATION right under it says SHOW OR HIDE COMMON ICONS ON THE DESKTOP. Click on it and you can bring the recycling bin back and other stuff you wish to put on your desktop. Thank you for your time.
P.S. I myself deleted the recycling bin and somehow with luck got it back.

Tom
June 24, 2007 11:09 AM

I check the website http://updownsoft.com. Winfilter is not listed in their homepage, but I finally found it in its products.php and winfilter.php. just go to http://updownsoft.com/products.php or http://updownsoft.com/Winfilter.php

John Per
June 25, 2007 8:15 PM

Thanks a ton Paul Newman!

When I accidently deleted my recycle bin I was in such a hurry that I did not noticed windows' message.

When a person is about to delete their recycle bin, windows actually tells them that if they want it back in the future, all they have to do to restore it is to go to "personalization" in "control panel."

JLM
July 28, 2007 11:01 PM

Thanx for the tip. I got my bin back. The problem is when you right-click on it ... it gives you the option to "delete" the bin or empty it - Easy to confuse.

stephen
August 10, 2007 7:51 AM

ok to get the recycle bin back for windows vista this is what to do click on control panel. then click personalization then on the left hand side you will see change desktop icons. click on that then put a tick in the recycle bin box. and click apply job done you will now see your recycle bin on your desktop hope this helps some of you guys.
regards steve.

Leo A. Notenboom
August 23, 2007 6:18 PM

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For folks who've lost their Recycle Bin in Vista, this new article:
http://ask-leo.com/i_accidentally_deleted_my_recycle_bin_in_vista_how_do_i_get_it_back.html

Leo


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gordykw
September 22, 2007 9:49 PM

right click on desktop, go to personalize then to desktop items and check recycle bin. puts it back on.

Easy as that Good luck

stephen
November 5, 2007 8:52 AM

i deleted my girlfriend's recycle bin off her laptop by accident cos she's got vista and i have xp on my pc, and i didn't know they were different when it came to this subject. this page may have saved my life-keep it quiet though, i haven't told her, so i think i've got away with it...

Swapnil
November 26, 2007 9:11 PM

i hav installed file recovery software from that day my recycle bin had disappeared.
Now i had unistalled that file recovery but still i never got recycle bin.
i hav win XP
pls Help me..........

Jaratpan
November 28, 2007 9:42 PM

For those who use Window Vista... I lost my recycle bin and still dont know why it disappeared. Got it back by: right-click, Personalize, Change desktop icons (left menu), check Recycle Bin, then OK.

Jaratpan

john
November 30, 2007 1:31 PM

thankyou so much leo, for some reason the checkboxes in desktop > properties > customise desktop had diappeared and messing with the registry didnt get them to show. then i realised i had tweak ui and done it in seconds. thanks for your time, you've saved me a lot of it

slamdance
December 8, 2007 6:40 AM

AH the logical solution. Thank you.
Download my ass.


"For those who use Window Vista... I lost my recycle bin and still dont know why it disappeared. Got it back by: right-click, Personalize, Change desktop icons (left menu), check Recycle Bin, then OK.

Jaratpan"

Franco Amadori
December 8, 2007 10:59 AM

Hey or you can also right click on your desktop and select personalize(vista version) then on the left it should say "Chance desktop Icons" that will let you manage the icons that you have on your desktop such as the recicly bin =)

Leo A. Notenboom
January 7, 2008 11:04 AM

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JOE: all newsletters are archived right here on the web
site. http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.html

Leo


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Leo A. Notenboom
January 7, 2008 11:05 AM

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Arun: emptying the recycle bin deletes files permanently.
You might get lucky with this article:
http://ask-leo.com/i_deleted_a_file_by_mistake_can_i_get_it_back.html

Leo


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Will
January 11, 2008 5:32 PM

you can always try a system restore if you have a restore if you have a restore point not too far in the past. Its worked for me before. lol. I can't believe I admitted ever deleting my recycle bin

Christine
January 21, 2008 5:55 PM

Dont even waste your time downloading that software.

what you most likely did is delete the recycling bin icon. if this is true right click on the desktop (the pretty little picture that displays on your screen with no other windows open). click personalize. In the window that comes up there should be a blue column on the left. under tasks click change desktop icons. put a check in the box that says recycling bin.

gem
January 28, 2008 3:03 PM

ok, just right click , go to personalize, click on change desktop icons and check the recycle bin box at the top,

instead of making a whole new folder...

Kelly
March 27, 2008 6:46 PM

Ok right click your desktop, and click on personalize, then you go to change desktop icons, then click on that, and then u check recycle bin, and then hit apply and it will come back, cause i did that and it worked for me, Good luck!

katie
April 11, 2008 9:30 AM

I ave vista.. and instead of deleting the files that were in there i deleted the whole thing... Christine is totally right don't bother with the software.... and there is an option with vista thats says "change desktop items, and check on recycle bin... takes about 30 seconds!

mrkus
May 23, 2008 8:30 AM

Vista is a disgrace of microsoft world. If Vista is not capable of handling icons properly, they should switch back to DOS. At least it worked.

bob
June 16, 2008 2:54 PM

right click on desktop background and click on personalization then top left it says change desktop icon at the top check recycle bin and click apply/ok~~ for vista~~

Sharre
June 30, 2008 10:27 AM

Ok Vista users, if you click the link at the top of this page, not only do you get instructions but step-by-step screen shots as well! Can not get any better than that!

Jay
July 3, 2008 1:26 PM

That is not the quickest way. You dont need to download anything to get the recycle bin back in Windows Vista. All you do is go to ...
CONTROL PANEL > APPEARANCE AND PERSONALIZATION > PERSONALIZATION > on the left side click CHANGE DESKTOP ICONS... tick recycle bin and click OK.

TiDi
July 7, 2008 9:17 AM

you don't need to download the program! probably a program with spyware on it..~!! just delete it and reboot ur comp

Alex
July 8, 2008 2:29 AM

i think i have a solution just simply type this web address (http://www.softpedia.com/progDownload/Recycle-bin-Vista-Gadget-Download-89852.html) into your internet URL and download the link (us) then install the software into your windows vista sidebar from there it will allow you to access all your files in the recycling bin.

Alex

Jasmeen
July 12, 2008 12:39 PM

Yes ... I agree with Jay ... The quickest way is ... CONTROL PANEL > APPEARANCE AND PERSONALIZATION > PERSONALIZATION > on the left side click CHANGE DESKTOP ICONS... tick recycle bin and click OK.

VMR
August 13, 2008 3:30 AM

All you have to do (vista users) is right click on your destop, click properties, click on the "change destop icons" and click "recycle bin" Then OK

Lisa
August 20, 2008 6:09 PM

Jay, thank you , Thank You, Thank You!!! It's been driving me nuts for weeks and I have my recycle bin back. VMR has the best suggestion though...Vista Users...right click on the desktop, click "Personalize" and then change desktop icons. 2 steps! Thanks again.

EASIER WAY THEN DOWNLOADING.
August 27, 2008 7:17 PM

RIGHT CLICK YOUR DESKTOP, CLICK 'PERSONALIZE' AND THEN CLICK THE SECTION ON THE LEFT THAT SAYS 'CHANGE DESKTOP ICONS' A WINDOW SHOULD POP UP WITH DESKTOP ICON NAMES AND CHECK BOXES NEXT TO THEM. CHECK THE BOX NEXT TO RECYCLE BIN. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DOWNLOAD ANYTHING.

doctorpsylus
September 1, 2008 2:27 PM

there is no need 2 d/l antythin here

right clik on desktop+clik PERSONALISE
clik CHANGE DESKTOP ICONS
then check the RECYCLE BIN icon-apply/ok
+you are done

WHS
September 2, 2008 10:34 AM

In the case where the recycle bin does not change state (empty/full) any more, you can repair this as follows: Right click on the desktop > Personalize > Theme > change the theme to e.g. "Windows Classic" > then change it back to one of the Vista themes. That will make your recycle bin function again.

E. G. Florence
September 6, 2008 12:04 PM

Lovely! Thank you so much for the article. I deleted my Recycle Bin, thinking that I would just remove it from the desktop and could find it elsewhere. Well, guess what . . . no Recycle Bin! Now it is fully restored, and with everything I deleted in it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

sashsa
September 26, 2008 3:50 AM

thank you so much! for the longest time i have been looking for my recycle bin, i didn't even know that i accidentally deleted it! lol ;p now i already recovered it and it is full! i've freed up 8gb of memory just by emptying my recycle bin. THANKS to u!

Joe
October 4, 2008 12:07 PM

you only give a link for xp if i had a similiar problem but with vista how would i fix it. And do you know a way to find out why it went, as this morning i turned on my computer and it was gone with me being the only one with access to it and i know for sure i didn't delete it.

Please re-read the article. Particularly the big yellow box that says "Windows Vista Users: please see ..."
- Leo
05-Oct-2008

kenny
October 9, 2008 12:01 AM

even easier way to do this, without downloading bloated software!!
There is a new option in Vista which allows you to delete the recycle bin.
If you want it back do the following:
-->control panel
-->appearance and personalization
-->personalization
-->change desktop icons
then select the icons you want on the desktop

Bombay Granny
October 17, 2008 4:41 PM

It wasn't my recycle bin that disappeared from my desktop, it was the Google gadget date/time clock that disappeared. With the same stroke, the Google search line on my taskbar disappeared. I had just clicked on the Google icon to see if I could ask an unrelated question when both these items, which I use constantly, disappeared.
I spent nearly an hour trying to ask Google online what happened and how to get them back, but there was no option to ask an open-ended question that wasn't already listed in their Help sections. Can anyone tell me now to get them back? I would think re-downloading them would just take up more space, so I just want to find them. Thanks in advance for your help.

Leo
November 9, 2008 7:45 AM
Closing comments on this article. Please remember to actually read the article, and if you're running Windows Vista, be sure to read this article: I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin in Vista - how do I get it back?
- Leo
09-Nov-2008

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