How to Restore the Recycle Bin

You are doing spring cleaning on your PC and for this you have deleted a lot of useless files, you wanted to go and empty the Windows recycle bin to permanently delete them but you did not find it: the Trash can she's missing! Someone must have accidentally deleted it.

Don't worry, to recover it you won't have to reinstall the operating system or restore an old backup losing recently installed settings and programs. Whichever version of Windows you are using, to recover the Trash icon, all you have to do is go to the desktop settings and tick an option. I get it, you don't believe me. So let's do this: take five minutes of free time, try to follow the directions above how to restore the Recycle Bin I'm about to give you and let me know how it ends. I am very convinced that at the end of the procedure you will have the Trash icon again where it always was, that is on the Windows desktop.

How do you say? Are you using a Mac and the Trash icon appears to have appeared from the macOS Dock bar? Really weird… evidently you used some desktop customization program that changed some system files. In any case, do not despair, even macOS allows you to restore the Trash icon in a fairly simple way. If you want to know more, read on. You can find everything explained in a special paragraph of this tutorial.

How to Restore the Windows Recycle Bin

Restore the recycle bin on Windows it's very simple, but the steps to take vary slightly depending on the version of the operating system installed on your PC. Let's see together how to act.

Windows 10

A PC equipped with Windows 10 (the most recent version of the Microsoft operating system), you can restore the Trash icon by right clicking on an "empty" point on the desktop (ie without icons) and selecting the item Customize give the menu to compare.

Nella finestra che si apre, select the voice Temi located in the left sidebar and click on the option Desktop Icon Settings present in the screen that opens. Then put the check mark next to the item related to Trash canclick on your button Apply And that's it. Now, returning to the desktop, you should find the Trash icon where it always was.

If you want, you can also change the Trash icon by replacing it with one downloaded from the Internet or already included in Windows. The icons can be in ICO, ICL, EXE or DLL format (therefore included in executables or DLL libraries). If you want to create an icon starting from PNG, JPG or other types of images, follow the instructions in my tutorial on how to create custom icons.

Back to us: to change the Recycle Bin icons (the empty Recycle Bin and the Full Recycle Bin icon) in Windows 10, go back to Personalize> Themes> Desktop Icon Settings, click the Full trash or the Empty basket e pulsing sul pulsating Change icon which is located at the bottom right.

Nella finestra che si apre, click on your button Shop by Department, select the icon you want to use instead of the default Windows one and click on OK e Apply per salvare i Cambiomenti.

If you change your mind, you can retrace your steps and restore the default Trash icon by returning to the menu Personalize> Themes> Desktop Icon Settingsby clicking on the Full trash or the Empty basket e pigging your pulse Restore which is located at the bottom right.

The same holds true even if you change your mind about the Trash icon display on your desktop: back in the menu Personalize> Themes> Desktop Icon Settings and removing the check mark from the entry for Trash can, you can deactivate the display of the latter on the desktop at any time.

Windows 7 / Vista

It was used Windows 7 o Vista and you do not know how to restore the Recycle Bin on the Desktop, try right-clicking in a place without desktop icons and selecting the item Customize from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click on the entry Change desktop icons (located at the top left), put the check mark next to the item Trash can and click first Apply and then OK to save the settings.

Now, close the Windows display settings window and go back to the desktop. Guess what icon is back on your PC's virtual desk? That's right, she, the Trash icon. Happy?

If you want, you can also change the Trash icon as I explained earlier in Windows 10. All you have to do is go back to the menu Personalize> Change Desktop Icons Windows 7, select the icon Full trash or the Empty basket from the window that opens and press the button Change icon which is located at the bottom right. Only ICO, ICL, EXE DLL files are supported

If you change your mind, you can restore the default Windows 7 icons by returning to the menu Personalize> Change Desktop Iconsby selecting the icon Full trash or the Empty basket from the window that opens and pressing the button Restore which is located at the bottom right.

Windows XP

It was used Windows XP and you want to restore the view of the Recycle Bin, right click in a place on the desktop where there are no icons and select the item Property give the menu to compare.

In the window that opens, make sure you are in the tab Temi and open the drop-down menu located under the heading Subject. Then select the Windows XP item from this menu and click first on Apply and then OK. By doing this, the default Windows XP theme will be restored, and with it, the Trash icon should also be restored.

What to Do in Case of Problems

Were you unable to achieve the desired result by following the standard procedure to restore the Recycle Bin in Windows? The Recycle Bin is displayed on the desktop but, in fact, is unusable because you cannot access its contents and / or cannot empty it? Unfortunately it happens, but fear not. Try to put into practice the solutions I am about to show you and you should be able to fix the situation.

If the Recycle Bin does not appear on the Windows desktop although you have activated it in the operating system settings, try to access theRegistry Editor and activate it from there. To access the registry editor of the system, press the key combination Win + R on the PC keyboard (the "Win" key is the one with the Windows flag) and, in the window that opens, type the command regedit.

At this point, come on Submit and go to the folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerDesktopNameSpace in Registry Editor. To navigate through the registry folders, use the buttons + which are next to the folders displayed in the left sidebar.

Once you have reached the above path, right click on the folder NameSpace and select the item New> Key from the menu that opens. Then rename the newly created folder to {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}, double-click the file (Default) present in it and type Recycle Bin in the field Dati value of the window that opens.

Now, click on OK to save the changes, close the registry editor, restart your computer and, if the Recycle Bin icon still does not appear on the Windows desktop, try to reactivate it following the standard procedure described above.

If you can see the Trash icon but cannot access its contents and / or cannot empty it, april il Command Prompt as administrator (then right-clicking on its icon and selecting "Run as administrator" from the menu that opens) and give the command rd /s c:$Recycle.Bin, where instead of c: you have to enter the drive letter on which Windows is installed. Reply S to the prompt that appears in the Prompt and press Enter to start the Recycle Bin repair procedure.

The above command fixes corrupt Recycle Bin files but deletes all items in the Recycle Bin, so if you were planning to restore an item in the Recycle Bin you won't be able to do it anymore. If after running the command the problems persist, try to repeat the operation for all the PC drives (eg E :, F: and so on).

Both of the Recycle Bin repair procedures I just showed you apply to all versions of Windows.

How to Restore the MacOS Recycle Bin

You are using a Mac and the Trash icon appears to have disappeared from the Dock bar? It's really weird. macOS, the Mac operating system, does not allow you to remove the Trash from the Dock bar. You obviously used some application that went to act on system files and deleted references to the Recycle Bin. To fix the situation, try the following procedure.

  • Open the terminal from the folder Other from the Launchpad;
  • Run the command rm ~ / Library / Preferences / com.apple.dock.plist to delete the preferences files of the Dock bar;
  • Issue the killall Dock command to restart the Dock.

At this point, the Dock should reboot and go back to default settings, so with all the default icons, including the Trash icon. The custom icons you added will be lost.

How to Restore Files Deleted from the Recycle Bin

You don't want to restore the Trash icon, but would like to recover some files that you had in the Trash and that have been deleted? I don't want to give you false hope but, if you act on time and using the right software, you may be able to get them back. If you want to know more, read my tutorial on how to recover deleted files from Recycle Bin.