Missing Windows desktop Recycle Bin icon

Updated: 11/10/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows LogoIf you are missing the Windows Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and would like to restore it, follow the steps below.

Note: If your desktop has no icons it may be set to hide all icons on the desktop. Before following the below steps make sure your desktop is showing icons.

Show the Recycle Bin icon in Windows 10

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Click Personalize.
  3. Click Themes.

Note: If you do not see the Themes on the left-hand side of the window make sure the window resize the window to make sure it is big enough to show all options. Otherwise skip to the next suggestion.

  1. Scroll down and click Desktop icon settings under Related Settings.
  2. In the desktop Icon Settings window check the Recycle Bin box to enable the Recycle Bin icon.

or

  1. Click Start or press the Windows key.
  2. Type Themes and press Enter or select Themes and related settings.
  3. Scroll down and click Desktop icon settings under Related Settings.
  4. In the desktop Icon Settings window check the Recycle Bin box to enable the Recycle Bin icon.

Show the Recycling Bin in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Click Personalize.
  3. Click Themes.
  4. Click Desktop icon settings.
  5. In the desktop icon settings window check the Recycle Bin box to enable the Recycle Bin icon.

Showing the Recycling Bin in Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Click Personalize.
  3. In the Personalize appearance and sounds window, click the Change desktop icons link on the left-hand side.
  4. Check the box next to Recycle Bin.
  5. Click Apply, then OK.

Windows TweakUI desktopMicrosoft Windows XP

  1. Download and install Windows TweakUI.
  2. Open TweakUI and click Desktop as shown in the picture.
  3. In the Desktop section, check the box next to Recycle Bin.
  4. Click Apply, then OK.

Additional information

  • See the Recycle Bin definition for further information and related links.