Recycle Bin

Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows Recycle BinSimilar to the Apple's Trash application, the Recycle Bin is a location where deleted files or folders are temporarily stored in every version of Microsoft Windows since Windows 95. The Recycling Bin allows users to recover files that have been deleted in Windows and can be found on the Desktop. The image to the right is an example of what the Recycle Bin may look like in your version of Windows.

Note: Keep in mind that if you have deleted files through an MS-DOS prompt or shell, this action is permanent and the files will not go to the Recycle Bin.

Adding an item to the Recycle Bin

When you delete a file or folder, that file or folder is added, or sent, to the Recycle Bin. You can press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete a file or folder.

How to open the Recycle Bin

To open the Recycle Bin, click or double-click on the Recycle Bin icon on the computer Desktop.

If the Recycle Bin icon is not found on your computer Desktop, see the next section below.

Why is my Recycle Bin icon missing?

With newer versions of Windows, the Recycle Bin icon may be missing from the Desktop. Follow the steps in the link below to show the Recycle Bin.

How long do items stay in the Recycle Bin?

When a file or folder is deleted, it will remain in the Recycle Bin until you empty the Recycle Bin.

Apple, Delete, Microsoft, Operating systems terms