- Users might want to remove the Recycle Bin icon from their desktop for a cleaner look, especially with increasing reliance on cloud services and streaming.
- Various methods across Windows 10, 11, 8, and 7, include settings adjustments, Group Policy Editor, or Registry edits to remove or restore the Recycle Bin.
- Changes to the Recycle Bin's visibility are easily reversible, allowing users to bring back the icon if needed for file management or aesthetic reasons.
If you use Windows, you’re probably used to seeing the Recycle Bin on your desktop. It’s where your deleted files go before they’re permanently removed. You can also use it to bring back files you didn’t mean to delete. That’s why Microsoft put a shortcut to it right on your desktop.
But sometimes, you might not want the Recycle Bin icon taking up space there. Don’t worry, you can hide it. The way to do this depends on your version of Windows, as the process has changed over time.
In this guide, we’ll explain why you might want to remove the Recycle Bin from your desktop and show you how to do it in Windows 10, 11, 8, and 7. We’ll also cover bringing the Recycle Bin icon back if you change your mind later.
Table of Contents
- Why get rid of the Recycle Bin?
- Remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop in Windows 10 or 11
- Remove Recycle Bin from the desktop in Windows 7 and 8
- Restoring the Recycle Bin Icon on your Desktop
- Final Thoughts
Why get rid of the Recycle Bin?
You might not always need the Recycle Bin, especially if you don’t keep many files on your computer. Here’s why:
- Cloud document services: Websites like Google Docs and Microsoft 365 save your work online for you.
- Streaming instead of storing: Nowadays, people usually stream music and films instead of saving them on their computers.
- Online photo backup: Services like Google Photos and iCloud automatically save your photos in the cloud.
- Cloud-based trash systems: When you use cloud storage, they often have their ways of retrieving deleted files.
Remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop in Windows 10 or 11
If you’re using Windows 10 or 11 and want to remove the Recycle Bin icon from your desktop, it’s quite straightforward. All these steps are almost similar on both Windows versions, with a slight interface change. Here’s how you can do it:
Method 1: Remove Recycle Bin from Settings in Windows 10 or 11
To remove the Recycle Bin icon from your Windows 10 or 11 desktop, just follow these steps:
- Open the Start menu, click “Settings, ” or press the Windows + I keys together. In the Settings menu, choose “Personalization.”
- Then, go to the “Themes” section.
- Here, look for and click on “Desktop icon settings.”
- You’ll see a list of icons. Find the Recycle Bin and uncheck the box next to it.
- Click “Apply” to confirm your changes, and the Recycle Bin will disappear from your desktop.
Remember, you can’t completely remove the Recycle Bin from Windows 10 or 11. It’s an essential part of Windows, used for deleting and recovering files easily. This method just hides the icon from your desktop.
Method 2: Remove Recycle Bin using Local Group Policy Editor in Windows 10 or 11
Using the Local Group Policy Editor, you can also hide the Recycle Bin icon from your Windows 10 or 11 desktop. Here’s how:
- Press the Windows key and R simultaneously, type in “gpedit.msc”, and hit Enter. This opens the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Navigate to User Configuration, then Administrative Templates, and finally Desktop.
- Look for a setting that says “Remove Recycle Bin icon from desktop” or something similar.
- To activate this setting, double-click on it, change it to “Enabled,” and then click “OK.”
You might need to restart your computer or log out and log back in to see the changes. Remember that this method works on all versions of Windows, including Windows 7, 8, and 8.1.
Method 3. Remove Recycle Bin with Registry in Windows 10
Another way to hide the Recycle Bin icon from your Windows 10 and 11 desktop is by using the Registry Editor. Before you start, it’s a good option to back up your Windows registry to avoid any problems with your computer.
- Press the Windows key and R together to open the Run Type “Regedit” in the box and click “OK” to open the Registry Editor.
- In the Registry Editor, go to this path:
- Look for the registry key named “645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E” and delete it.
After you’re done, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer. The Recycle Bin icon should no longer be on your desktop when it turns back on.
Remove Recycle Bin from the desktop in Windows 7 and 8
Removing the Recycle Bin icon from your Windows 7 and 8 desktop is a simple way to make your desktop look neater and more organized. You’ll need to follow similar steps on both Windows 7 and 8. Here’s how to do it:
- If you’re using Windows 7 or 8, you are probably already on the desktop. In Windows 8.1, click on the “Desktop” tile from the main menu or press “Windows + D” to go straight to the desktop. Once there, right-click anywhere and choose “Personalize” to open the Personalization control panel.
- On the left of the Personalization window, click “Change desktop icons.”
- Look for the “Recycle Bin” option in the Desktop Icon Settings window and uncheck its box.
- After that, click “Apply” and then “OK.” This will remove the Recycle Bin icon from your desktop.
Restoring the Recycle Bin Icon on your Desktop
Restoring the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop in Windows is an easy process, and it follows the same steps as when you removed it on every Windows version:
- Right-click on your desktop and select “Personalize” to open the Personalization settings. In the Personalization window, click on “Desktop icons settings.”
- You must check the box next to “Recycle Bin” in the Desktop icon settings.
- Then, click “Apply” and “OK.”
After these steps, the Recycle Bin icon will be back on your desktop like before.
Removing the Recycle Bin from your desktop across various Windows versions, including Windows 10, 11, 8, and 7, is a simple task to help clear out your desktop space. Whether you remove it through settings, use the Local Group Policy Editor, or edit the registry, each method is straightforward and effective.
Additionally, the process is just as easy should you decide to bring back the Recycle Bin icon. Remember, these steps help in customizing your workspace for efficiency and allow you to tailor your computer’s interface to your personal preference. Removing or restoring the Recycle Bin is just a few clicks away, ensuring that your desktop remains exactly how you like it.
The Recycle Bin is a part of Windows computers. It’s where your deleted files go temporarily. If you accidentally delete something, you can get it back from the Recycle Bin. You can find and restore these files anytime as long as they are in the Recycle Bin.
There are some risks when you remove the Recycle Bin from your desktop. If it’s not there, you can’t easily get back files you’ve deleted. The Recycle Bin helps keep your computer organized. Without it, managing your files might be harder.
It still works even if you hide the Recycle Bin on your Windows 11 or 10. You can delete files, and they will go to the Recycle Bin. You just won’t see the icon on your desktop.
Removing the Recycle Bin icon from your desktop doesn’t change how it works in File Explorer. You can still go there to see and manage your deleted files.