Where is Recycle Bin in Windows?

9 minutes read

The Recycle Bin is the default storage location for deleted files on Windows OS, allowing you to recover them if necessary. There can be moments when you can’t readily find the Recycle Bin when needed. Such a circumstance often arises, particularly among those users who are new to the Windows operating system or have recently upgraded to the latest version. If you are stuck in this situation, don’t worry; I have got you covered.

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If you are in a situation where you desperately want to restore the accidentally deleted files but don’t know where the Recycle Bin is in the Windows computer, then I am here to help you.

In this guide, I will not only answer the question "Where is Recycle Bin?" but also provide detailed instructions on how to manage your Recycle Bin effectively. By the end of this article, you'll be a pro at locating, deleting, emptying, and recovering files from the Recycle Bin in Windows 10 and 11.

Table of Contents:

  1. Where Do I Find My Recycle Bin on My Computer?
  2. How to Delete Files from Recycle Bin?
  3. How to Empty Recycle Bin?
  4. How to Recover Files from Recycle Bin?
  5. Conclusion

Where Do I Find My Recycle Bin on My Computer?

Method 1. Find the Recycle Bin on the Desktop

The quickest and most common way to access the Recycle Bin on your Windows 10 or 11 computer is by locating it on the desktop.

Follow these steps:

Step 1. Minimize All Windows

If your desktop is cluttered, first minimize all open windows by pressing Win + D to reveal your desktop.

Step 2. Locate the Recycle Bin Icon

You'll see the familiar Recycle Bin icon, which resembles a trash can. It's usually located in the top-left or top-right corner of your desktop.

recycle bin on windows desktop

Step 3. Access Your Deleted Files

Double-click on the Recycle Bin icon to open it. Inside, you'll see a list of the deleted files and folders that are currently residing in your Recycle Bin.

list of files residing in recycle bin

Method 2. Find Recycle Bin Using Windows Settings

If you cannot find the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop, it is probably disabled from the Settings. However, you can easily enable it.

Here are the steps to show the Recycle Bin folder on the desktop:

Step 1. Launch Windows 11 Settings

Press Windows + I or use Windows Start Menu to launch Windows settings.

Step 2. Select "Personalization" Settings

In the Settings app, click the Personalization tab.

personalization option in windows settings

Step 3. Select “Desktop icon settings”

Under the Personalization settings, switch to the Themes tab on the left and choose Desktop icon settings.

desktop icon settings

Step 4. Enable the Recycle Bin icon

Under the Desktop icon settings window, look for the Recycle bin and check the box next to it.

recycle bin on desktop icon settings

Step 5. Complete the Process

Finally, click Apply and OK to enable the Recycle bin icon on the desktop. Navigate to the desktop and check if you can see the icon.

Method 3. Launch Recycle Bin from File Explorer

If you can't find the Recycle Bin on your desktop or prefer an alternative method, you can access it through File Explorer. This method is particularly useful if you have a cluttered desktop or prefer using File Explorer to manage your files and folders.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. Open File Explorer

You can do this by pressing Win + E or clicking the File Explorer icon on your taskbar.

Step 2. Search for the Recycle Bin

Type “recycle bin” on the address bar and select its option from the search results.

search for the recycle bin

Step 3. Access Recycle Bin

The Recycle Bin will be opened. You can now recover your deleted files or empty the bin.

Method 4. Open Recycle Bin using Run Command

The Run command is another handy way to access the Recycle Bin quickly. The command will open your Recycle Bin directly, regardless of whether it's visible on the desktop.

Here's how:

Step 1. Launch Run Command Window

Press Windows + R to launch the Run Command Window.

Step 2. Type Run Command

Now type the shell:RecycleBinFolder command and hit Enter.

open recycle bin folder using run command

Step 3. Access the Recycle Bin

The recycle bin will appear. Use it for file restoration or clear it.

Method 5. Find Recycle Bin Using PowerShell

PowerShell is a powerful command-line tool that allows you to perform various tasks, including accessing the Recycle Bin.

If you're comfortable with using PowerShell, follow these steps:

Step 1. Open PowerShell

Press Windows + X and choose "Windows Terminal" or "Windows PowerShell."

Step 2. Use the Command

Type "explorer.exe shell:RecycleBinFolder" and hit the enter key.

find recycle bin using powershell

Step 3. Access Recycle Bin

This PowerShell command will open the Recycle Bin, and you can access it.

How to Delete Files from Recycle Bin?

Deleting files from the Recycle Bin is a straightforward process. Remember that deleting the files from the Recycle Bin will permanently remove them from the system.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Open the Recycle Bin using any of the methods mentioned above.

Step 2: Inside the Recycle Bin, you will see a list of files and folders deleted from your computer.

list of files residing in recycle bin

Step 3: Select the file(s) you want to delete permanently.

Step 4: Right-click on the selected file(s), and a context menu will appear.

Step 5: From the context menu, choose Delete.

click on delete option

Step 6: Windows will ask for confirmation, as this action is irreversible.

Step 7: Click Yes to confirm the deletion, and the selected file(s) will be permanently removed from your computer.

click on yes option to delete files

How to Empty Recycle Bin?

Emptying the Recycle Bin is essential to free up storage space on your computer. Here's how to do it:

1: Open the Recycle Bin using any of the methods mentioned earlier.

2: In the Recycle Bin window, right-click on an empty space to open a context menu and select Empty Recycle Bin.

empty recycle bin

3: A confirmation dialog box will appear, asking if you are sure you want to permanently delete all the files in the Recycle Bin.

4: Confirm the action by clicking Yes, and all files in the Recycle Bin will be permanently deleted.

click on yes button to empty bin

Please note that emptying the Recycle Bin is irreversible, and you won't be able to recover any deleted files after this action. So, ensure you've backed up any important files before doing this.

How to Recover Files from Recycle Bin?

Have you accidentally deleted a file or folder and want to recover it from the Recycle Bin? Here's how to do it:

Restore Files from the Recycle Bin Manually

1: Open the Recycle Bin using any of the methods mentioned above.

2: Locate the file(s) you want to recover.

3: Right-click on the file(s) you want to restore. A context menu will appear.

4: From the context menu, choose Restore. This will move the selected file(s) back to their original location on your computer.

click on restore button to recover files

5: If the file's original location no longer exists, Windows will ask where you want to restore the file. Choose a suitable location, and the file will be restored there.

6: If you want to restore the file to your preferred location, right-click on the file and select Cut.

click on cut option

7: Paste the file wherever you want it to restore.

How to Recover Files Deleted Permanently from Recycle Bin Using Remo Recover?

If you want to restore the files deleted from Recycle Bin, you can only do that using a specialized data recovery software such as the Remo Recover.

Remo Recover is a powerful data recovery tool built to recover more than 500 types of files from any internal location or external storage device with as little effort as possible.

Download Remo Recover and follow the instructions on the screen to recover permanently deleted files.

Take Control of Recycle Bin

In this guide, I've covered the common question of "Where is Recycle Bin in Windows 10/11?" and provided detailed steps to access, manage, and recover files. Whether you prefer using the desktop icon, File Explorer, Run commands, PowerShell, or Windows Settings, you now have multiple ways to reach your Recycle Bin. I've also explained how to delete files quickly, empty the Recycle Bin, and recover deleted files.

Remember to be cautious when permanently deleting files, as once the Recycle Bin is emptied, the files cannot be recovered. To avoid data loss, keep backups of important files and regularly empty your Recycle Bin to free up storage space.

About the Author: Pranav Bhardwaj

Pranav Bhardwaj is a seasoned Technical Content Writer with over 4 years of experience. He specializes in the fields of Cybersecurity, Windows OS troubleshooting, iOS troubleshooting, and Android troubleshooting, providing expert insights and solutions to address your tech-related concerns. His work can be seen on makeuseof,tutorialspoint and onmsft.com.