Tip of the Week: How to Restore the Recycle Bin Desktop Icon

Have you ever had your Windows PC lose its Recycle Bin? This has been known to happen since the update to Windows 10, but even updates to Windows 7 and 8.1 have seen similar issues. If your Recycle Bin has pulled a Houdini, we’ll help you get it back. Read on to find out how!

Before you just assume that the Recycle Bin is totally gone, try this method. To begin, open up the Settings app (click on the Start Menu, followed by the Gear). Once you’ve done this, navigate to the Personalization tab. Under Themes, go to the Desktop Icon Settings. If checking the Recycle Bin box doesn’t bring it back, you might have to follow some other steps.

If you’re using a Windows 10 laptop, its tablet mode might be interfering with the normal desktop functionality. This can lead to your desktop icons disappearing. You can change this display mode by going through the Start menu, navigating through Settings to System, and selecting Tablet Mode. You’ll want to make sure the following buttons are turned off:

  • Hide app icons on the taskbar in tablet mode
  • Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode

Checking these options off should let you see your icons, even if you’re in tablet mode.

If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to recreate your Recycle Bin. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Open up the Windows File Explorer (open up a folder or This PC from the start menu).
  • Click on the View tab.
  • Select Options.
  • In the Folder Options window, click the tab once again.
  • Make sure that the Show hidden files, folders, and drives box is selected.
  • You should also turn off the option to Hide protected operating system files.
  • Go back to the File Explorer and select PC from the right-hand column.
  • Select your OS (C:) or C: Drive.
  • Right-click the .Bin and click Send To.
  • Click on Desktop to create your shortcut.

For help with other irritating aspects of technology, Recycle Bin and all, subscribe to Ashton Technology Solutions’s blog.

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