How to find and access the recycle bin folder on windows

This article aims at assisting people to locate the recycle bin on their windows PC and laptop. We also discuss the various ways one can access the recycle bin.

How to find and access the recycle bin folder on your windows PC or laptop


There are numerous methods one can use in order to locate and access the recycle bin folder on their Windows PC or laptop, which are:

  • Use the Recycle Bin shortcut from the Windows 10 Desktop.
  • Search Windows 10 for the Recycle Bin.
  • Open the Recycle Bin using its Start Menu shortcut.
  • Use File Explorer’s address bar to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin.
  • Open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from File Explorer.
  • Access the Recycle Bin location using the Run window.
  • Use File Explorer’s Quick access to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin.
  • Access the Recycle Bin from its taskbar shortcut.
  • Open the Recycle Bin from PowerShell.

What is the recycle bin folder and what does it do

The Recycle Bin serves as a ‘holding area’ for deleted files and folders, as well as their respective shortcuts. When you delete a file or folder, it is not permanently removed from your computer. 

Instead, Windows recycles the objects that have been removed. It’s almost like being in limbo with these files. The files you’ve erased will stay in the Recycle Bin until you decide they’re no longer needed, at which time you can opt to permanently delete them. 

The Recycle Bin’s purpose is to allow you to retrieve lost objects in the event that you accidentally lose an essential document, photo, or folder.

How to find and access the recycle bin folder on your windows PC or laptop


There are numerous methods one can use in order to locate and access the recycle bin folder on their Windows PC or laptop.

Some of these methods, however, are more complicated, but can be used by anyone should the other methods fail to work.

We shall cover nine different ways one can find the recycling bin folder on their windows PC or laptop, which are:

  • Use the Recycle Bin shortcut from the Windows 10 Desktop.
  • Search Windows 10 for the Recycle Bin.
  • Open the Recycle Bin using its Start Menu shortcut.
  • Use File Explorer’s address bar to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin.
  • Open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from File Explorer.
  • Access the Recycle Bin location using the Run window.
  • Use File Explorer’s Quick access to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin.
  • Access the Recycle Bin from its taskbar shortcut.
  • Open the Recycle Bin from PowerShell.

Let us discuss the aforementioned methods in more detail.

Use the Recycle Bin shortcut from the Windows 10 Desktop

The Recycle Bin in Windows 10 should be located in the upper-left area of your Desktop by default. This is the quickest way to go to the Recycle Bin. 

To access the folder, locate the icon on your Desktop and either select it and hit Enter on your keyboard, or double-click or double-tap on it. 

You can also launch a contextual menu by right-clicking or pressing and holding on the icon. Open may be accessed by clicking or tapping on it.

Search Windows 10 for the Recycle Bin

You can always rely on the Windows 10 search to return relevant results. In your taskbar’s search area, type “recycle bin,” and then click or touch the relevant result or Open from the right side of the search box.

Open the Recycle Bin using its Start Menu shortcut

While the Recycle Bin does not have a Start Menu shortcut by default, you may pin it just like any other shortcut. 

On your Desktop, right-click or press-and-hold the Recycle Bin icon, then click or touch “Pin to Start.” Your new shortcut is now available in the Start Menu’s tile area, and you can use it to access the Windows 10 Recycle Bin.

Use File Explorer’s address bar to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin

By following the instructions below, you may find the location of the Windows 10 Recycle Bin in File Explorer. To edit an empty spot in your address bar, open File Explorer and click or press on it.

To open the folder, type “recycle bin” in the address box, then hit Enter on your computer or click or tap on the Recycle Bin result displayed underneath it. 

You may also use File Explorer’s address bar to click or press on the first “>” (greater than symbol). This brings up a menu where you may click or tap on the Recycle Bin to access it. 

Alternatively, go to the menu and choose Desktop. This takes you to the Desktop folder, where you may also access the Recycle Bin.

Open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from File Explorer

The primary Recycle Bin folder holds all of the files you remove, but there is a Recycle Bin on each partition of your hard disc. This folder can be used to access the Windows 10 Recycle Bin, although the approach is a little more involved.

First, ensure that the hidden system protected files in Windows 10 are visible. Then go to This PC > Windows and open File Explorer (C:). 

A folder named $Recycle.Bin appears. It should be opened. Because the Recycle Bin is visible on all of your PC’s discs, not just C:, the route we used might easily become This PC > D:.

The Windows 10 Recycle Bin folder is visible when you enter the $Recycle.Bin folder.

Access the Recycle Bin location using the Run window

You may also utilise the Run window to go to the Recycle Bin in Windows 10. To begin, launch Run using the keyboard shortcut Win + R or another method.

Then type shell:desktop into the command prompt and hit Enter or click or tap the OK button. If the Desktop window that appears next looks familiar, it’s because we used it in the fourth segment of this lesson from File Explorer’s address bar. 

In it, you’ll see the Windows 10 Recycle Bin. You may also use a somewhat longer command to launch the Windows 10 Recycle Bin straight from the Run window: shell:RecycleBinFolder. 

The Recycle Bin will open as soon as you press OK or Enter on your keyboard.

Use File Explorer’s Quick access to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin

If you use File Explorer frequently, you might want to make it easier to access the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from there. In File Explorer’s Quick access, you may create a Recycle Bin shortcut. 

By pressing and holding the Recycle Bin symbol, you can then drag and drop it into the File Explorer shortcut on your taskbar. The notice “Pin to File Explorer” appears. 

A window showing your Pinned and Frequent places appears next. The list now includes the Recycle Bin. In File Explorer, you may now open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from the Quick access shortcuts.

Access the Recycle Bin from its taskbar shortcut

In Windows 10, you may pin the Recycle Bin to the taskbar by creating a shortcut to it. The procedure is a little tricky, so we go through it in depth in 9 methods to pin shortcuts to the Windows 10 taskbar.

Open the Recycle Bin from PowerShell

Start PowerShell and type start shell:RecycleBinFolder in the command prompt. Remember to hit Enter on your keyboard to launch the Recycle Bin in File Explorer.

Conclusion

Recycle bin is an important system folder, as it acts as a holding bay for documents that were deleted from the windows PC. This is useful especially in cases when a file gets accidentally deleted by the user.

There are various ways one can find the recycle bin, with the simplest one being to access the shortcut file from the windows desktop. In case if the file isn’t present, one can access it from the start menu, control panel, and so on.

FAQs

Can you recover a file from the Recycle Bin?

Yes, you can recover a file from the Recycle Bin. To do so, open your recycle bin. Once you access the recycle bin, you would need to spot the file you wish to recover.

Next, bring your mouse pointer over the icon of the file you wish to recover, right click on it, and select the option “Restore”. On doing so, the file will be restored to its original location on the Windows 10 PC.

How can I permanently delete files from the recycle bin?

If you wish to permanently delete all the files present in the recycling bin, you can do so in the following ways.

  1. On your Windows 10 desktop, locate the recycle bin. Bring your mouse pointer on the icon, and right click on it. Next, select the option, “Empty Recycle Bin”. This would empty the recycle bin.
  2. On your Windows 10 desktop, locate the recycle bin. Open the file, and you will enter the file containing all the files you wish to get rid of.

    Then, select all the files by keeping the left mouse button clicked and dragging it over the files. Once the files have been selected, press the delete button on your keyboard, and confirm your choice.
  3. If you wish to delete the file directly instead of following the steps mentioned above, you can do so by deleting the file directly from its location.

    Locate the file you wish to delete, and select the file. Once you’ve done that, press the buttons Shift+Delete together, and confirm your choice. This will directly delete your file permanently, instead of going to the recycle bin to do so.

What happens to a file once you’ve deleted it from the computer?

When a computer deletes a file or empties the Recycle Bin, it removes the file’s reference from the hard drive. The computer can no longer view the file if the file header, or reference, is deleted. 

The space that the file used is no longer designated for it, and any new file can be put there. What exactly does this imply? The computer can no longer read the file. 

However, unless another file or portion of another file is saved to the same spot, the file stays on the hard drive. 

Because the file is theoretically present, it may be possible to recover it by utilising data recovery software to recreate the file header, allowing the computer to view it once again. 

This programme only works if the deleted file was not overwritten by another file or data.

Is it possible to remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop?

If you want to remove the recycle bin from the desktop, you need to follow the following steps. Right-click on the desktop and choose Properties. In the pop-up menu, choose Personalize. 

Click Themes in the left navigation menu. Click the Desktop Icon Settings option under Related Settings. Uncheck the box for Recycle Bin in the Desktop Icon Settings window to disable and conceal the Recycle Bin icon.

References

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