Add Recycle Bin To Start Menu Or Taskbar

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In a recent support query, I was asked about creating a shortcut for the Recycle Bin in the Start Menu. This client wanted a clean Desktop to show off their wallpaper but didn’t want to lose this important tool. Today’s computer tech tip will do just that and works for Windows 7 and Vista.

Open a Windows Explorer window (like Computer or Documents). Copy/Paste %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ to be whisked away to C:\Users\Your Account\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu. Once inside, right-click an empty area of the folder and go to New > Shortcut. The same command can be accessed from the File menu, but it’s likely you have the Menu bar disabled anyway. (Enable by going to Organize > Layout > check-mark: Menu bar)

In the item location box, copy/paste explorer.exe shell:RecycleBinFolder and click Next.

You can name the shortcut whatever you want, but Recycle Bin will do just fine. Click Finish.

By default, the shortcut icon is a document folder. We can change that to the more recognizable recycling bin icon. Right-click the shortcut and open up its Properties. On the Customize tab, click Change Icon.

If it isn’t already, copy/paste %SystemRoot%\system32\shell32.dll in the “Look for icons in this file” box, then press Enter. There are a number of icons to choose from here, including a few different styles of recycling bins. The common empty bin is located column 8, row 4.

Right now, the Recycle Bin is listed above the folders in Start menu > All Programs. Right-clicking allows us to pin the shortcut to the Start Menu or even the Taskbar.

A traditional Recycle Bin on the Desktop has special options available when you right-click it. You could “Empty Recycle Bin” or adjust settings of the tool like sizing, disabling, or hiding the “Delete Confirmation” dialog. What we just created is simply a folder shortcut and changed the icon to look like the Recycle Bin tool. Our shortcut doesn’t have these right-click menus, but you have them available to you once you’re inside the Recycle Bin folder.

Posted in: Windows



is the site owner of Computer Tech Tips and is passionate about computer technology, particularly Windows-based software, malware removal, and web development. He enjoys helping people troubleshoot computer problems and providing technical support to family, friends, and people around the net. Xps wrote 79 article(s) for Computer Tech Tips.


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