Where Did My Recycle Bin Go?
By Stephen Bucaro
In Windows, when you delete a file, it isn't immediately deleted. Instead it's moved
to the Recycle Bin. With the Recycle Bin, you can easily restore the file if you need to.
So you might agree that the Recycle Bin is an important utility to have on your desktop.
But the Recycle Bin has been known to disappear from the desktop on occasion. Possibly
it gets accidentally deleted, or some program makes a modification to the registry that
makes the Recycle Bin disappear.
To restore the Recycle Bin icon to the desktop:
1. In Control Panel click on the Appearance and Personalization link.
2. On the Appearance and Personalization page click on Personalization.
3. On the Personalization page, click on the Change desktop icons link.
4. In the Desktop Icon Settings dialog box that appears, set the Recycle Bin check box.
5. Click on the [OK] button.
The Recycle Bin should appear on your desktop. If not, you'll need to edit the registry
to restore the Recycle Bin. However, serious problems can occur if you modify the registry
incorrectly. Therefore, back up the registry before you modify it.
1. Insert a removable storage device to save the backup copy to. Then, if you make
changes that you want to undo, you can import the backup copy.
2. Open the Registry Editor by clicking the Start button and typing regedit
into the Search box, and then clicking on the [Enter] button. If you're prompted
for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
2. In Registry Editor's File menu, click Export. In the Export Registry File
dialog box that appears, type a name for the backup file in the File name box, and select the
location where you want to save the backup copy.
3. Click on the [Save] button.
To edit the registry to make the Recycle Bin icon reappear on the desktop, follow these steps:
1. Open the Registry Editor by clicking the Start button and typing regedit into
the Search box, and then clicking on the [Enter] button. If you're prompted for an
administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
2. In Registry Editor, locate the following registry key:
3. Right-click on the registry key and in the popup menu that appears, select New | Key.
4. In the edit box that appears, type:
then click on the [Enter] button.
5. Click on the new key that you created and in the right pane, double-click the (Default) entry.
6 In the Edit String dialog box that appears, type Recycle Bin in the Value
text box, then click on the [OK] button.
7. Close the Registry Editor.
The Recycle Bin should appear on your desktop. If not, you'll need to visit Microsoft's
Support website and take further action as described in the article
How do I make the Recycle Bin appear on my desktop
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• Vista - Restore Deleted Recycle Bin