How to Open Recycle Bin in Windows 11

Recycle Bin Windows 11 Icon

This post details multiple ways to open Recycle Bin icon in Windows 11, even if you delete its icon from the Desktop. By default, Windows 11 has a Recycle Bin icon on the desktop, providing users with easy and convenient access to the recently deleted files. Because many users prefer keeping their desktop neat and icon-free, lots of people google "How to hide the Recycle Bin icon in Windows 11."

The funny thing is that once you delete the icon from the Desktop, Windows 11 provides no way to open Recycle Bin. Windows returns no results when searching for Recycle Bin in Windows Search or PowerToys Run. That leaves lots of users puzzled and wondering how to open Recycle Bin in Windows 11.

Open Recycle Bin in Windows 11

Of course, the fastest way to open Recycle Bin in Windows 11 is to use a shortcut on the desktop, but, as we told before, some users do not want any icons on their desktops. If you are one of such users, here are all the ways to open Recycle Bin.

Using File Explorer

  1. Open File Explorer in Windows 11 by pressing the Win + E shortcut or the icon on the taskbar.
  2. Click the address bar and enter Recycle Bin.
  3. Press Enter.

Open Recycle Bin in Windows 11 from the Run dialog

You can launch Recycle Bin in Windows 11 with the Run dialog box using two methods. Here is the first one.

To open the Recycle Bin from the Run dialog, do the following.

  1. Press Win + R and enter the following command: shell:desktop.
  2. Press Enter to execute the command. Windows will launch Recycle Bin in a new window.

Note that Windows 11 displays Recycle Bin, Control Panel, and other popular elements in the "Desktop" folder even if there are no shortcuts on the desktop itself.

And here is the second way to open Recycle Bin in Windows 11 using Run.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Enter the following command: explorer.exe shell:RecycleBinFolder.
  3. Press Enter.

Note. The shortcut command is a shell command. Learn more about Windows 11 shell commands.

Add Recycle Bin to Quick Access in File Explorer

If you frequently use Recycle Bin in Windows 11, you can add a shortcut to the main page or to the Quick Access section in the navigation panel.

To add Recycle Bin to Quick Access in File Explorer, do the following.

  1. Open Recycle Bin using any of the previously mentioned methods.
  2. Click and hold the Recycle Bin icon in the address bar and drag it to the Quick Access section. Windows 11 will create a shortcut and pin it.
  3. Alternatively, right-click the Quick Access icon in the Navigation Pane, and select Pin current folder to Quick Access.

Now you can open Recycle Bin in Windows 11 from anywhere in File Explorer. Note that Windows 11 pins shortcuts to the Quick Access section and jump lists on the taskbar, meaning you can open Recycle Bin in Windows 11 by right-clicking the File Explorer icon.

Another option is to add a shortcut to Recycle Bin on the main page where File Explorer lists your drives. This part is less user-friendly and requires a little tinkering with Windows Registry. You can do that manually or use ready-for-use files.

Add Recycle Bin to the This PC folder in File Explorer

  1. Press Win + R and enter the regedit command to launch Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace.
  3. Right-click the NameSpace key and select New > Key.
  4. Rename a new key to {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}.
  5. Restart File Explorer in Windows 11.

You are done. To remove Recycle Bin from File Explorer later, delete the {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} key.

Ready-to-use Registry Files

To save your time, you can use the pre-made REG files. Do the following.

  1. Download registry files in a ZIP archive using this link.
  2. Unpack the files and unblock them if needed.
  3. Launch the Add Recycle Bin to File Explorer in Windows 11.reg to add the Recycle Bin icon.
  4. Confirm changes in Registry by clicking OK.
  5. Restart File Explorer.
  6. To remove Recycle Bin from File Explorer, use the Delete Recycle Bin in File Explorer in Windows 11.reg file.

Now you can open Recycle Bin in Windows 11 in File Explorer within the "Devices and Drives" section.

Add Recycle Bin to the Navigation Pane in File Explorer

You can add the Recycle Bin to the navigation pane (left pane) of File Explorer so it will always be one click away. Here is how.

To add the Recycle Bin icon to the Navigation Pane in File Explorer manually, do the following.

  1. Download the Winaero Tweaker app from here, unpack and install it.
  2. Run the app, and go to File Explorer > Navigation Pane - Custom items.
  3. There, click on the Add shell location button. In the next dialog, find and check the Recycle Bin item.
  4. Now, click on Add, and enjoy the Recycle bin entry in the Navigation pane.

You are done. While Winaero Tweaker can save you some time, you may want to know how to do it manually. Here you go.

Manual method

  1. Run the regedit.exe app as TrustedInstaller. This is a mandatory step, otherwise won't be able to modify the Registry.
  2. Browse the left tree view to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder path.
  3. There, create a new DWORD value System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree and set its value data to 1.
  4. Now, open the following key: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder and create the same value here and set it to 1.
  5. Close all open File Explorer windows and open a new one.

The Recycle Bin icon will appear at the bottom of the navigation pane.

Finally, you can pin the Recycle Bin folder to the Start menu for even faster access.

How to pin Recycle Bin to the Start menu in Windows 11

To pin Recycle Bin to the Start menu, you need to create a shortcut on the desktop first. Do the following.

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select "Personalize."
  2. Click the "Themes" button.
  3. Scroll down and locate the "Desktop Icon Settings" link.
  4. in the next dialog, check the Recycle Bin option, and click OK.
  5. Now, on the desktop, right-click the Recycle Bin icon and select Pin to Start.
  6. You can now hide Recycle Bin from the desktop.

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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