How to Remove Recycle Bin on Desktop in Windows 10 & 11

If you like to keep your desktop clean, you can remove recycle bin from the desktop. Follow these steps to hide recycle bin on the desktop in Windows 10 & 11.

Generally, you can remove all the icons except Recycle Bin from the desktop. In fact, Microsoft itself removed the My Computer icon from the desktop. Though not so obvious, you can easily unpin or remove the recycle bin icon from the desktop. i.e., you can remove the trash can or garbage bin icon from the desktop.

Even after removing the recycle bin icon, you can still access it. Simply put, you won’t lose any functionality, but you will have a squeaky clean desktop. So, without further ado, let me show how it’s done.

Table of contents:

Hide Recycle Bin on Desktop in Windows 11

In Windows 11, you can use the Settings app to remove the recycle bin from the desktop. All it takes is a couple of clicks, and you are good to go. Here is how.

  1. Open Settings with “Win + I” shortcut.
  2. Choose “Personalization” on the sidebar.
  3. Click on “Desktop icon settings” under “Related settings.”
  4. Uncheck the “Recycle bin” checkbox.
  5. Click “Apply.”
  6. Click “Ok.”
  7. With that, the recycle bin icon is hidden from desktop in Windows 11.

Hide Recycle Bin on Desktop in Windows 10

To remove or hide the recycle bin icon in Windows 10, you don’t have to change any group policy settings or registry settings. Windows has a built-in option to hide it.

  1. Use “Win + I” to PC Settings.
  2. Click on the “Personalization” option.
  3. Choose “Themes” on the sidebar.
  4. Click on “Desktop icon settings” under “Related settings.”
  5. Uncheck the “Recycle bin” checkbox.
  6. Click “Apply.”
  7. Click “Ok.”
  8. With that, the recycle bin icon is hidden from desktop in Windows 10.

1. First, open the PC Settings app by pressing the Win + I keyboard shortcut. Go to the “Personalization > Themes” page in the Settings app. Click on the “Desktop Icon Settings” link on the right panel under the “Related settings” section.

Windows-10-hide-recycle-bin-click-desktop-icon-settings-link

2. The above action will open the Icon Settings window. Here, uncheck the “Recycle Bin” checkbox and click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons.

Windows-10-hide-recycle-bin-uncheck-checkbox

3. That is it. You’ve successfully hidden the recycle bin icon from the desktop.

Windows-10-hide-recycle-bin-recycle-bin-hidden

If you ever want to show recycle bin icon back, simply select the “Recycle Bin” option step 2 and save changes.

Hide recycle bin on desktop from Registry Editor

To remove the recycle bin icon from the desktop using the registry, you must make a couple of modifications. It is pretty easy to do. However, I recommend you create a full registry backup before making changes and proceeding.

  1. Use “Win + R” to open Run.
  2. Type “regedit” and click “Ok.”
  3. Paste the below path in the address bar and press Enter.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel\
  4. Right-click on the “NewStartPanel” folder.
  5. Select the “New > DWORD Value” option.
  6. Type “{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}” as its name.
  7. Double-click on the “{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}” value.
  8. Type “1” in the Value Data field.
  9. Click the “Ok” button.
  10. Paste the below path in the address bar and press Enter.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\
  11. Right-click on the “HideDesktopIcons” folder.
  12. Name the new folder as “ClassicStartMenu.”
  13. Right-click on the “ClassicStartMenu” folder.
  14. Select the “New > DWORD Value” option.
  15. Name the value as “{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}” and press Enter.
  16. Double-click on the “{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}” value.
  17. Type “1” in the Value Data field.
  18. Click the “Ok” button.
  19. Close the Registry Editor and reboot.
  20. With that, the recycle bin icon is hidden on desktop.

To restore or show the recycle bin icon on desktop, simply delete the “{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}” value in both “ClassicStartMenu” and “NewStartPanel” folders in the Registry Editor.

Access Recycle Bin After Hiding or Removing it from Desktop

Now, you might be wondering how you can access the recycle bin folder after removing it from the desktop. After all, there will be times when you need to delete or restore files from recycle bin. There are quite a number of ways. I will show three main methods. Follow the one you like.

Method #1: Shell Commands

Windows has a wide range of shell commands to access various folders and applications. Recycle Bin is no different. It has its shell command; when used, will launch the recycle bin folder.

1. To open the recycle bin with the shell command, press Win + R, type the below command, and press Enter.

shell:RecycleBinFolder
Windows-10-hide-recycle-bin-recycle-bin-shell-command

2. The above action will instantly open the Recycle Bin folder.

Alternatively, you can also use the shell:desktop command. This command will open the desktop folder, which contains the “Trash” icon. Double-click on it, and the recycle bin folder will open.

Windows-10-hide-recycle-bin-click-on-trash-icon

Method #2: Create a Keyboard Shortcut with AutoHotKey

If you’d like to assign a keyboard shortcut to open the Recycle Bin folder, you can do that using AutoHotKey.

I assume you’ve already had AutoHotKey installed. If not, download and install it from the official website.

1. First, create a new text document and rename it to anything you want. Make sure that you replace the .txt extension with .ahk.

2. Right-click on the file and select the “Edit Script” option. This action will open the script in Notepad.

3. Now, copy the below code and paste it into the file. Save the file by selecting the “File → Save” option.

;Open recycle bin with Win + / shortcut
/:: Run ::{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
Windows-10-hide-recycle-bin-recycle-bin-autohotkey-shortcut

4. Finally, close the file and double-click on it to run the file.

If you already have a dedicated AHK script for keyboard shortcuts, you can incorporate the above code into it. That way, you don’t have to run two AHK scripts. Also, you can start the AutoHotKey script with Windows.

That is it. As long as the script is running, you can open the recycle bin folder by pressing the Win + / keyboard shortcut. You can customize the shortcut to anything you want if you want to. Follow this official document to get to know the key list.

Wrapping Up

That is all. It is that simple to hide or remove recycle bin from the desktop in Windows 10. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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