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How to Remove Recycle Bin from Desktop on Windows

How to Remove Recycle Bin from Desktop on Windows

The Recycle Bin is an important feature in the Windows operating system that provides a safety net when deleting files or folders. However, there might be times when you want to remove the Recycle Bin icon from your desktop to achieve a cleaner or more minimalistic look. In my experience, there are several methods to do this, each suitable for different user preferences and system configurations. In this article, I will take you through various tried-and-true methods to remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop on a Windows PC. Let’s maintain an orderly and customized desktop space together!


Common Scenarios:

Purging the Desktop Clutter 🗑

  • Desiring a more organized and clutter-free desktop environment.
  • Customizing the desktop space to be more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Streamlining the desktop for presentations or screen recordings, where a clean background is preferable.

Enhancing User Experience 🛠

  • Optimizing desktop space for a more efficient workflow.
  • Reducing distractions by minimizing icons.
  • Tweaking the interface for a user who rarely uses the Recycle Bin, such as when working with cloud-based file management.

Security Measures 🔒

  • Preventing accidental use of the Recycle Bin by other users.
  • Limiting visible desktop icons for users with restricted permissions.
  • Implementing a clean desktop policy in an enterprise environment.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Remove Recycle Bin From Desktop:

Method 1: Personalization Settings 🖥

  • Right-click on an empty area of the desktop and select ‘Personalize’.
  • Navigate to ‘Themes’ and then click on ‘Desktop icon settings’.
  • Uncheck the box next to ‘Recycle Bin’ and then click ‘Apply’ followed by ‘OK’.

Note: This method provides a straightforward way to toggle desktop icons on or off, including the Recycle Bin.

Conclusion: This method is ideal for users looking for a quick and user-friendly approach to decluttering the desktop.

Method 2: Group Policy Editor 🚩

  • Press ‘Windows key + R’ to open the ‘Run’ dialog box, then type ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit ‘Enter’.
  • In the Group Policy Editor, navigate to ‘User Configuration’ > ‘Administrative Templates’ > ‘Desktop’.
  • Double-click on ‘Remove Recycle Bin icon from desktop’ setting and set it to ‘Enabled’, then click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’.

Note: The Group Policy Editor is not available in Windows Home editions. Only Windows Pro, Enterprise, or Education users can use this method.

Conclusion: This method is suitable for advanced users or system administrators who prefer managing settings through policies.

Method 3: Registry Edit 📝

  • Open the ‘Run’ dialog box with ‘Windows key + R’, type ‘regedit’, and press ‘Enter’.
  • Navigate to the following registry key: ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerHideDesktopIconsNewStartPanel’.
  • Right-click on the right pane, select ‘New’ > ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’, and name it ‘{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}’.
  • Set the value to ‘1’ to hide the Recycle Bin icon. To display the icon again, set it to ‘0’.

Note: Editing the registry carries risks. Always back up the registry before making changes and proceed with caution.

Conclusion: This method is for users comfortable with making advanced system modifications and those who prefer fine-grained control.

Method 4: Third-Party Software 🛠

  • Download and install a trusted third-party desktop customization tool like ‘Fences’ or ‘RocketDock’.
  • Use the application’s settings to manage desktop icons, including the option to hide the Recycle Bin.

Note: Ensure you are downloading software from reputable sources to avoid malware and other security issues.

Conclusion: Suitable for users who would like additional desktop customization features along with hiding the Recycle Bin.

Method 5: Command Line 🖥

Note: You need to have administrator privileges to perform this action.

Conclusion: This method is quick and effective for users who are comfortable using command-line interfaces.


Precautions and Tips:

Desktop Customization Mastery 🎨

  • Always create a system restore point before making changes to your system settings for quick recovery in case of errors.
  • If using third-party software, it is essential to keep it updated to benefit from the latest features and security patches.
  • Learning keyboard shortcuts can enhance efficiency when managing Windows desktop icons.

Efficient Workflows 🔧

  • Consider organizing desktop icons into folders or using desktop organizers to maintain a tidy workspace.
  • Regularly clean up the desktop by removing unused icons and files to avoid clutter accumulation.
  • Customize your desktop background to match your preferences and enhance your productivity.

Leveraging Windows Features

Streamlining your desktop by removing the Recycle Bin icon is just the beginning of personalizing your Windows experience. Windows provides a plethora of features to enhance user productivity and customization. One such feature is the Task View, which allows users to manage virtual desktops and organize tasks more effectively. It’s a part of a productivity suite that Microsoft has integrated into the Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems. The Task View can be accessed with a simple shortcut – ‘Windows key + Tab’ – providing an overview of all open windows and virtual desktops.

Keeping your system secure is also a critical aspect of desktop management. ‘Windows Security’ ensures your device is protected against threats and provides real-time virus and threat protection. Additionally, regular maintenance like disk cleanup and defragmentation can significantly improve system performance. You can learn more about disk management tools on the official Microsoft Support page.

Lastly, embracing cloud services like ‘OneDrive’ for file management can not only declutter your desktop but also ensure that your files are safely backed up and accessible from any device. Integrating cloud-based workflows is an excellent way to enhance mobility and collaboration. For more information on cloud storage and file synchronization services, check out Microsoft OneDrive.


In conclusion, personalizing your desktop environment by removing the Recycle Bin can contribute to a more organized workspace and an aesthetically pleasing user experience. Whether you’re a casual user looking to tidy up or a power user seeking advanced customization, the methods outlined above cater to a wide array of preferences. Remember that each change you make should enhance your usability and productivity, not detract from it. Always proceed with caution when making system changes, and consider leveraging the full suite of Windows features to optimize your computing experience.

For more information on customizing Windows, visit the official Windows website. With careful planning and the right tools, your desktop can be tailored to your unique needs and preferences.


To remove the Recycle Bin from a Windows 10 desktop, right-click on the desktop, choose 'Personalize', select 'Themes', click on 'Desktop icon settings' and uncheck 'Recycle Bin', then press 'Apply'.

Yes, right-click the desktop, go to 'Personalize', click 'Change desktop icons', uncheck 'Recycle Bin', and click 'OK' to hide the Recycle Bin on Windows 8.

To remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop in Windows 7, right-click on the desktop, choose 'Personalize', select 'Change desktop icons', uncheck 'Recycle Bin', and click 'OK'.

In Windows 11, right-click on the desktop, select 'Personalize', click on 'Themes', then 'Desktop icon settings', uncheck 'Recycle Bin', and hit 'Apply' to remove it.

MacOS doesn't typically display the Recycle Bin (Trash) on the desktop. However, if it's there, it can be hidden through the Dock preferences or using Terminal commands.

To restore the Recycle Bin on the desktop, repeat the steps for removing it but re-check the 'Recycle Bin' option in the 'Desktop icon settings' menu.

You can remove the Recycle Bin by editing the Windows Registry or using Group Policy Editor on professional editions of Windows, but these methods are not recommended for inexperienced users.

If usual methods fail, consider creating a new user profile or refreshing your Windows installation. When in doubt, consulting Microsoft Support is a good idea.

Yes, you can change the Recycle Bin icon to something less noticeable by right-clicking on the desktop, selecting ‘Personalize’, then ‘Change desktop icons’, and choosing a new icon.

There are third-party utilities like TweakUI for older versions of Windows, but for newer systems, such utilities are scarce and not generally recommended due to security concerns.