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Windows 10 Recycle Bin Missing, How to Restore Disappeared Recycle Bin

Windows 10 Recycle Bin missing from desktop or from File Explorer? This post explains why Recycle Bin disappeared and covers a few methods to restore the missing Recycle Bin on Windows 10. You can also learn how to restore permanently files from emptied Recycle Bin with a professional file recovery tool.

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Table of Contents

Issue: Windows 10 Recycle Bin Missing

User case: "I have been looking for Recycle Bin on Windows 10 since the day it was upgraded. I can not find it anywhere on my laptop. All I come across is CDF-MS file titled $recycle.bin.cdf-ms of 564 bytes. I double-click and try to open but nothing works. Where is my recycle bin and why is it missing?" - A user question in answers.microsoft.com

When you have a new computer or reinstall Windows, by default, Windows 10 Recycle Bin, as well as My Computer (or This PC) should appear in the top left corner of the desktop, letting you access it quickly.

However, sometimes, the Recycle Bin icon is missing from the desktop and you have no idea where is the Recycle Bin in Windows 10. If you are looking for the disappeared Recycle Bin, the methods below can help you find it.

Why Does Windows 10 Recycle Bin Icon Disappear  

If the Recycle Bin is missing from your Windows 10 computer, the reasons may be as follows:

  • The Recycle Bin icon was not added to the desktop
  • Mistakenly delete the Recycle Bin icon
  • Windows updates cause Recycle Bin disappeared
  • Tablet Mode is enabled on Windows 10 PC
  • Malware or virus infection

Take the following solutions to restore the missing Recycle Bin to your desktop.

Add Recycle Bin to Desktop in Desktop Icon Settings

Finish the below steps to add Recycle Bin icon to your Windows 10 desktop.

Step 1. Go to Settings and click "Personalization".

Step 2. Click "Themes" and then choose "Desktop icon settings".

show recycle bin in desktop

Step 3. On the Desktop Icon Settings screen, check "Recycle Bin", then select "Apply > OK". Then, you should see the Recycle Bin icon displayed on your desktop.

find recycle bin in desktop

You can also hide Recycle Bin from the desktop on Windows 10 by unchecking the Recycle Bin box.

Turn Off Tablet Mode on Windows 10 PC

If the Tablet Mode is turned on on Windows 10, the desktop icons may not display, including Recycle Bin. You can try to turn off the Tablet Mode and make the Recycle Bin appear.

Step 1. Press Windows + I keys to open "Settings". Then, click "System".

Step 2. Click "Tablet Mode" on the left pane.

Step 3. On the Tablet Mode screen, toggle off "Hide app icons on the taskbar in tablet mode" and "Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode".

disable tablet mode

Create Recycle Bin Shortcut from $RECYCLE.BIN

If you removed the Recycle Bin shortcut from the desktop, you can follow the way below to recreate a Recycle Bin icon by using the $RECYCLE.BIN folder.

As the $RECYCLE.BIN is a system-protected folder, which is hidden by default, you need to make it shown on your Windows 10 PC.

Steps to Show Hidden $RECYCLE.BIN

Step 1. Press Win + E keys to open File Explorer. Click the "View" tab.

Step 2. Choose "Options", and click "Change folder and search option".

click the view tab

Step 3. Click the "View" tab, under Advanced settings, scroll down to select "Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives". Then, uncheck "Hide protected operating system files(Recommended)".

show hidden system files

Step 4. Click "Apply" and "OK" to keep the changes.

Steps to Create Recycle Bin Shortcut on Desktop

Step 1. Go back to File Explorer, click "This PC > C drive".

Step 2. Find $RECYCLE.BIN folder. Right-click it > click "Send to" > click "Desktop (create shortcut)".

create recycle bin shortcut

Step 3. Go to your desktop, then you will find Recycle Bin icon there.

Open Missing Windows 10 Recycle Bin in File Explorer

You can find Recycle Bin in File Explorer.

Press Win + E keys to open File Explorer. Click the > icon in the address bar. In the drop-down menu, choose "Recycle Bin".

find recycle bin in file explorer

Recover Missing Recycle Bin Using Windows PowerShell

Check how to display Recycle Bin by using command lines in Windows PowerShell. 

Step 1. Click the Search button, and type PowerShell.

Step 2. Right-click Windows PowerShell from search results, and choose "Run as administrator".

where is recycle bin in powershell

Step 3. Type shell:RecycleBinFolder and press Enter. Then, the Recycle Bin window will occur on your screen.

open recycle bin in powershell

Recover Deleted Files from Recycle Bin on Windows 10

If you have restored the disappeared Recycle Bin on Windows 10 with the way above, but find that the files you need are missing from the Recycle Bin, how can you retrieve lost files?

Try using ultimate Windows data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to help you restore deleted files from Recycle Bin.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

What can EaseUS data recovery software do?

  • Restore lost files from HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, external hard drive, SD card, camera, etc.
  • Recover deleted emails, photos, videos audio, music, and documents from any storage
  • Restore files from formatted, inaccessible, or corrupted storage devices
  • Recover files on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP, Windows Server, and macOS 11.2 ~ 10.9

Now, free download this file recovery software to restore lost data from Recycle Bin.

Step 1. To specifically recover files from emptied Recycle Bin on Windows 11/10/8/7, hover the mouse pointer over the "Recycle Bin" option under the "Locations" section and click "Scan".

select the recycle Bin to scan

Step 2. EaseUS data recovery software will start a quick scan immediately for all deleted files, and later a deep scan will launch automatically to scan more lost files. After the scanning process, you can use the "Filter" feature to select a specific file type, such as Pictures, Word, videos, etc. 

filter files to recover

Step 3. Once you locate the files you want to restore, you can double-click it for a full preview. Then, select the target files and click "Recover". We suggest you select a different volume or an external USB drive to save the recovered files to avoid data overwriting.

recover lost files from Recycle Bin

To Sum Up

You may try the methods provided in this article to fix Windows 10 Recycle Bin missing problem. After Recycle Bin recovery, you can apply EaseUS data recovery program to get back the lost files from Recycle Bin in simple steps.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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