Where Is the Windows 7 Recycle Bin?

May 9, 2011, By Christian Cawley

The Windows Recycle Bin has been known to get a few people out of trouble, but it can also cause the odd problem itself.

One of the main places where you might find C: drive-busting files eating up all of your free space, the Recycle Bin doesn’t even appear by default in Windows Vista and Windows 7, instead forcing the user to go and search for it in order to manually add the icon and access to its contents to the desktop.

We’re going to look now at the various uses of the Recycle Bin, as well as how to make it appear in Windows Vista and Windows 7 and how to restore it in the event that a third party app has deleted it.

Where is the Windows 7 Recycle Bin?

Activating and Using the Recycle Bin

Windows Vista and 7 users will find that when they first switch on a new computer, the Recycle Bin is not present. This is because Microsoft want you to feel as though the desktop is yours, and as such simply allow you to activate the Recycle Bin when you feel that you want to use it.

You can do this easily by going to Start and typing desktop icons. In the results, click Show or hide common icons on the desktop to open the settings window concerned.

To activate the Recycle Bin, tick the box next to the icon and click OK. The bin should appear on your desktop, ready to be used to clear out the trash or restore something you deleted in error.

Using the Recycle Bin

In most cases, you will only encounter the Recycle Bin when you want to restore something that you previously deleted in error.

This you can do by opening the bin left-clicking the item, and selecting Restore this item from the toolbar (you might also right-click and select Restore). Note that only items that you have used the standard delete function on with be sent to the Recycle Bin; if you have used the SHIFT+DELETE method of deleting files, you won’t be able to restore this data without using a data retrieval tool.

If you would rather delete the contents of the bin, meanwhile, select Empty the Recycle Bin with the folder open, or on the desktop right-click the icon and select Empty Recycle Bin.

Missing Recycle Bin? Try This!

Sometimes you might find that you once had a Recycle Bin that went missing, and that the standard method of activating it doesn’t seem to work.

In this situation, you will need to take advantage of the Microsoft FixIt tool, which you can download from Microsoft Support. Using this free tool you can force the operating system to restore the Recycle Bin, allowing you to once again enjoy the convenience of having a safety net for any data that you might have accidentally deleted!

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