Windows 7: Put a Recycle Bin Shortcut on the Taskbar

If you like keeping a clean desktop, then even having the Recycle Bin icon sitting there can be annoying. By placing a shortcut on your taskbar, you will have easy access while keeping it off of your clean desktop. This recipe adds the shortcut to the Taskbar instead of pinning it to the Windows Explorer icon.

1. Right-click on your Desktop.

2. When the context menu appears, mouseover New and select Shortcut.

3. The Create Shortcut window will appear, input the following into the Type the location of the item textbox:
%SystemRoot%\explorer.exe shell:RecycleBinFolder

4. Click the Next button.

5. Input a name for the shortcut, such as Recycle Bin or Trash.

6. Click the Finish button.

7. The shortcut will appear on the Desktop, however, you will need to change the icon. Right-click the newly created shortcut and select Properties.

8. Click the Change Icon button.

9. Input the following in the Look for icons in this file textbox:

10. Press Enter on your keyboard.

11. Select the Recycle Bin icon. Click the OK button.

12. Now that your icon looks good, move the shortcut to your Documents library (or some other location).

13. Right-click the shortcut and select Pin to Taskbar.

14. The icon will now be on your Taskbar. Move it to the desired location.

An even better place to put it on your Taskbar is on the Quick Launch Bar.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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29 Responses to “Windows 7: Put a Recycle Bin Shortcut on the Taskbar”

  1. May 11, 2009 at 8:52 pm, Anonymous said:

    Another citation makes it on Congratulations and great job!!!!!!!


  2. May 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm, Sheeko said:

    the only problem with this solution is that the empty recycle bin option in the right click menu is no longer there …


  3. May 11, 2009 at 9:32 pm, Ryan said:

    Useless, IMHO. You can’t drag and drop files to it and you can’t right click to empty….


    • May 12, 2009 at 12:05 am, MrGroove said:



    • October 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm, Ben said:

      > Don’t you check the contents before emptying anyway?


  4. May 12, 2009 at 12:20 am, Anonymous said:

    it’s great informations, Thanks for your guides. i have learnt lots of experiences from your blogs. Thanks in advance


  5. May 12, 2009 at 5:31 am, technogran said:

    You have missed out how to get rid of the recycle bin once you have placed it on the taskbar


  6. May 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm, ascian said:

    This is silly, superfluous, and useless.

    Simply right-click the original Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and copy/create shortcut. I did this and put a Recycle Bin link in the base directories of all my hard drives for easy access,. You can also change these icons or pin them to the start menu/task bar/quick launch and they maintain full functionality like dragging files to them, or right-clicking and being able to empty the recycle bin.


    • June 03, 2009 at 10:53 pm, Matt said:

      Not only useless since you can’t drag files but also there are plenty of much easier and more elegant ways of achieving the same result. Ever heard about “Create shortcut” ? :)


  7. June 06, 2009 at 9:23 am, Jefferson said:

    The taskbar no show my icon. I move to taskbar but no add icon. Do you have some solution?


  8. August 03, 2009 at 10:39 pm, Peter Kay said:

    that would be amazing, if only you could empty it without actually opening it.


  9. November 23, 2009 at 1:19 am, Marius L. said:

    Put the following in a text file and save it as a reg key to get the old Empty Recycle Bin option on the context menu.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


  10. November 23, 2009 at 3:21 am, Rod said:

    Tried you instructions for moving an application from the desktop to the taskbar. Didn’t work for me. Have been using XP for 5+ years, and in fact dual boot my new HP HDX 18t notebook with W7, just so we can continue to work while figuring out how to configure w7. In XP, it is a simple matter of dragging an icon on the desktop to the taskbar, and positioning the stuff according to preference. I don’t ever recall the term “pin,” but maybe that is the term of art for putting tools on the task bar so the desktop is clear.

    Possibly the registry needs to be modified. Can you help?

    Trying to accomplish efficient usability, per POIMS…



  11. March 13, 2010 at 11:50 am, Anonymous said:

    just what i wanted thank you i love windows 7 :)


  12. March 30, 2010 at 8:27 pm, Anonymous said:

    yeah its great, i have done it

    Thanks a lot



  13. March 30, 2010 at 8:29 pm, Anonymous said:

    good work…


  14. May 30, 2010 at 5:29 pm, Natashia said:

    thank u ! it helped ! cheers :)


  15. December 24, 2010 at 5:14 am, Aikapan said:

    Silly… Just right-click ur recycle bin and make a direct shortcut… put this shortcut in a folder!
    The richtclick ur taskbar and add a toolbar and search this folder.
    Just disable “show title” and modify it a bit and u have got a working bin in ur taskbar!


  16. December 25, 2010 at 8:53 am, Preetesh said:

    thanks it is working


  17. May 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm, Craig Lee said:

    ¬†Aikapan, you’re a genius :)


  18. May 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm, Craig Lee said:

    Aikapan, you’re a genius :)


  19. December 05, 2011 at 9:25 am, maru said:

    thank you !!!


  20. March 29, 2012 at 7:26 am, Ehsan said:

    Its fine, but what is the use of it??


  21. May 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm, ALAGAR said:

    good article with easy understandig


  22. June 30, 2012 at 12:58 am, Sarah (Teenage Minimalist) said:

    Very helpful, thank you!!


  23. December 09, 2012 at 7:23 pm, Julius said:



  24. January 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm, Phillip Messersmith said:

    This article helped a lot. Thank you!


  25. February 02, 2013 at 12:21 pm, keith said:

    thaaaaanks a lot


  26. November 22, 2013 at 8:30 pm, Sakura said:

    Great job! The instructions were easy enough to follow, unlike many other websites, two thumbs up!


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