Windows 7: Put a Recycle Bin Shortcut on the Taskbar

Posted May 11, 2009 by Rob Rogers in Windows 7

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.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

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  • Anonymous

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

  • Sheeko

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

  • Ryan

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

    • MrGroove


    • Ben

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • technogran

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

  • ascian

    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.

    • Matt

      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” ? πŸ™‚

  • Jefferson

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

  • Peter Kay

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

  • Marius L.

    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

  • Rod

    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…


  • Anonymous

    just what i wanted thank you i love windows 7 πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    yeah its great, i have done it

    Thanks a lot


  • Anonymous

    good work…

  • Natashia

    thank u ! it helped ! cheers πŸ™‚

  • Aikapan

    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!

  • Preetesh

    thanks it is working

  • Craig Lee

    Β Aikapan, you’re a genius πŸ™‚

  • Craig Lee

    Aikapan, you’re a genius πŸ™‚

  • maru

    thank you !!!

  • Ehsan

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


    good article with easy understandig

  • Sarah (Teenage Minimalist)

    Very helpful, thank you!!

  • Julius


  • Phillip Messersmith

    This article helped a lot. Thank you!

  • keith

    thaaaaanks a lot

  • Sakura

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