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Hide the Recycle Bin Icon Text on Windows Vista

The recycle bin is really obvious. We’ve been seeing the same thing since Windows 95, so having text on the icon to tell us what it is seems a little unnecessary. With a little registry patch, we can easily remove the text.

Just download the registry patch, unzip, and then double-click on the file. You’ll get a bunch of UAC prompts asking if you really want to do this.

After the patch has been added, right click on the desktop and choose Refresh, and you should see your new Recycle Bin icon without the text:

This is pretty sweet.

If you want to restore the Recycle Bin icon text, you can download this registry patch instead, unzip, and then double-click on the file. Your recycle bin text will go back to normal.

If you want to hide the text on regular desktop icons, you can follow this guide.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/17/07

Comments (17)

  1. jason

    How to you go back and put the text back in place after removing the recycling bin text

  2. The Geek

    I’ve updated the article with with instructions on how to put the icon back to normal.

  3. Daenyte

    I just used your other tip Alt-255 on Vista Ultimate and made the text on the Recycle Bin disappear.

  4. Jon

    excellent info. spent ages going through microsoft site trying to restore recycle bin without success….went to this site and restored it within seconds….thankyou.

  5. johnnyworkaholic

    i renamed icons on my desktop as instructed however i got a strange side effect.
    The “COMPUTER” item in my start menu disappeared. the tooltip stilll shows up and indicate that it is still COMPUTER but the text disappered. i tried reversing but it ddnt work. pls help.

  6. Wilco

    Use ALT + 255 to rename it and you have the same hihi

  7. XX

    or right click> rename and push the spacebar once.

  8. johnnyworkaholic

    renaming and undoing the rename of icons is not my problem. After i renamed icons, my MENU got a strange effect. The start MENU lost the text for MY COMPUTER. I reversed the renaming process but the Start MENU ddnt restore the txt lost. The txt in the START MENU “My Computer” is missing

  9. aaa

    Yeah.. just rename and type a space… lets make this harder than it is (for that is the PC way).

  10. Omar

    I accidently erase the recycle bin ico from my laptop. I want to restore it but I dont find it…

  11. Dan

    This works but I can not seem to rename the icon for network. Any ideas?

  12. Daniel

    Does it works in XP SP2 ?

  13. balaji

    what if i don’t like the term ”recycle bin” at all? i may not be a geek, but i, for sure, do hate this term. a recycle bin is something you use for dumping things which you need recycled, isn’t it? but you don’t “recycle” files/folders/etc in windows os. you trash it if you don’t need it. if at all you do need it back, then you simply restore it back. at no point, you ”recycle” it by any means! so microsoft’s naming convention is itself faulty. god save us geeks all, and hoping by it, i managed to hack shell32.dll and other related system files and renamed the term “recycle bin” to a more appropriate “trash”. that not only sounds fine but also leaves a more lasting impression on any user on my pc. i hope i’ve not said too much. excuse me mr. gates, if you’re listening on to this forum!

  14. Swooper

    Why a registry hack? I find that right clicking and renaming the recycle bin to “” or ” ” works just fine.

  15. whizzed

    I found that in windows 7 right clicking on the recycle bin then left clicking on rename the bin…just blank it out with the space bar…worked for me a minute ago

  16. Mindless Geek

    you can also easily right click recycle bin/rename, and ALT + 255 to have no text, and easily change it back by renaming it again.

  17. Chris

    personally, I just rename the recycle bin “Long term storage”

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