How to Hide or Delete the Recycle Bin Icon in Windows 7, 8, or 10

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I’ve never found the recycle bin on the desktop very useful, so I almost always disable it as one of the first things that I do. The only problem is that every new version of Windows makes it take more steps to get rid of it, and Windows 10 is even more confusing than the rest. Here’s how to hide it in any version of Windows.

Why they couldn’t let people just right-click and choose Delete like they did back in Vista I’ll never know.

Deleting the Recycle Bin Icon in Windows 10

Unfortunately Windows 10 makes getting rid of that Recycle Bin a lot more confusing for the average user — in fact, they’ve changed the location of the screen entirely. Thankfully we’ve figured it out for you.

First, right-click on the desktop and choose Personalize.

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Now select Themes on the left-hand menu, and then once you are there, you can select Desktop icon settings under the “Related Settings” section.

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And now you can uncheck the box for Recycle Bin and then click Apply at the bottom of the window to finally hide that Recycle Bin icon.

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Alternatively you can just hide all of your desktop icons by right-clicking on the desktop and clicking View -> Show desktop icons.

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Deleting the Recycle Bin from Windows 7 or Windows 8

Right-click on the desktop, choose Personalize, then choose Desktop Icon settings on the left-hand side.

Then simply remove the check from the box:

Note that you can also configure this from the Desktop Icon Settings in Personalization.

Deleting in Vista

Just right-click on the icon and select delete from the menu. It’s as simple as that.

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If you’ve removed or lost system icons on your desktop, you can restore them easily.

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.