JRB - Fotolia
When you accidentally delete a file or folder on a PC, the Windows Recycle Bin is usually the place where you go to get it back. Ironically, it is possible to accidentally delete the Recycle Bin itself -- at least in some versions of Windows.
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
In Windows 8, Microsoft has taken steps to prevent the Recycle Bin from being accidentally deleted. If you right click on the Recycle Bin, you will notice that there is no Delete option. Similarly, selecting the Recycle Bin icon and pressing the Delete key has no effect. It hasn't always been this way however.
Administrators working for organizations that still run Windows XP may periodically encounter situations in which a user has accidentally deleted the Recycle Bin. Windows XP did nothing to protect the Recycle Bin, nor did Windows Vista. Of course this leaves the question of how you can get the Recycle Bin back.
Restoring the Recycle Bin is normally easy to do. In most cases you can open the Control Panel, click on Personalization (some versions of Windows call this option Appearance and Personalization) and then click on Change Desktop Icons. You can then use the Recycle Bin checkbox to enable the Recycle Bin. This technique works with all modern versions of Windows. Even though Windows 8 makes it difficult to accidentally delete the Recycle Bin, it is still theoretically possible to do.
If this method doesn't work, then you may be able to restore the Recycle Bin by modifying the Registry. Microsoft provides a registry hack for restoring the Recycle Bin on Windows XP systems. If you decide to use this method, then it is important to create a full system backup before doing so. Modifying the system registry is dangerous -- if you make a mistake while editing the registry, you can disable or destroy the operating system.
How to close the Recycle Bin
Dig Deeper on Microsoft Windows 8 operating system
Related Q&A from Brien Posey
The population of users who need 3D NAND flash chips on their computers is limited to those who run extremely large workloads, such as big ...continue reading
Desktop management was more straightforward before cloud computing came along. With cloud-based desktop management tools, organizations must choose ...continue reading
While tape and disk backups have their own advantages, object storage for backup has them beat in a couple of areas. Object storage, for example, can...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.