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.
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 Windows 8 and 8.1
Related Q&A from Brien Posey
It's critical for an organization to know what data it needs to retain and where to store it. Some data is required for retention by law, so a ... Continue Reading
Decentralized storage technology can be confusing and complicated. These best practices, however, can help with implementation in enterprise IT ... Continue Reading
Organizational resilience encompasses everything a company needs to run in times of crisis. These examples show how businesses handle tough ... Continue Reading