Where is the Recycle Bin in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you recently upgraded to Windows 11 and can’t find your Recycle Bin? No need to panic! It’s still there, just maybe not where you’re used to looking. In this article, we’ll guide you through the simple steps to locate your Recycle Bin in Windows 11, so you can manage your deleted files with ease.

Step by Step Tutorial: Finding the Recycle Bin in Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to do. We’ll be locating the Recycle Bin in Windows 11, which might be in a different spot than in previous versions of Windows. Follow these steps, and you’ll have access to your deleted files in no time.

Step 1: Click on the Desktop

The Recycle Bin is typically found on the desktop. Click anywhere on your desktop that doesn’t have an icon to begin your search.

Sometimes, the Recycle Bin icon can be hidden if you’ve inadvertently changed some settings or if your desktop is cluttered with many icons. If it’s not immediately visible, don’t worry, we’ll find it.

Step 2: Right-click and Select ‘Personalize’

After clicking on the desktop, right-click and look for the option that says ‘Personalize.’ Click on it to proceed to the next step.

The ‘Personalize’ option will take you to the settings where you can customize your desktop’s appearance, including which icons are displayed.

Step 3: Navigate to ‘Themes’

In the ‘Personalization’ settings, you’ll see several options on the left side. Click on ‘Themes’ to continue.

The ‘Themes’ section allows you to customize your overall theme settings, including desktop icons like the Recycle Bin.

Step 4: Click on ‘Desktop icon settings’

Once you’re in ‘Themes,’ look for a link that says ‘Desktop icon settings’ and click on it.

This will take you to the window where you can choose which icons you want to be displayed on your desktop.

Step 5: Check the Box Next to ‘Recycle Bin’

In the ‘Desktop Icons’ settings, you’ll see a list of icons. Find ‘Recycle Bin’ and check the box next to it, then click ‘Apply.’

By checking the box, you’re telling Windows that you want the Recycle Bin icon to be visible on your desktop. Clicking ‘Apply’ will make this change take effect.

After you complete the steps outlined above, you’ll see the Recycle Bin appear on your desktop. It’s as simple as that! Now, you can drag and drop files to delete them or restore files that you’ve previously deleted.

Tips for Managing the Recycle Bin in Windows 11

When it comes to the Recycle Bin, there are a few tips and tricks that can make your life easier:

  • To quickly empty the Recycle Bin, right-click on its icon and select ‘Empty Recycle Bin.’
  • If you can’t find a deleted file, remember that files in the Recycle Bin are sorted by the date they were deleted.
  • The Recycle Bin has a size limit, so periodically check to ensure it’s not full, which would prevent new files from being stored there.
  • You can adjust the size limit of the Recycle Bin by right-clicking on its icon, selecting ‘Properties,’ and changing the settings under the ‘Custom size’ option.
  • If you prefer a keyboard shortcut, pressing ‘Windows + D’ will take you to the desktop where you can access the Recycle Bin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I delete the Recycle Bin from my desktop?

You can remove the Recycle Bin icon from your desktop by unchecking it in the ‘Desktop Icons’ settings, but you can’t delete the Recycle Bin itself as it’s a system feature.

How do I restore a deleted file from the Recycle Bin?

To restore a file, open the Recycle Bin, right-click on the file you want to restore, and select ‘Restore.’ The file will return to its original location.

What happens if I delete something from the Recycle Bin?

Once you delete something from the Recycle Bin, it’s permanently removed from your computer and cannot be restored from there.

Can I bypass the Recycle Bin and permanently delete a file?

Yes, you can hold down ‘Shift’ while deleting a file to bypass the Recycle Bin and permanently delete it.

Is there a limit to how much the Recycle Bin can hold?

Yes, the Recycle Bin has a size limit, which you can customize. Once it’s full, the oldest items will be deleted to make room for new ones.


  1. Click on the Desktop
  2. Right-click and Select ‘Personalize’
  3. Navigate to ‘Themes’
  4. Click on ‘Desktop icon settings’
  5. Check the Box Next to ‘Recycle Bin’ and click ‘Apply’


Navigating a new operating system like Windows 11 can be a bit daunting, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty straightforward. The Recycle Bin is a crucial tool for managing your deleted files, and finding it should no longer be a mystery. Remember that keeping your Recycle Bin tidy and not too full is key to ensuring your system runs smoothly. With the tips and tricks we’ve covered, you’ll be a Recycle Bin pro in no time.

So, go ahead and take control of your digital trash – your organized desktop awaits! And remember, if you ever upgrade or change your system, take a moment to orient yourself with where the Recycle Bin is in Windows 11 or any future versions. It’s always better to know where your deleted files end up, right?

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