Where is the Recycle Bin in Windows 10? 9 ways to open it

The Windows 10 Recycle Bin is a second chance to recover files or folders you previously deleted from your computer or device. But to locate any discarded items, you first need to open the Recycle Bin folder. This tutorial answers the question “Where is the Recycle Bin in Windows 10?”, letting you choose the most comfortable of these nine ways to reach the Windows 10 Recycle Bin location:

1. Use the Recycle Bin shortcut from the Windows 10 Desktop

By default, the Windows 10 Recycle Bin should be present in the upper-left corner of your Desktop. We find this the easiest way to access the Recycle Bin. Find the icon on your Desktop, then either select it and press Enter on your keyboard, or double-click or double-tap on it to open the folder. Alternatively, you can also right-click or press-and-hold on the icon to open a contextual menu. Click or tap on Open.

Open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from the Desktop

TIP: If the Recycle Bin icon is not shown on your Desktop, we included some ways to recover it in our tutorial: The Windows 10 Recycle Bin: All you need to know.

2. Search Windows 10 for the Recycle Bin

You can always count on the Windows 10 search to bring back the appropriate results. Insert “recycle bin” in your taskbar’s search field, and then click or tap on the appropriate result or on Open from the right side of the search box.

Search for the Recycle Bin in Windows 10

3. Open the Recycle Bin using its Start Menu shortcut

While, by default, the Recycle Bin doesn’t have a Start Menu shortcut, you can pin it there just like you would any other shortcut.

Right-click or press-and-hold on the Recycle Bin icon on your Desktop, and then click or tap on “Pin to Start.

Pin the Recycle Bin to the Start Menu

Your new shortcut is added to the tile section of the Start Menu, and you can now use it to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin.

Add Recycle Bin to your Start Menu

4. Use File Explorer’s address bar to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin

The Windows 10 Recycle Bin location can be reached using File Explorer, by following the next steps. Open File Explorer and click or tap on an empty area in your address bar to edit it.

Press on your address bar to edit it

Type “recycle bin” in the address bar, and then hit Enter on your keyboard or click or tap on the Recycle Bin result displayed underneath to access the folder.

Insert Recycle Bin and hit Enter

You can also click or tap on the first “>” (greater than sign) from File Explorer’s address bar.

Press the > sign

This opens a menu where you can access the Recycle Bin by clicking or tapping on it.

Access the Recycle Bin

Alternatively, select the Desktop option from the menu.

Select Desktop

This opens the Desktop folder, from which you can also access the Recycle Bin.

Access Recycle Bin from File Explorer

NOTE: Keep in mind that the Desktop folder displays the Recycle Bin and the other locations regardless of whether they’re actually visible on your Windows 10 Desktop. If having them on your Desktop sounds like a good idea, read How to restore default Windows shortcuts and their icons.

5. Open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from File Explorer

All the files you delete are displayed in the main Recycle Bin folder, but each partition of your hard drive has a Recycle Bin. You can use this folder to access the Windows 10 Recycle Bin, but the process is a bit more complicated.

First, make sure that you can see the hidden system protected files in Windows 10. Then, use File Explorer to access This PC > Windows (C:). A folder called $Recycle.Bin is displayed. Open it.

The previously hidden $Recycle.Bin folder

NOTE: The Recycle Bin is displayed on all the drives of your PC, not only on C:, so the path we used could easily become This PC > D:.

When you open the $Recycle.Bin folder, you can see the Windows 10 Recycle Bin folder.

The Recycle Bin in File Explorer

6. Access the Recycle Bin location using the Run window

You can also use the Run window to access the Windows 10 Recycle Bin location. First, use the keyboard shortcut Win + R or another way to open Run. Then, insert the command shell:desktop and either press the Enter key, or click or tap the OK button.

Use the Run window to access the Recycle Bin

If the Desktop window that opens next looks familiar, that’s because we also accessed it from File Explorer’s address bar in the fourth section of this tutorial. You can see the Windows 10 Recycle Bin displayed in it.

The Desktop window in File Explorer

You can also open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin directly from the Run window by inserting a slightly longer command: shell:RecycleBinFolder.

Insert the command to open the Recycle Bin

Press OK or Enter on your keyboard, and the Recycle Bin immediately opens.

7. Use File Explorer’s Quick access to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin

If you use File Explorer often, you might want to open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin more easily from it. You can create a Recycle Bin shortcut in File Explorer’s Quick access. Grab the Recycle Bin icon by pressing-and-holding on it, and then drag and drop it onto the File Explorer’s shortcut displayed on your taskbar. The “Pin to File Explorer” message is displayed.

Release the Recycle Bin onto the File Explorer shortcut

You can then see a pane with your Pinned and Frequent locations. The Recycle Bin is added to the list.

The Recycle Bin is displayed among the Pinned locations

You can now open the Windows 10 Recycle Bin from the Quick access shortcuts in File Explorer.

The Recycle Bin is pinned to Quick access

8. Access the Recycle Bin from its taskbar shortcut

In Windows 10, you can create a shortcut for the Recycle Bin and pin it to the taskbar. The process is a bit complicated, and we go over it in detail in 9 ways to pin shortcuts to the Windows 10 taskbar.

9. Open the Recycle Bin from PowerShell

You can also start PowerShell, and type the command: start shell:RecycleBinFolder. Don’t forget to press Enter on your keyboard, and the Recycle Bin is opened in File Explorer.

Opening the Recycle Bin from PowerShell

How do you prefer to access the Windows 10 Recycle Bin?

We prefer using our Desktop shortcut to interact with the Recycle Bin folder. However, we do sometimes use File Explorer’s address bar to reach the Windows 10 Recycle Bin location also. What about you? Which way to access the Recycle Bin do you prefer? Let us know in a comment below.