How to Access The Recycle Bin From The Start Menu In Windows 7

Groovy Windows 7 Tips, Tricks, Tutorials, How-To, Solutions, Questions, Answers, FAQ, and HelpSince installing Windows 7, I’ve been using the Recycle Bin as opposed to disabling it as I used to do with XP.  One thing that gets in the way, however, is that if you have several windows open and desktop icons hidden, it can be a real pain to get to the recycle bin.  With this Windows trick, we’ll add a new way to access the bin quickly and easily from the Start Menu.

How To Add The Windows Recycle Bin To the Start Menu or Run Dialog

1. Click the Windows Start Menu Orb and Paste in the following location:

%AppData%MicrosoftWindowsStart Menu

Now Press Enter or Click the Programs link.

access the start menu folder from the start menu in windows 7

2. Explorer should open up. Right-Click anywhere in the blank area in the window and Select New > Shortcut from the context menu.

create a new shortcut in windows 7

3. In the location box Paste in the following extension syntax:

explorer.exe shell:RecycleBinFolder

Press Next.

add the recycle bin explorer shelle extension as a windows 7 shortcut

4. Type in a name for the shortcut, I just use the default name, Recycle Bin. Click Finish.

name a shortcut in windows 7

Now the shortcut is done, and you could stop here, but I like to give it a finished look by adding the official Windows 7 Recycle Bin icon to it.  Let’s change that now.

5. Right-Click your newly created shortcut and Select Properties from the context menu.

adjust properties of a shortcut in windows 7

6. Click the Shortcut tab and then Click the Change Icon button.

change a shortcut icon in windows 7

7. By default, the icon selector is in the wrong folder. The icons you are looking for are stored in the imageres DLL file.  Paste this location into the white box:


The Recycle Bin icon is 1/4 the way over, Select it and Click OKClick OK again to save and exit the shortcut properties.

find the imageres.dll file in windows 7

Now you can access the Windows 7 Recycle Bin whenever you like by just opening up the start menu and typing recycle.  You can also Right-Click it and pin it to the start menu or taskbar now as well.


Enjoy the groovy quick access to the Recycle Bin.  Don’t forget if you quickly want to access the Start Menu, you can use the Ctrl+Shift+Esc shortcut keys .

get to the recycle bin from the windows 7 start menu

Running Windows XP Or Prefer To Use Run?

As another option, if you are running Windows XP or prefer to access the Recycle Bin from the Run dialog, place this same shortcut into the %SystemRoot%System32 folder and rename it to recycle.

put the recycle bin in the windows 7 system32 folder

Once you’ve placed it in the System32 folder, all you have to do is open up Run and Type in recycle to access the Recycle Bin.  To quickly access the run dialog you can use the shortkey WindowsKey+R. 

run the recycle bin in windows 7



  1. shockersh

    March 25, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Ok I’ll bite.

    In the past I always had to un-hide my icons if I wanted to use the recycle bin so nice tip.

    • MrGroove

      April 2, 2010 at 9:16 am

      Your welcome Shocker ;)

  2. alpipego

    March 26, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Thanks for the tip. Is there anyway though to put a ‘fully functional’ Recycle Bin on the taskbar? With the right-click menu, changing icon for empty and full… etc.
    Best wishes from Germany!

  3. hbsurfer

    January 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

    i cannot get the option of new shortcut to pop up ONLY new folder!
    what can i do?

  4. hbsurfer

    January 16, 2012 at 10:42 am

    oh and it doesnt open explorer. i have to hit more results for that.

  5. RM25483

    February 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Ctrl+Esc is Start Menu

    Ctrl+Shift+Esc is Task Manager

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