This article describes how to restore the Recycle Bin icon that has been deleted accidentally from the Desktop. This article applies to Windows Vista.

Restore Recycle Bin icon to the Desktop

  • Click Start, type Control desk.cpl,,@Web and press Enter
  • In the Desktop Icon Settings dialog, enable the Recycle Bin checkbox
  • Click OK

Another way to access the Desktop Icon Settings dialog is to right-click on the Desktop, click Personalize, and in the left pane, click Change desktop icons.

Editor's note: When you right-click on the Recycle Bin icon in Windows Vista RTM, there is a Delete option. Because of this, users may be tempted to click the Delete entry in an attempt to empty the Recycle Bin. That may be why the Recycle Bin icon disappeared in the first place. To remove the Delete option from the Recycle bin context menu, see my tip How to hide the "Delete" command from Recycle Bin context menu in Windows Vista.
Important: After restoring the Recycle Bin, you may also experience another problem with the Recycle Bin icon not refreshing correctly. Resolution for this problem is posted in this article Recycle Bin icon does not refresh automatically.