How to change the Recycle Bin icon

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Swapping your Recycle Bin icon on Windows 10 for a different one is quite an easy process and our guide provides the steps on how to do it.
  • It's important to make sure that the new icons are a .ico file, otherwise, you cannot change the Recycle Bin icons.
  • If you want more articles on the topic, check out our dedicated Recycle Bin hub.
  • If you're looking for articles on Windows 10 updates and how-to guides, check our Windows 10 How-To page category.
change recycle bin icon windows 10

The Recycle Bin has been a Windows feature for over two decades now. It offers a safety net for users and is a very useful tool for recovering accidentally deleted files in Windows 10.

Recycle Bin is displayed as two icons on Windows 10, one for when the bin is empty, and the other one for when it contains files.


How do I change the Recycle Bin icon?

1. Changing the icons using Desktop Icon Settings

  1. Head over to the bottom-left of your Taskbar, select the Search bar, then type in Themes.
  2. Choose the first optionsearch for themes windows 10
  3. Click on Desktop icon settings on the right side of the screenwindows 10 desktop icon settings
  4. Choose the Recycle Bin (full) icon, then select Change iconchange the recycle bin full icon
  5. You can now select another Windows icon in its place or click Browse and choose another image (in this case the Windows 7 Recycle bin icon).
  6. To save it, click OKchoose new recycle bin full icon
  7. Repeat the same steps by choosing the Recycle Bin (empty) icon, then choose Change iconchange the recycle bin empty icon
  8. Choose the Recycle Bin (empty icon), then click Change icon.
    • The new icon needs to be a .ico file, as Windows will not accept other image file typesnew recycle bin empty icon
  9. Select Apply, then click OK.
    • Your Recycle Bin icons should now be changed to the images you selectedapply change icon windows 10

2. Restore the icons to the default ones

  1. Type in Themes again in your Search bar, then click on the first option
  2. Head over to Desktop icon settings
  3. Select the Recycle Bin (full) icon, then click on Restore Defaultrestore the default icon windows 10
  4. Repeat the same action with the Recycle Bin (empty) icon
  5. Click OK to save the settings and exit the menu
  6. Your Recycle Bin icons should now be set back to the default Windows 10 ones

Changing the Recycle Bin icons is fairly straightforward and not very difficult for a user to do. The methods presented above will work for changing any Windows 10 icon to a different one or changing it to the default one.


Is your Windows 10 Recycle Bin icon not refreshing? Check out our troubleshooting guide on solving this issue.


FAQ: Learn more about Recycle Bin

  • How do I open the Recycle Bin?

To open Recycle Bin, simply double-click on the icon on your desktop. If your icon is not there, head over to Windows Search and type Recycle Bin, then select the first option.

  • Why can’t I find my Recycle Bin?

If you cannot see the Recycle Bin icon on your Windows desktop, then head to Windows Search and type Themes and click on the first option. Select Desktop icon settings and make sure Recycle Bin is marked as checked, then click OK.

  • How do I permanently delete what is in my Recycle Bin?

To permanently empty your Recycle Bin, right-click on your Recycle Bin icon, then select Empty Recycle Bin.