How To Hide Or Remove Recycle Bin From Desktop On Windows 11 PC

The Recycle Bin often contains sensitive files that aren’t meant to be seen by unauthorized eyes. In a public setting such as a school or workplace, the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop can easily lead to such an invasion of your privacy.

Even if you do regularly empty the Recycle Bin, the plethora of icons on Windows 11 can give off a cluttered feel. So, from an aesthetic point of view, removing the Recycle Bin may be the way to go for a cleaner look.

The first two methods are easy to follow and will suffice for most users, but in case they don’t work, you can always remove the recycle bin via the Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor.

How To Hide Or Remove Recycle Bin From Desktop On Windows 11

Remove via Personalization Settings

The personalization settings, as the name suggests, help you customize how your desktop looks and feels according to your preferences. You can customize the icons or remove them. We’ve listed the steps to do so for the Recycle Bin below:

Press Win + R, type desk.cpl ,,5 and press Enter.

Alternatively, you can also right-click on the desktop and select Personalize or manually go to Settings > Personalization > Themes.


personalization-themes-windows-11

In the Related Settings section, click on the Desktop Icon Settings option.


windows-11-desktop-icon-settings

Uncheck the Recycle Bin option and press OK to apply the changes.


desktop-icon-settings-recycle-bin

Turn Off Show Desktop Icons

You can also disable the Show Desktop Icons option to remove the Recycle Bin from the desktop. The caveat with this is that it hides all the icons from your desktop, not just the Recycle Bin. Nonetheless, there are scenarios where this method is useful, so here are the necessary steps:

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Right-click on the desktop and select View.

Toggle the Show Desktop Icons OFF to hide the recycle bin along with everything else.


show-desktop-icons

Modify Group Policy

The Group Policy Editor allows users to modify various important settings and policies. In this case, specifically, you can use it to remove most occurrences of the Recycle Bin icon. Here are the steps to do so:

Note: The Local Group Policy Editor is not accessible by default on Windows 11 Home Edition. So, users on that OS version can either enable the editor manually or use the Registry method from the section below.

Press Win + R, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter.

Navigate to: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop

Double-click the Remove Recycle Bin icon from desktop policy.


remove-recycle-bin-icon-from-desktop-policy

Enable it and press OK to save the changes.


remove-recycle-bin-icon-from-desktop

Restart your PC. Upon rebooting, the Recycle Bin icon should be removed from the desktop.

Modify Registry Values

You can use a Shell Object’s Folder ID, i.e., GUID, to create a value in the HideDesktopIcons key. As you probably guessed, this hides its icon from the desktop. We highly recommend backing up the registry before proceeding with the steps listed below:

Press Win + R, type regedit, and press Enter.

Navigate to: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\

Right-click the NewStartPanel key and select New > DWORD Value.


new-start-panel

Enter {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E} as the name.

Double-click the GUID from the previous step, enter 1 in the Value Data field, and press OK.


newstartpanel-recycle-bin

Right-click the ClassicStartMenu key and select New > DWORD Value.

Repeat Steps 4 – 5. The Recycle Bin should no longer be present on your desktop.

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To bring the Recycle Bin icon back, set the GUID’s Value Data from Steps 5 and 7 to 0.


classic-start-menu

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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