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Windows: Remove the recycle bin icon

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#1 Matthew.


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Posted 08 December 2006 - 03:18 PM

Removing the Recyle Bin Icon (XP Home)
(see end of tutorial is using XP Pro)

So you've just installed the sexiest (another crappy personification for you!) theme and your desktops looking better than ever, but there's one thing in your way....

Ever wanted to get rid of the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop? Some may wish to just remove it because they do not use it, others because they use a dock or similar widget type program that has it's own icon....or maybe just because it looks crap!

For whatever reason you may want to do this, Microsoft doesn't make it straight forward! You can't just hit delete, you definitely can't just hide it and you can't exactly drag it into itself can you?

So how do you do it?
Well, as with most things it can be done through editing th registry. This can be scary for novice users so this tutorial will guide you through it step by step so you don't make a mistake!

Before we begin:
You will need to open the registry editor. The easiest way to do this is by clicking start -> run -> and type i "regedit" (without the quotes).

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Step One:
The first and most important step is something you will have read many times if you follow many of these type of tutorial, back up your registry!
Why? Well, in case anything goes wrong. It's quite easy to make a mistake and delete an important key, so make sure you safeguard your computer from you!

To do this you will need to navigate to File -> Export and save it in a relevant place with an appropriate name (i also recommend a date/time)
Make sure "All" is selected under "Export Range" and that you are saving the file as a .reg.
These are both correct by default but it's always best to glance over them.

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Step Two
Now we need to navigate using the left window pane to:

And click on the following key:

You can now optionally exportthis key by right clicking and selecting export. This file will need to be kept in order to replace the recycle bin.

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Step Three
We can now delete the selected key by right clicking and selecting 'delete' or by simply hitting 'Del' on the keyboard.

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The result:
So that's it! Not as hard as you thought huh?
Now go back to your desktop CTRL+D and you will see that the icon is gone! If it's not don't worry, all you need to do is refresh the desktop by pressing F5 or right clicking and selecting refresh.

But wait! I want it back!
Well that's easy! Remember that export we made earlier? Simply locate the file and double click it! Remember to select yes to add the information to the registry.

Didn't export or make a backup? Don't worry, all you need to do is navigate back to the key
and create a new key named

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Source files:
Recycle bin restore: http://www.3bigtrees...files/rcbin.reg

Using Windows XP Professional?
...Well then things get even easier! Windows XP Professional includes a config tool called gpedit.msc which can do the job for you.

1. Go to start -> run -> enter "gpedit.msc" without the quotes
2. Navigate to 'User configuration'
3. Navigate to 'Administrative Templates'
4. Select 'Desktop'
5. Find 'Remove Recycle Bin icon on the desktop'
6. Double click or right click -> properties
7. Select 'Enable' and click OK.


Any questions/comments or anything else please reply below and someone will post back to you :P


Edited by matthewJ, 08 December 2006 - 03:56 PM.

#2 Matthew.


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Posted 08 December 2006 - 05:18 PM

Yeah i needed a break from maths tonight so i decided to do this, heh.

#3 α∂αмяoss


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Posted 16 June 2007 - 12:54 PM

Wow, nice. I've always wondered how to remove the stupid icon as i already have it in my dock-bar :P
Thanks anyways :D

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