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For many users, the Recycle Bin typically found on the Microsoft Windows Desktop is an important facet of the graphical user interface and the overall operating system experience. However, under certain conditions which we will not go into here, the Recycle Bin has been known to disappear from the Windows Desktop. This quirky behavior is no big deal for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users because the fix is just a few clicks away under Desktop Prosperities.
However, for Windows XP users there is no simple way to add back the Recycle Bin to the Desktop. They have to resort to a Windows Registry file edit. In this How do I gallery you will find out what to edit to restore the Recycle Bin icon to the Windows Desktop.
Note: The Windows Registry is a vital component of the operating system. A corrupted Windows Registry could result in a PC that will not boot to into Windows. Back up the Windows Registry before you doing any edits.
To start the Registry Editor in Windows XP, type regedit into the Run Dialog box.
Edit the key
In the right-hand pane, double click the Default entry to reveal a dialog box like the one shown. Change the text in the Edit String box to read Recycle Bin and click OK.
Return of the Recycle Bin
You should now have a key with an entry similar to the one shown. Close the editor and for the sake of making sure your registry edits were successful, reboot your PC to restart the operating system. When the Windows Desktop reloads you should have an active Recycle Bin.