Desktop Remove & Restore Windows XP Recycle Bin

If you are going for a clean desktop, you may want to remove the recycle bin. A clutter free desktop looks great when you are using a dock. In Windows XP, it can be a pain to remove the recycle bin from the desktop and in this guide you’ll learn the easiest and best way.

Please Note: This guide involves working with the Windows Registry. If this is your first time editing the registry, please read this guide to get you started. Learn how to backup and restore your registry here.

Download the Registry Hack

If you don’t feel confident working with the Registry Editor, you can download this registry hack.

The Zip file comes with four registry files, which do the following:

  • RemoveRecycleBinXPMenu.reg: Removes the recycle bin (when using the XP style start menu)
  • RestoreRecycleBinXPMenu.reg: Restores the recycle bin (when using the XP style start menu)
  • RemoveRecycleBinClassicMenu.reg: Removes the recycle bin (when using the Classic start menu)
  • RestoreRecycleBinClassicMenu.reg: Restores the recycle bin (when using the Classic start menu)

Apply the Registry Change Manually

Remove the Recycle Bin

  • Start Registry Editor (Start > Run > “regedit”)
  • In the left panel, navigate to
  • If you are using the XP style start menu: In the left panel, navigate to
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel\
  • If you are using the Classic style start menu: In the left panel, navigate to
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\ClassicStartMenu\
  • Create a new DWORD value named {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
  • Set the value to 1 to disable the recycle bin
  • Set the value to 0 to re-enable the recycle bin

In order for this to take effect, you may need to restart your system.

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix them.

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