Recycle Bin

ByLine
How to Fix the Recycle Bin Icon Not Refreshing When Emptied
Synopsis
If the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop does not refresh back to a empty icon when you empty it and stays the full icon, or the other way around, then this will show you how to fix this refreshing problem in Vista and Windows 7.
How to Fix the Recycle Bin Icon Not Refreshing When Emptied


information   Information
The Recycle Bin provides a safety net when deleting files or folders. When you delete any of these items from your hard disk, Windows places it in the Recycle Bin and the Recycle Bin icon changes from empty to full.

If the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop does not refresh back to a empty icon when you empty it and stays the full icon, or the other way around, then this will show you how to fix this refreshing problem in Vista and Windows 7.
Note   Note

  • A temporary solution is to click on a empty space on the desktop and press F5 to refresh the Recycle Bin icon.
  • If you cannot Empty Recycle Bin or delete a file or folder inside the Recycle Bin, then see: How to Fix a Corrupted Recycle Bin in Vista
  • Removable drives do not use or have a Recycyle Bin. Files deleted from removable drives are permanently deleted instead.
Tip   Tip
This usually happens when the icon has been deleted by mistake and restored. For more on this, see : How to Restore the Recycle Bin back to the Desktop in Vista and Windows 7


EXAMPLE: Recycle Bin Stuck at Full or Empty
Full.jpg Empty.jpg




OPTION ONE
Fix Default Recycle Bin Icon Using a REG File Download

1. Click on the download button below to download the file below.​
Fix_Recycle_Bin.reg
download

2. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
3. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click Merge.​
4. Click on Run, Continue (UAC-vista) or Yes (UAC-Windows 7), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
5. When done, you can delete the .reg file (On Desktop).​
NOTE: You may need to refresh (F5) the desktop to notice the change.​





OPTION TWO
Fix Default Recycle Bin Icon Manually in Registry Editor

NOTE: You will just be temporarily changing the Recycle Bin icons to something else, then change them back to the default icons.
1. Right click on a empty area of the desktop and click Personalize. (See screenshot below)​
Right_Click.jpg

2. Click on Change desktop icons in the upper left corner. (See screenshot below)​
Change.jpg

3. Click on the Recycle Bin (Empty) icon in the middle. (See screenshot below)​
4. Click on the Change Icon button.​
Desktop_Empty.jpg

5. In the change icon window, click on the Recycle Bin (Full) icon. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For 2nd time thru after step 11, choose empty icon.
6. Click on OK.​
Full_Icon.jpg

7. Click on the Recycle Bin (Full) icon in the middle. (See screenshot below)​
8. Click on the Change Icon button.​
Desktop_Full.jpg

9. In the change icon window, click on the Recycle Bin Empty icon. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: For 2nd time thru after step 11, choose full icon.
10. Click on OK.​
Empty_Icon.jpg

11. Click on Apply. (Now your Recycle Bin icons are backwards)​
NOTE: For 2nd time thru, go to step 13.
12. Now go back and do steps 3 to 11 again, but time you will be picking the correct Recycle Bin icons for the empty (step 5) and full (step 9).​
13. Click on OK to go back to desktop.​
14. The Recycle Bin will now refresh again on it's own.​





OPTION THREE
Fix Custom Recycle Bin Icon Manually in Registry Editor

NOTE: This will show you how to fix the icon refreshing problem when you have used custom icons for the Recycle Bin in Vista and Windows 7.

That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Paulmallory,

If you already tried to temporarily changing both Recycle Bin icons to something else and then changed them back to the default icons, then you might try running a sfc /scannow command.

How to Repair and Verify the Integrity of Vista System Files with System File Checker


If nothing else, this will fix the problem.

How To Perform a Repair Installation For Vista

Shawn
Thank you Shawn for the registry fix as it's fixed my bin. I lost mine when I was transferring some stuff to a flash drive and for some reason dragging a folder pushed all my desktop icons over(one went under the gadgets sidebar bit and I lost my bin, it just disappeared off the desktop and when I restored it from the change desktop icons bit it lost its full/empty bit. I tried the manual way you suggested but this didn't work and so I joined the site(even though I use Vista Home Premium 32bit) and your registry fix has fixed my bins full/empty bit. Can I put your registry fix on the Vista forum in case people can't find this site?
 
Your welcome Slimreaper,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Most of these tutorials are for both the 32 bit and 64 bit Vista. You can tell for what versions by looking towards the upper right corner of the tutorial at the Applies to box.

You can place the reg inside our forum if you like, but a link to this tutorial may be better so that they would have instructions to go with it.

Shawn
 
Hi Brink,

Thanks for the reply and I saved the page so I could get a link and will post this on the other Vista forum that I've had to visit a few times since getting my computer. I was getting ready to living with a recycle bin that didn't know empty from full when I thought I'd give it a go and see if anybody else had this problem and found your brilliant fix. I'm sure I'm not alone in being a non technical computer user who gets annoyed with some of the little glitches Vista has, like who on earth thought we'd want to choose to delete our recycle bins!!!! Thanks for helping me fix mine it was much appreciated and if I need anymore help getting used to Vista's quirks and am bound to mess up again will visit here as well as the other Vista forum as both are brilliant mine of information and help for us non technically trained users.
 
Last edited:
Your welcome ZaBaka, and welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

I'm glad to hear that you were able to fix it manually despite the REG not working for you.

Shawn
 
Hi..

I have faced this issue and then found out that i had a Recycle bin Shortcut on the Desktop that never gets refreshed.

You need to have the actual Recycle bin icon that you can put by following these steps.

1. Right click on Desktop > Personalize.

2. Click the Change Desktop Icons link on the left hand side.

3. Now you can just re-check the checkboxes for whichever icons you want on the desktop.

4. Now this new icon of Recycle bin that would be without the small Arrow on it will be working fine.

Try it, it works
 
this isn't working for me guys -.-

when i try to delete my stuff and i go to the recycle bin and it doesn't show up any one having these problems?
 
Hello OmegaPrime,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

Just so I am clear, you delete a file but it is not in the Recycle Bin to be emptied and the file is actually deleted still.

If this is the case, then you may have set the Vista to delete files immediately instead of placing them in the Recycle Bin first. Step 4 in this tutorial will show you how to fix this, if this is the case.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/72910-recycle-bin-delete-immediately.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
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