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Tech Tip of the Week: Place a Fully Functional Recycle Bin on your Windows 7 Taskbar

By Jos ยท 38 replies
Sep 15, 2009
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  1. By default, Windows Vista and 7 strip the desktop of all icons but the Recycle Bin. Try as you may, ignoring this lone icon is impossible. You can hide it in just a few seconds, but at the cost of losing quick access to deleted files. You could also drag the Recycle Bin icon to the taskbar, but then it will appear pinned under Windows Explorer -- requiring an extra click to open and offering half the functionality.

    This week's tip: Place a Fully Functional Recycle Bin on your Windows 7 Taskbar
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Funny you should say this, but I recently took a penchant for having a desktop with no icons; only thing is you have to create shortcuts to the things on the quick launch toolbar with Vista and XP. In XP, I couldn't seem to get rid of the recycle bin at all.
    This new "clean" look just feels better, for some reason.
    When I get Windows 7 I will apply the above tip.
  3. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    or you can just use fences :) http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    cant you recognize when im being a smart a**! :p:haha::wave:
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

    Haha, nope I failed to see that (obviously). Sarcasm just doesn't carry well through text sometimes.
  7. JDoors

    JDoors TS Rookie Posts: 62

    Oooo! I've kept a clean desktop since Windows '98SE. Well, back then it was out of necessity (to maximize available resources), but I've kept that penchant ever since (currently have just two icons on the desktop). This tip will ROCK when W7 arrives (even if it is a little complicated). Thanks.
  8. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

    You're very welcome JDoors. Is there anything in specific that we could have done differently to make it less complicated? Putting the tip into action isn't as convoluted as it may seem. Essentially, you just bring out the Quick Launch bar and drag your Recycle Bin onto it. The rest of the tip is us tweaking the Quick Launch bar's looks.
  9. MaXtor

    MaXtor TS Booster Posts: 111   +19

    Such a simple idea, I'm surprised I didn't think of it. Thanks, now my desktop is free of all icons. :)
  10. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt TS Rookie

    Nice post. Using your method, I have a nice Recycle Bin on my taskbar.

    Instead of deleting the icons that already existed in Quick Launch, though, I simply moved them to the desktop - that way, if I need to restore them I have access to them. Since W7 has a built in function to hide all icons on the desktop in the first place, it is a lot easier to just hide them as opposed to trying to watch for them and moving / deleting them when software decide to create desktop icons for you without your actual consent.
  11. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

    @johnlgalt: Not a bad idea. If you wanted to take it a step further, you could right click on the Quick Launch bar and select "Open Folder." This is the destination where your Quick Launch shortcuts reside.
    You could then create a new folder there, toss all of your unused shortcuts inside it and mark the folder as hidden (right click on it, "Properties," and tick "Hidden").
    In doing so, you may have to close and reopen the Quick Launch on your Taskbar (or maybe reboot) to hide the newly created folder.
  12. tengeta

    tengeta TS Enthusiast Posts: 612

    Pretty cool, too bad I don't use the recycle bin anymore.
  13. Only one small problem. Whenever you set the Quick Launch to use large icons it changes the size of the taskbar. Aesthetically it looks a little weird and from a usability standpoint it makes clicking on icons in the taskbar more difficult since the hotspot now no longer extends to the bottom of the screen.
  14. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    Thanks - I actually applied this tip just a few minutes ago thanks to this post.
  15. "I'm not exactly sure when it became cool to abandon the use of your operating system's desktop, but a growing number of people these days prefer the "clean" look. Recent releases of Microsoft Windows seem to encourage this. By default, Windows Vista and 7 strip the desktop of all icons but the Recycle Bin."

    The author of this article, clearly, does not know much about Windows or Windows users. I don't about Windows 95, but since Window 98, there has only been a Recycle Bin icon on the desktop immediately after installation of the Operating System. If you buy, or had bought, anything from Win98 and later, there would be several icons on the desktop.

    I've only seen one person out of many (dozens?) who does not use the desktop. Everyone else has the whole desktop full of things.

    Also, Windows 7 does NOT "strip the desktop" of any icons. This is the way it has always been. It is up to the user to add their favorite or most used icons to their own desktop. If Microsoft filled it up with icons, it would almost be like selling me a pad of note paper with someone else's notes already written on it.

  16. cool tip - I like that.
    It would be awesome to be able to drag drop items into the bin. I don't see any benefits of having the recycle bin in quick launch task bar, it is just that an already default recycle bin icon on desktop is a lot better than having it on taskbar, no? I am able to drag drop my items into recycle bin on desktop, right click on bin icon to empty without opening the explore window. and it is already a simple task.

    I know it depends on the context and user style/preference. just my observation for my style of using the operating system.

    thank you
  17. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    I never drag anything to the recycle bin myself - I merely wanted a shortcut that I could use to open it should I want to pull something out of the bin. I much prefer to not have the shortcut on the desktop and have used it strictly on the quicklaunch for a few years now. I also typically have little to nothing on my actual desktop and back in the Win 98 days I used to actually disable my desktop - so this tip is perfect for my style of desktop use.

    Also to Tom the Guest - why do you feel it's necessary to attack a person directly by claiming to know what another might or might not know? It makes no sense and that type of behavior shows a lack of maturity. Sure, we all have our off days, but silly is always better than mean.
  18. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt TS Rookie

    Not a bad idea either. Might have to consider that one....
    I suppose that you could just as easily create a new folder in QuickLaunch and put the Recycle Bin in there as well, and link to hat folder so the original items are still where they normally appear, eh?
  19. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt TS Rookie

    @Matthew - yup - making a new folder under Quick Launch works just as well - in fact, making a new folder *anywhere* (that is not a protected item, like Program Files) works just as well, as seen in this tutorial:
    Benefit - no need to delete the default items in Quick Launch.
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    who is John galt?....sorry...couldn't resist
  21. Nunja Business

    Nunja Business TS Rookie

    DId this last week. Very cool and looks good.
  22. "Non-Apple software must use other metaphors for file deletion, such as Recycle Bin, Smart Eraser, or Shredder"

    Not entirely correct, AmigaOS has a trashcan.
  23. I love this. I added the recycle bin to my taskbar and only have one question; when I right-click on the recycle bin in my taskbar, I get many more item (i.e. cut, copy, delete, etc.) how did you get rid of those "extra" items? Is there a way I can get the right-click menu to look like the one in the screenshot?
  24. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,311   +100

    I could be wrong on this because it's been a few weeks since I prepared those images, but I think I edited most of the right-click menus to make the pictures smaller (they were too tall, looked terrible in the article). Sorry if that has mislead you.
  25. thanks :D:D:D

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