How to Remove the Recycle Bin from the Desktop of XP

Level of difficulty: Easy

The cleanup of computers does not just mean cleaning up the hard drive. It also involves the removal of old icons from the desktop. Oftentimes, the desktop is used as a temporary folder for files that are frequently used. But most of the time, it becomes cluttered with old files and shortcuts that are no longer being used. Desktop icons like the Recycle Bin can also add to the clutter. The Recycle Bin functions by keeping the files that have been intentionally or accidentally deleted. Users could view the Recycle Bin’s contents before deciding to permanently delete them from the system. Other functions of this icon include indicating whether or not there are items in the Recycle Bin. When there are no folders or files present in the Recycle Bin, its icon would look like an empty wastepaper basket. Otherwise, the icon would resemble a full wastepaper basket.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- Mouse
Step 1
When removing shortcut icons from the desktop, one would first have to identify the shortcut icons that one wants to remove. One such shortcut icon is the Recycle Bin which resembles a wastepaper basket. Shortcuts are links to other files or applications. Deleting or removing them does not necessarily affect the files or programs linked to them. They may be safely deleted. Shortcuts are identified for their arrow symbols which make them look like they had been pasted on the icon’s lower left corner. The Recycle Bin has none of these. It is simply a wastepaper basket that has the sign for Recycle on it. In order to delete shortcut icons, simply highlight it and then right-click for the submenu to be displayed. In the submenu, choose delete.
Step 2
A default installation of the Windows Operating System includes primary system icons on the computer desktop. One does not need them to be present there and could choose to get rid of these icons when needed. The methodology employed in the removal of these system icons vary depending on the type of Operating System of the computer.
Step 3
When removing default icons from the desktop of computers running on Windows XP, click on the Start button and then go to the Control Panel. In the Control Panel, the user would have to select the option 'Display' and then proceed to 'Customize Desktop.' Review the desktop icons and then check or uncheck the boxes of the system icons that you want to remove.
Step 4
After having removed the selected shortcuts and default system icons, you might be left with a pile of files and applications. Cleaning these up and removing them from the desktop involve right-clicking on the desktop and going to the 'New folder.' You would then have to drag the remaining icons on your desktop onto this new folder. If you do not want the said folder to be displayed on the desktop, create it in a different location. You may also choose to put it in with your documents.
Step 5
When you decide not to delete system icons from the computer desktop but prefer to disable them, it could also be accomplished. This is done by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop and then going to the 'Active Desktop.' Simply uncheck the 'Show Desktop Icons' option. This will render the system icons on your desktop invisible. If you want to reverse this process, simply check on the 'Show Desktop Icons' option.