How to FIX Recycle Bin Icon Stuck to Full or Empty

This is a very common issue which occurs in Windows OS due to the memory section allocated to the Recycle Bin becoming static. This could be the cause of corruption in the Recycle Bin folder. Or the folder is failing to upload in the Random Memory.


{Compatible with Windows 8, 7, XP, ME, Vista, 98, 2000 (32/64)
File Size: 4.9MB Download Time: <(dsl, 2sec, dialup 2min)>}

Symptoms –

Recycle Bin is seen full with bulk wastes which indicates its memory space is full or vice versa.

Solutions –

Method 1: Create and run a Registration Entries (.reg) file for each user account that experiences the problem

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Copy the following information based on your operating system:
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\DefaultIcon]
@=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,00,25,\
00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,69,00,6d,00,\
61,00,67,00,65,00,72,00,65,00,73,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,2c,00,2d,00,35,\
00,34,00,00,00
“Full”=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,\
00,25,00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,69,00,\
6d,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,72,00,65,00,73,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,2c,00,2d,\
00,35,00,34,00,00,00
“Empty”=hex(2):25,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,52,00,6f,00,6f,00,74,\
00,25,00,5c,00,53,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,69,00,\
6d,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,72,00,65,00,73,00,2e,00,64,00,6c,00,6c,00,2c,00,2d,\
00,35,00,35,00,00,00

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\DefaultIcon]
@=”C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\shell32.dll,32″
“Full”=”C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\shell32.dll,32”
“Empty”=”C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\shell32.dll,31”

  • Start a text editor, such as Notepad.
  • Paste the information that you copied in step 1 into the text editor, and then save the file by typing the following file name: recyclebin_icon.reg
  • Exit the text editor.
  • Double-click the recyclebin_icon.reg file that you created in step 3.
  • When you are prompted with the following message, click Yes:
  • Are you sure you want to continue?
  • When you are prompted with the “success” message, click OK.

Method 2: Manually reset the Recycle Bin icons

To do this, follow these steps:

  • Right-click the Desktop and select Personalize.
  • In the Tasks pane, click Change desktop icons.
  • Select the Recycle Bin (full) icon and then click Change Icon.
  • In the Change Icon dialog box, select the full Recycle Bin icon.
  • Click OK to close the Change Icon dialog box.
  • Select the Recycle Bin (empty) icon and then click Change Icon.
  • In the Change Icon dialog box, select the empty Recycle Bin icon.
  • Click OK to close the Change Icon dialog box.
  • Click Apply, and then click OK.

To fix this problem, follow these steps to regenerate the Recycle Bin folder by using the command prompt:

  • Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  • Type the appropriate command for your operating system, and then press ENTER.
  • Windows XP
    rd /s C:\recycler
  • Windows Vista
    rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin

Note: For hard drives with other letters, substitute C: for the desired hard drive letter.

  • Close the Command Prompt window.
  • Right-click an empty area of the desktop and then click Refresh.
  • Note The Recycle Bin should be empty now. If not, repeat these steps for any other hard drive letter that you have.


{Compatible with Windows 8, 7, XP, ME, Vista, 98, 2000 (32/64)
File Size: 4.9MB Download Time: <(dsl, 2sec, dialup 2min)>}

If the above methods didn’t help to resolve the issue; Recycle Bin Icon Stuck to Full or Empty, Recycle Bin Icon Not Refreshing in Windows Vista & XP, then you could look to use Advanced System Repair Tool. This tool will help you to scan and clean the system of viruses and repair damages due to corruption automatically. It also acts as a data controller and optimizer for the system for efficient management of the system.


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