It’s safe to say that there’s more to Windows 10 than any single user can know. I keep learning new stuff all the time. Case in point: Recycle Bin Explorer use. Until yesterday, I didn’t know that typing “Recycle Bin” into the Explorer’s address bar opens that built-in folder. At the same time it also brings up access to a set of Recycle Bin Tools. Here’s a screen cap of what you’d see in your explorer if you (a) typed “Recycle Bin” into the address bar, and (b) clicked on the Recycle Bin Tools ribbon entry. It’s highlighted in the following screenshot, in fact:
This technique displays the Recycle Bin’s contents, and shows available Explorer tools for working on same.
[Click image for full-sized view.]
What Does Recycle Bin Explorer Use Buy You?
It’s an easy way to see what’s inside the recycle bin. You will typically see ordinary files, like the ones shows above (cleaned out of Downloads on that test machine). You may also see objects that use Windows Security Identifiers (SIDs) as part of their names. (Learn more about SIDs in this Window Support article: Well-known security identifiers in Windows operating systems.) Account-based SIDs usually start with the string “S-1-5-21-nnnnnnnnnn …” (where n is a digit from 0 through 9). This happens from time to time and indicates deletion of certain system objects or items through various OS facilities (such as disk defragementation).
The tools can be helpful, particularly those related to restoring accidentally deleted files. “Restore all items” puts everything in the Recycle Bin back where it came from. To use “Restore selected items,” you must first select the items you wish to restore, then click that tool (otherwise, it won’t do anything). Both can be handy when things that you really wish to keep make their way into the Recycle Bin. Also, if you mount a backup (using something like Macrium’s viboot facility), you can use these tools on a backed-up version of the recycle bin as well.
Getting into Recycle Bin in Explorer Many Ways
Me personally, I tend to rely on third-party tools like CCleaner or UnCleaner to take care of the recycle bin for me. That’s probably why I never learned this stuff before. But who knows? It could come in handy some day. But as far as I can determine the easiest way to access this beast is to type Recycle Bin into the address bar to call it up in Explorer (see below). There are numerous other ways to get there, as shown in this Password Recovery article “7 Ways to Open Recycle Bin in Windows 10.” If you don’t like my approach, check out that article and pick a different way you like better. It’s not like there aren’t lots of other options — at least 6 of them, in fact!
My preferred method for accessing Recycle Bin in Explorer involves typing “Rec” in the address bar, as shown here