How to View $RECYCLE.BIN Files? How to Recover Lost Files?

How to view $RECYCLE.BIN files? If deleted files not in Recycle Bin, how to recover? This article with detailed info can help you.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

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How do I view files in Recycle Bin?

Recycle Bin is the last door to keep your unwanted files, in case one day you may need them, and then you could restore deleted files from the Recycle Bin without any loss.

But sometimes, the Recycle Bin may run into some problems.


I run a Storage report on the file server and it showed me a lot of files with a location of $RECYCLE.BIN. The strange thing is, that when I manually open the location $RECYCLE.BIN on a disk, it is empty. How to view $RECYCLE.BIN files?


- Question from Microsoft Community


There are quite a lot of users complaining that they are unaware of how to view deleted files in Recycle Bin because the deleted files are not in Recycle Bin, and some reported that the Recycle Bin icon just disappeared from the desktop.


What’s more, viruses can damage your recycle bin folder as well.

Some users have reported that they have found the Recycle Bin deleting files automatically. Storage Sense could be the case, but viruses will also hide/delete your files.

If you have similar questions and worries, this article would assist you when you can’t find Recycle Bin in Windows 10 or cannot find lost files in it.

How to view $RECYCLE.BIN files?

According to different situations, multiple corresponding solutions are ready.

Fix 1. Directly access the $RECYCLE.BIN folder

If you want to access the $RECYCLE.BIN folder in the File Explorer/This PC, this method is suitable for you.

The Recycle Bin is like other folders on your drive, it could be viewed and accessed on This PC. But for the sake of safety, this folder is hidden by default to prevent misoperations and damage to the device.

Now learn how to access recycle bin Windows 10 in the following steps. The operation to unhide common files/folders is similar, but a bit different from showing hidden files in Windows 7.

Step 1. This PC > View > Options > Change folder and search options.


Step 2. View > check Show Hidden files, folders, and drives > Apply.


Step 3. Then you could view and access the $RECYCLE.BIN folder in This PC.


Fix 2. If you can’t find Recycle Bin icon

Sometimes you might accidentally delete the Recycle Bin icon, or it just disappears from the desktop with no clues. If so, you could search the Recycle Bin in the This PC search box, and access it in the File explorer quick access entrance.

If you also have other icons lost from the desktop, refer to the guide to restore desktop icons on Windows 10


If you still cannot find Recycle Bin, try this method below.

Step 1. Click the Start menu > Settings > Personalization.


Step 2. Click Themes.


Step 3. Go to Desktop icon settings.


Step 4. Check the Recycle Bin option > OK.


In this way, the Recycle Bin icon will show on your desktop.

Fix 3. If deleted files are not in Recycle Bin

What if you are seeking deleted files that are of importance and you need to restore them? But unluckily, you found that the removed files are not in the Recycle Bin, and you have nowhere to seek them.

In general, possibly, the deleted files might be permanently deleted due to Shift delete or you have accidentally emptied the Recycle Bin.

But don’t worry, you could still have a chance to restore permanently deleted files with the help of a professional Windows data recovery tool.

MyRecover could be your sincere helper. It is specially designed for Windows users, equipped with advanced scanning techs and algorithms, and can scan and detect your wanted files in several seconds to minutes.

Using it, you could get help in multiple aspects.

Restore files deleted from Recycle bin with ease
  • Restore deleted and missing files from internal/external hard drives: HDD/SSD/USB/SD card, etc.
  • All restored files could be kept with their original filename, formats, directories, etc.
  • Get back cover 200+ types of data, including photos, videos, docx, xlsx, ppt, zip, etc.
  • Recover data while scanning, no need to wait for a whole scanning result.
  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7 SP 1/Server.
  • Now learn how to restore items deleted from Recycle Bin easily.
Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run the software > Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. While scanning, you could use the filter: Size, Type, Date modified, etc., to narrow the scanned results.


Step 3. Navigate to Deleted files > Recycle Bin > select files > click Recover x files.


In this way, you can easily restore deleted files not in Recycle Bin.

FAQ about Recycle Bin

In this post, how to view $RECYCLE.BIN files and how to restore lost files have been detailed. To help you further, some extra info is ready as well.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.