One of the popular pastimes in Windows has been the ability to customize your desktop down to the very icons associated with some of your favorite apps and services. The ability to make Windows yours in every way. The icons relating to the Recycle Bin being one of the most commonly changed. However, ever since (about) Windows Vista, there has been an odd bug in Windows where sometimes these icons don’t refresh when you have set a custom icon for the empty and full state of the Bin. It seems this bug continues to plague users to this day with Windows 10.
So, we threw together a quick tutorial to get around it. This has actually been the same trick since this bug first appeared in any Windows operating system.
Warning: This does involve playing with Windows Registry. It is highly important that you move around carefully or simply skip on this idea if you don’t feel comfortable within Registry as you can very easily break or even cripple Windows if you aren’t careful.
The following steps are taken after you have changed the Recycle Bin’s icons already (Windows Settings->Personalization->Themes->Desktop icon settings).
- Access Registry Editor. Open your Start Menu and being typing the name and you’ll see it pop up to click on it. Confirm your way into it when Windows pops up the UAC prompt.
- From within Registry Editor, head to:
- You will find three registry strings here called “(Default)“, “empty“, and “full“. They will contain the path to the icons you choose. Double click on each one and add “,0” (minus the quotes) to the end of each path (comma,zero), hitting ok in each window to close it when done.
- Close Registry Editor and try sending something to the Bin and deleting it. Everything should be working now.
An easy fix. Although it is surprising that we still have to use it after all of these years. It would be good if Microsoft spent more time stabilizing Windows and fixing the odd little bugs here and there as it did making things look “pretty” or adding unnecessary features that they just end up removing a number of years later because nobody used them.
Now you know how to pull it off though. If you haven’t tried customizing your Recycle Bin icons, give Google a search for custom icons and find some ICO files you like. If all you can find are PNG images for the ones you want, you’ll have to find a program/app to convert them to ICO files with (but that’s another tutorial in itself).