Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Move the Recycle Bin to the Taskbar in Windows 7

After writing last week’s blog, “Take Advantage of the Taskbar Features in Windows 7,” I found myself focusing on the taskbar to make sure that I was taking advantage of all the features it has to offer. While I was doing so, I began to think about the only icon that I had on the desktop — the Recycle Bin — and wonder if there was a way to put the Recycle Bin on the taskbar.

When the Recycle Bin first made its appearance in Windows 95, I really enjoyed dragging and dropping unneeded files on the trash can icon and watching them disappear. It was just so cool! (Keep in mind that was 15 years ago and the drag-and-drop capability was a new feature.)

However, more often than not, the desktop and the Recycle Bin icon were buried behind a bunch of open windows, and as time went by and the operating system evolved, I began using the other methods to delete files. Most often, I would select a file and click the red X Delete button on Windows Explorer’s toolbar. I also would right-click on a file and select the Delete command, or after selecting a file just press the [Delete] key on the keyboard. I still use these techniques today as I am sure that most of you do too.

However, there’s just something that is innately satisfying about dragging a file to the trash can icon and dropping it in there. My wife says that it must be a guy thing. And then she reminds me of how excited my buddies and I get throwing beer cans halfway across the room to the trash can in the corner on Poker Game nights. We raise our fists in the air and yell “Score!” when someone makes it in.

Anyway, I discovered a way to put a working copy of the Recycle Bin on the taskbar in the lower right corner adjacent to the notification area. That way it is always visible on the screen no matter how many open windows you have on the desktop.
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