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The Recycle Bin icon does not refresh automatically in Windows Vista or in Windows XP

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

Problem description
The Recycle Bin icon in Windows Vista or Windows XP does not refresh after you empty the recycle bin or delete a file or a folder. Instead, the Recycle Bin icon is stuck on either the empty icon or the full icon. However, if you press the F5 button on the keyboard to refresh the Desktop manually, the Recycle Bin icon refreshes correctly.

This article helps you fix the Recycle Bin so that it works correctly.

To have us fix this problem for you, go to the “Fix it for me” section. If you prefer to fix this problem yourself, go to the “Let me fix it myself” section.
Fix it for me
To fix this problem automatically, click the Fix this problemlink. Click Runin the File Downloaddialog box, and then follow the steps in this wizard.

Note This wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note If you are not on the computer that has the problem, you can save the automatic fix to a flash drive or to a CD, and then you can run it on the computer that has the problem.

Next, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

Let me fix it myself
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

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

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. 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"
  2. Start a text editor, such as Notepad.
  3. Paste the information that you copied in step 1 into the text editor, and then save the file by typing the following file name:

  4. Exit the text editor.
  5. Double-click the recyclebin_icon.reg file that you created in step 3.
  6. When you are prompted with the following message, click Yes:
    Are you sure you want to continue?
  7. When you are prompted with the "success" message, click OK.

Method 2: Manually reset the Recycle Bin icons

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the Desktop and select Personalize.
  2. In the Tasks pane, click Change desktop icons.
  3. Select the Recycle Bin (full) icon and then click Change Icon.
  4. In the Change Icon dialog box, select the full Recycle Bin icon.
  5. Click OK to close the Change Icon dialog box.
  6. Select the Recycle Bin (empty) icon and then click Change Icon.
  7. In the Change Icon dialog box, select the empty Recycle Bin icon.
  8. Click OK to close the Change Icon dialog box.
  9. Click Apply, and then click OK.
Did this fix the problem?
Check whether the problem is fixed by emptying the Recycle Bin or by deleting a file or a folder. If the problem is fixed, you are finished with this article. If the problem is not fixed, you can contact support.
For help with common system maintenance tasks in Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web page:
recycle bin refresh fixit fix it

Article ID: 968873 - Last Review: 09/23/2011 21:53:00 - Revision: 4.0

Windows 7 Beta, Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Business, Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition, Windows Vista Enterprise, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Ultimate, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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