How To Fix Recycle Bin Association Error in Windows 10

Everyday we work on something on our systems and then keep deleting files, folders or apps once our task is complete. All of these deleted items go to the Recycle Bin and from there we can delete them permanently or restore them later if required. Recycle Bin is perhaps, one of the most taken for granted Windows features.

However, even the Recycle Bin can throw an error all of a sudden when you try to open it. For instance, you may see an error, “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed create an association in the Default Programs control panel.”

However, the good news is, this can be fixed. Let’s see how.


Method 1: Deleting All Files From Recycle Bin


The first thing you can do is to delete all the files from the Recycle Bin permanently and check if the error is gone. The problem at times, may arise due to the files in the Recycle Bin, hence it’s advised to clear the deleted files permanently from the Bin.

Simply open the Recycle Bin (if it’s opening), and either select all the files manually or press Ctrl + A keys together on your keyboard to select all the files at a time, and hit Delete. In the prompt, click Yes to delete all the files permanently.



Recycle Bin Ctrl + A Delete Yes


The error should be gone now, but if still persists, try the 2nd method.


Method 2: Install Any Latest Updates


Many times, the recycle bin error can be due to the fact that you missed installing any latest Windows update. Due to this you may experiencing many issues on your system and one of them is the error when you try to access the Recycle Bin. So, the best thing to do to keep yourself away from these troubles is to update your Windows 10 as soon as the update is available.

To check if you have missed any update, you can check for updates manually.


Step 1: Go the the Start button on your desktop and click on Settings in the context menu, located above the Power option.



Desktop Start Settings


Step 2: In the Settings window, click on Update & Security.


Settings Update & Security


Step 3: Next, go to the right side of the pane, and under the Windows Update section, click on the Check for updates button.


Right Side Update Check For Updates


Step 4: Now, it will start check for the updates. If any updates available, Windows will download them automatically in the background.


Starts Checking For Updates If Update Availabe Windows Downloads And Installs Automatically


Once, the download is complete, you must restart your PC for the updates to be installed. Now, you can check if you are still getting the error, try the 3rd method.


Method 3: Run a Complete PC Scan


The error can also be caused by a malware that may have infected your system. A malicious software can discreetly affect your system, modify the settings, and thus, corrupt certain Windows features. Here, the best thing you can do is to run a complete PC scan. A complete PC scan takes a few hours, so have patience.

You can use any trusted antivirus software from a third-party provider and run a full scan. Once it detects any malware, it will also quarantine your system. If this doesn’t work, try the 4th method.


Method 4: Using Powershell


Step 1: Go to the Start button on your desktop and type Powershell in the search field. Right-click on the result (Windows Powershell) and select Run as administrator to open Powershell in admin mode.


Desktop Start Search Powershell Windows Powershell Right Click Run As Administrator




Step 2: In the Powershell window, execute the below command and hit Enter:


rd /s /q C:$Recycle.bin


Windows Powershell In Admin Mode Run Command Enter


Step 3: Next, you will have to confirm if you want to proceed with the removal. Type Y to confirm.


This will remove the Recycle Bin directory, and a new Recycle Bin will be automatically created. You should not experience the error anymore, but if you still do, follow the 5th method.


*Note – You can also use Command Prompt in admin mode instead of Powershell to run this command.


Method 5: Using Command Prompt

Solution 1: By Running SFC /SCANNOW


SFC /Scannow command is known to fix any corrupt installations which could be well be the reason behind your Recycle Bin error.


Step 1: Go to the Start button on your desktop and type Command Prompt in the search field. Right-click on the result and select Run as administrator to open Command Prompt in admin mode.


Start Search Command Prompt Right Click Run As Administrator


Step 2: Now, execute the below command in the Command Prompt and hit Enter:


sfc /scannow


Command Prompt Run Sfc Scannow Command Enter


Wait for the scanning process to complete, as it takes some time. Once, the scan is over, close the Command Prompt window, and check if the issue is resolved. If no, then follow the 2nd solution using Command Prompt.


Solution 2: By Running a DISM Scan


Step 1: Follow Step 1 from Solution 1 above to open Command Prompt with admin rights. Now, run the below command in the Command Prompt window and hit Enter:


DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


Command Prompt Admin Mode Run Dism Command Enter


The DISM scan also takes a longer time like the sfc /scannow, so wait till the scan completes. Once both the scans are complete, the error should be gone. You can also choose to run both the scans all over again, if they failed before.

If this doesn’t resolve your problem, try the 6th method.


Method 6: By Removing and Adding the Recycle Bin Icon


Step 1: Go to your desktop and right-click on an empty area. Select Personalize from the context menu.


Desktop Empty Area Right Click Personalize


Step 2: In the Settings window, click on Themes on the left side. Now, on the right side, scroll down to the Related Settings section and click on Desktop icon settings.


Settings Themes Related Settings Desktop Icon Settings


Step 3: In the Desktop Icon Settings dialogue box, uncheck the box next to Recycle Bin.

Press Apply and then OK to save the changes and exit.

This will remove the Recycle Bin icon from the desktop.


Desktop Icon Settings Recycle Bin Uncheck Apply Ok


Step 4: Now, go back to the Desktop Icon Settings dialogue box again following the Step 1 and Step 2 as above.

Now, check the box next to Recycle Bin. Press Apply and then OK to save the changes and exit.

This will add a fresh Recycle Bin icon to your desktop back again.


Desktop Icon Settings Recycle Bin Check Apply Ok


Now, your error should be gone. If the problem is still there, try the 7th method.


Method 7: By Accessing the Safe Mode


Step 1: Go to the Settings app and click on Update & Security as shown in the Step 1 and Step in Method 2.

Now, click on Recovery on the left. On the right-side, scroll down to the Advanced startup section and click the Restart now button.


Update & Security Recovery Advanced Startup Restart Now


Once your PC restarts, it will show you a list of options to choose from. Press the correct key to go to the Safe Mode version.


Method 8: By Running System Restore


Step 1: Go to the Start button on your desktop and type Restore in the search field. Click on Create a restore point.


Desktop Start Search Restore Create A Restore Point


Step 2: In the System Properties window, under the System Protection tab, go to the System Restore section and click on the System Restore button.


System Properties System Protection Tab System Restore Button


Step 3: In the System Restore window, click on Next.


System Restore Window Next


Step 4: Next, select the listed restore point and click Next.


Selet Desired Restore Point Next


Thereafter, follow the instructions on each screen to finish the system restoration process.


That’s all. You can be rest assured that any one of these steps will surely resolve your recycle bin issue.