Windows Explorer – How to Show the Control Panel and Recycle Bin

By default, whenever you open up Windows Explorer, its sidebar is divided into large categories such as Quick Access, Network, This PC, and the like. If you want to have a more detailed look for the sidebar in the Windows’ File Explorer, you can do so. A quick setting change will result in the window’s navigation pane to have a look that’s more like the traditional tree that you would most often see during the Open/Save As dialog box. You can even show some normally hidden folders into mix, such as Control Panel and the Recycle Bin, as an added bonus.

Windows Explorer – How to Show the Control Panel and Recycle Bin

Make the Windows Explorer to Have a Look More Like the Traditional Tree View

Step 1 – Open up Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E on your keyboard. Doing so will bring up the File Explorer window. Once here, right-click on any open space in the sidebar which will show up a pop-up menu; in the menu, choose “Show all folders.” Should the resulting pane become too crowded, you may have to scroll to the very bottom just to find some open space wherein you can do a right-click.

Step 2 – Once you toggle “Show all folders” in Windows Explorer, the view on the navigation will change dramatically. You will then see the Quick Access menu item at the very top, but you will now see the Desktop folder as the only other top level item found in the navigation panel. For the broader items, such as This PC and Network, these are moved right under the Desktop folder. You will then see the Recycle Bin and the Control Panel to be added into the new view. Therefore, you will now have more direct access to any folders within the Desktop portion of your computer, rather than going through numerous folders and menu items just to get to your choice.

Step 3 – For the Recycle Bin option in the Windows Explorer, it pretty much works like what you would expect. Just click on it on the navigation pane and you will see the contents that you’ve placed in there as “trash.” For the Control Panel, and when you expand it, you will be able to see the different categories placed under it. Still, you can expand the “All Control Panel Items” to view every menu item under Control Panel. When you click on a specific Control Panel item, unfortunately, it won’t display on the right hand pane. Instead, it will then shift into the normal Control Panel view.


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