How To Remove Autorun Recycler Virus from Windows

By on April 3, 2013

Sometimes you might find a folder called recycler in the root directory of all disks available on your computer (Mainly in hard disk drives and USB drives). 

Most people have a misconception that recycler is a Computer Virus, however its not true. The recycler is nothing but a system folder which is used to keep all deleted data.

In simple words, it means if you delete anything on your D drive then the data will be moved inside a hidden folder called recycler which is in the root directory of D drive. If you open this folder, you can find all deleted images, files, videos, etc.

Recycler Virus with System Volume Information

Along with recycler you can find another folder called System Volume Information. It contains the system restoration information.

The recycler and system volume information folders have the attribute ‘hidden’ by default in Windows XP. So you can only see them if you choose to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows XP.

But in Windows 8, these folders have a new name as well as new stealth mode. So these folders are not visible even if you choose to ‘Show Hidden files and folders in Windows 8’.

But recycler is a virus, isn’t it ?

Recycler Virus ExampleSometimes autorun viruses hide themselves inside recycler folder. If you find any executable file such as RECYCLER.exe then that particular file is a virus. Also if your computer is infected with a recycler.exe virus, you might find a vbs file or an autorun file with the following content in it:


If you encounter these type of files, then your computer might be infected with a recycler virus. But remember that the recycler folder is not itself a virus. Its a system folder.

Should I Delete Recycler?

As i said, its a system folder. And it is required by the system. So if you try and delete it. It will again appear on a system reboot. You don’t need to delete the recycler folder or the system volume information folder. Remember that recycler folder is a system folder while recycler.exe is the recycler virus which you should delete.

So How Do I Delete RECYCLER.exe ?

First of all, do not execute any instance of recycler virus ( recycler.exe ). This particular file is an executable file with a ‘folder’ icon. So you might double click on it with the intention of opening the folder. But it turns out to be a process. So when you double click, the virus is executed and remains active. It adds itself to your Windows startup programs list. And thus the recycler virus will be executed each time you run the Operating System.

If recycler virus is active, then no matter how many times you delete it, it will re-appear and create a copy of itself everywhere on the disk drive.

  1. So first Kill the process by opening Task Manager.
  2. Open task manager(right click on taskbar, select task manager). Go in processes tab
  3. Find recycler.exe
  4. Right click on it and click end process
  5. Open start menu > run > type msconfig > hit enter > go to startup tab.
  6. If recycler.exe is present in the list, then uncheck it.
  7. Open start menu > all programs > startup folder.
  8. If you find recycler.exe there, then delete it.
  9. Boot your computer in Safe Mode by hitting “F8” until the “Advanced Boot Options” menu appears. Select “Safe Mode” from the prompt.
  10. Now search your computer for recycler.exe
  11. And delete each and every instance of it if you find any.
  12. Restart your computer.
  13. And install a proper Anti-virus or Anti-malware.

There are other methods to remove recycler virus, but it involves messing with the system registry. But i prefer the graphical method rather than registry and command line.

And it works, if it doesn’t then either you didn’t do it right or its not at all a recycler virus ( recycler.exe ). But if you need any help, comment on this thread below and i will try and help asap.

What’s the case with Recycler and Windows 8 ?

That’s a subject for next thread. Check tomorrow or day after tomorrow for a new thread. Thanks for reading.

Update: How To Remove $Recycle.bin Virus from Windows 8

About Omkar Bhagat

Omkar is the owner of Illustrator, YouTuber and Computer Engineer.
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  1. Justin Nyoe

    May 9, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Hmm… I cannot seem to end the process from the task manager, my access was denied. What do I do now?

    • Omkar Bhagat

      May 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      If that’s the case then first boot the OS in safe mode, kill the process in task manager (if found), then remove it from start up tab.

      In short, try and boot OS in safe mode and perform all the steps given above in the thread, except step 9.

      • Justin Nyoe

        May 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

        Alright, thanks!

        • anjan

          August 30, 2013 at 3:37 am

          no process is showing in task manager. but folders are hidden

  2. Shreela Sen

    May 25, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Hi Omkar, Thanks for the directions. I have windows 7. I checked the processes, both in normal & safe mode, recycler was not there. I ran a search in safe mode several times. It did not find any recycler.exe. Though I know a folder named recycler was sitting in E drive. I deleted it in safe mode. both my E drive & external hard drive are having folders called system volume information, & even recycle bin. Is it normal? Does every drive come with its own recycle bin?

    I’ve been a victim of the recycler.exe with XP before, & it cost me valuable data at crucial times.

    I’m just unable to feel safe.

    Any advice?


    • Omkar Bhagat

      May 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Hello Shreela,
      Sorry for late reply.
      The recycle bin folder is safe, it can be found in every drive with hidden attribute.
      But if you have a doubt, Try microsoft security essentials and anti-malewarebytes to scan your pc thoroughly.
      And do not install any application or software from non-trusted source.

      • Mr_Gambler

        August 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        Can we use anti-malwarebytes along with microsoft security essentials??

  3. Anjan

    August 30, 2013 at 3:35 am

    this solution is not working in my pc. I am using quickheal total security till my desktop and lapy is infected. The worst thing is that today I connected my tab with my pc and after that the files are hidden in my pc. In tab there is a sd card icon in each folder. If anyone knows effective solution then please tell me

  4. Anjan

    August 30, 2013 at 3:37 am

    this solution is not working in my pc. I am using quickheal total security till my desktop and lapy is infected. The worst thing is that today I connected my tab with my pc and after that the files are hidden in my pc. In tab there is a sd card icon in each folder. If anyone knows effective solution then please tell me

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