Is there no "native" trashcan for KDE Plasma's desktop?

One of the first confusions for me when I started using KDE Plasma the other day was the lack of a trash can on my desktop.

I managed to find a way to add one there, by opening Dolphin and then dragging and dropping the trashcan from its left menu to the desktop.

However, this is not a “native” trashcan. It behaves like any other shortcut, meaning the trashcan itself has the context menu option “Move to Wastebin”, right above “Empty Wastebin”. This has already caused me to delete the trashcan into itself on numerous occasions, when I really just wanted to empty it.

Is there a way to get a “native” trash can on the desktop, which isn’t treated like a normal icon? Maybe I was supposed to “enable” the trashcan on the desktop somehow, instead of doing what I did? But why is it gone by default anyway? Or is that just something wrong with my system and not the intended default?

The Wastebin settings don’t seem to mention anything about “enabling” it as an icon or anything like that.

Isn’t it in your widgets?

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the KDE desktop doesn’t have a trashcan or default folders like windows…everything is a widget.

some widgets are shown by default like the taskbar, and some (many) are not like like the trashcan.

you can right click anywhere and choose “add widget” for a smorgasbord of things to decorate your desktop, and these things are not just icons you can select and drag around but can only be adjusted by entering “edit mode”

the other thing you probably want to do is right click “configure desktop” and choose “folder view” for the layout so you can place folders on the desktop like a normal person… my kubuntu came default to “desktop” which was confusing for a good bit and almost made my jump to cinnamon, because i couldn’t figure out how to simply drag a file to the desktop.

another thing to note is this setting is on a per monitor basis, so if you have more than one, you need to do the same in each, which is guess is more flexible (yeah for KDE flexibility) but took me a hard minute to grok.

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Myeah…personally I don’t use folder view on the desktop. But it’s worth mentioning there’s a widget called folder view which you can add if the desktop is set to…well…desktop view.

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i use the folder view widget to house my folders on the windows partition… to keep them separate from my linux folders.

I am pretty sure that depends on your Distro. On Arch I don’t have one by default. On Tumbleweed I have one by default (I think, didn’t double check).

Yup, I am on Tumbleweed, have never touched the desktop at all, and I have a ~/Desktop/trash.desktop file and the desktop is set to Folder View, so it shows there.


as followup:


[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Contains removed files
Comment[ca]=Conté els fitxers eliminats
Comment[ca@valencia]=Conté els fitxers eliminats
Comment[cs]=Obsahuje odstraněné soubory
Comment[da]=Indeholder slettede filer
Comment[de]=Enthält gelöschte Dateien
Comment[el]=Περιέχει αρχεία που αφαιρέθηκαν
Comment[en_GB]=Contains removed files
Comment[es]=Contiene archivos eliminados
Comment[et]=Sisaldab eemaldatud faile
Comment[eu]=Kendutako fitxategiak ditu
Comment[fi]=Sisältää poistetut tiedostot
Comment[fr]=Contient les fichiers supprimés
Comment[gl]=Contén ficheiros eliminados.
Comment[he]=מכיל קבצים שנמחקו
Comment[hu]=Eltávolított fájlok gyűjtőhelye
Comment[is]=Inniheldur skrár sem hefur verið eytt
Comment[it]=Contiene i file rimossi
Comment[ko]=삭제된 파일 및 폴더가 있습니다
Comment[lt]=Čia yra ištrinti failai
Comment[nl]=Bevat de verwijderde bestanden
Comment[nn]=Inneheld sletta filer
Comment[pa]=ਹਟਾਈਆਂ ਫਾਇਲਾਂ ਰੱਖਦਾ ਹੈ
Comment[pl]=Zawiera usunięte pliki
Comment[pt]=Contém os ficheiros removidos
Comment[pt_BR]=Contém os arquivos removidos
Comment[ru]=Содержит файлы, которые вы удалили
Comment[se]=Dáppe leat eret váldon fiillat
Comment[sk]=Obsahuje odstránené súbory
Comment[sl]=Vsebujejo odstranjene datoteke
Comment[sr]=Садржи уклоњене фајлове
Comment[sr@ijekavian]=Садржи уклоњене фајлове
Comment[sr@ijekavianlatin]=Sadrži uklonjene fajlove
Comment[sr@latin]=Sadrži uklonjene fajlove
Comment[sv]=Innehåller borttagna filer
Comment[tr]=Silinen dosyaları içerir
Comment[uk]=Містить вилучені файли
Comment[x-test]=xxContains removed filesxx

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Thanks. That cleared up things, although I find this design strange. You’d think there would be a trashcan on the desktop regardless of how it’s implemented.

As for “folder view”, this was the default (luckily!) for me. I don’t understand who would want to use that other “desktop” mode. Or frankly even what it does except cripple the user.

I use Debian, BTW. Maybe they disabled the trashcan and enabled the “folder view” mode by default for KDE Plasma? I installed the APT package kde-full if that matters.

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i can only speculate, but the desktop view is regarded as “cleaner” looking and, in my take, more gnome like in order to strike some kind of balance between those who actually use the desktop for it’s intended purpose and those who just want a pretty background to look at r/unixporn

the good thing about KDE is that it can cater to both audiences.

glad you got it sorted

now i’m kind of intrigued by that .desktop implementation so my trash can doesn’t have to be widget… must look deeper.

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is this trashcan a functional trashcan?

as in it can visually show if it’s empty vs full and has has a full menu of tasks you do with it like empty and restore… or is it just an icon that links to ~/.local/share/Trash/ ?

you could drag the trash from the sidebar of dolphin as well on the desktop to get that trash icon (in folder view)

Yes it has full and empty states and a context menu

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One problem I’ve found with the trashcan “widget” is that it does not “take up space”. I mean, it does, visually, but not “really”. If new objects are put on the desktop, such as by my video clip downloader scripts, they get put in the top-left corner because while my trashcan widget is located there, it does not take up “space” like an icon does. I looked in the settings for the trashcan widget but there is no checkbox to “make it take up space like an icon would” or similar. Is there a way to accomplish this?

That’s exactly what I said that I did initially, and which caused the problem I asked about?

yup, you are right. It is just a desktop file (with all it’s conetxt options plus the special actions).

Indeed, you can simply drag the trash from your Dolphin Places panel to the desktop and it will create an appropriate .desktop file for it automatically.

This doesn’t give you the same UX as a widget-based Trash. If you right-click on it, for example, you’ll see menu items relevant to .desktop files, in addition to menu items relevant to the trash. But it does work anyway. :slight_smile:

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Yes, but like I said, I keep accidentally deleting it (ironically to the trashcan) when I want to empty it because of muscle memory. Neither the “icon shortcut from Dolphin” nor the widget behaves quite right.

I guess in XFCE, when you hit the delete key with the trash selected, it empties it? It sounds like you want something that perfectly 100% replicates the XFCE trash, and it’s apparent that we don’t have that.

Overriding the delete key behavior for the trash-as-desktop-file may be reasonable. I’d recommend that you submit a feature request for it at


No, I just meant that the context menu for the icon contains an item for deleting the icon just above the “empty trash” one.

So if you remove that option, how would you delete the icon?

€: I guess you could manage the icon from dolphin or systemsettings.
But then you probably get bug reports that you can’t delete the trashicon from the desktop.