Trash icon does not change (full-empty)

Hello, by touching things I changed the icon of the trash (on the desktop) and now it does not change as full or empty.
In the bottom panel it does change but I can't see the command path. I have found on google a similar problem but from an old version of ubuntu. It has helped me find the Trash directory, but I haven't seen any writable file to set it. Attached screenshot of the response found (year 2003).
Thank you.

Captura de pantalla -2023-06-14 18-59-13

Added Trash icon to Desktop and image shows as in image empty on left and on right I put 20.2 gb. in trash and icon changed (note did not try various levels of trash). Did not find configuration file that changes the icon. Think you might try changing theme as searching in /usr/share/icons shows various trash icons. Also possibly in /home/user_name/.icons if you have a custom theme.


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Thanks for your answer. In /home/user_name/.icons there is nothing :frowning:
I am trying several icons but I am not clear, I do not know which one to choose so that it changes.

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You might change your theme (System -> Preferences -> Look and feel -> Appearence). I think the theme you are using does not have enough icons.

Guess we need to clarify the issue. Are you trying to use an icon of your choice in a configuration file or you have no icon on Desktop. If no icon Control Center/Look and Feel/MATE Tweak/Check Trash.

this location would have icons for a custom theme if installed and not system theme icons.

What theme do you have in use.


yields just a couple of different icons by changing themes in my system


Did not bother testing by adding files (as earlier) to see what full is as I don't use Trash.

Edit added

[quote="Anna_Smith, post:1, topic:26680"]
Hello, by touching things I changed the icon of the trash

Was change caused accidentally or were you attempting to do something.
Last week all of a sudden I don't know how but lost my search bar on Firefox, still mystery as to how I did it.

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Yes, but before I changed the icon it had the same theme and it worked...

Was accidentally and I don't know how...

Yes, I can choose icon-no icon, but it no change empty-full.

Yaru mate light, icons mate.
I have tried other combinations but the behavior is the same. There has to be a configuration file somewhere!

OK progress. Below tried Yaru and then saw you posted your theme and retried with Yaru MATE Light. Results are same with different icons based on theme. Note does not indicate full trash (AFIK could be wrong there is not a setting for the size of Trash which would allow for full notice), just empty on left and on right same as earlier image with 20.2 gb. now just tested with moving empty folder to trash. Right shows there is something in Trash.


Based on above maybe try Reinstallation of

Possibly accident did something.

Well back to my YaruGreen :grinning:


Thanks for the idea. I reinstalled the themes but it didn't work for me :cry:
I think I have deleted or misconfigured some file where it tells the trash to change icon. In properties I can choose the icon but it's a .png and evidently it doesn't change.
There must be something like the directory I found from 2003 (changing location and name, for sure) to be able to edit the commands.
Thanks for your interest :wink:

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How to restore Trash can icon on Ubuntu 22.04 Desktop - November 5, 2022

This might help you. Technically the trash is not an icon because it changes state. I forget what it is called, but it is some kind of a link I think.


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Further possiblilities

1 As I understand it at present you do have a Trash icon on your Desktop that stays in one state (ie: empty and does not change when items moved to Trash) See 2 Is the icon the one you changed to?

2 Do you remember the name of icon and or does it show up on Desktop and as in 1 just doesn't change state? If know the name search for in File System and see location.

3 In Appearance on your theme Yaru MATE Light go to Icons tab and switch from MATE to Yaru MATE Light icons and do they change as in post 9?

4 If you have experience you could boot a live DVD/USB and in the Try mode to see if the icon changes state correctly but first try below one at a time starting with 1, check if no change 2. If this works my guess would be 2.



I might be totally wrong here but it just might be this:

If you recently deleted files from an external HDD, USB drive, etc. and then
removed it without emptying the trash, the trash icon stays full and won't change.

Reconnecting the drive and then emptying the trash should solve it.

Another way to solve it is to close all applicatons, unmount external drives and then remove certain datafiles by opening a terminal and issuing this command:

rm $HOME/.local/share/gvfs-metadata/*

One sideeffect though is that if you have custom colored some of your folders, they return to the installed theme colors.


When I have had that problem it is generally from putting a root permission file in a user's trash.

Usually a file put in the trash from a external source disappears on reboot, and reappears when you plug the drive in again. The trash is actually stored on the external drive in a hidden file.

If you put a root permission file in your trash you need to open Caja as root, then check show hidden files, and navigate to /home/current user/.local/share/Trash where you can delete the file. You must have delete enabled under Caja/preferences/behavior/ include a delete command that bypasses trash..


Thank you very much to all of you. In the end I have had a problem with samba and , since this computer does not contain important files, we use it for the tv and little else, I have decided to reinstall, which is a clean and fast process.
I really thank you for your help.


Good luck with your reinstall, sometimes it is the best solution!