Manage recycle bin in SharePoint Online - Office 365

Manage recycle bin in SharePoint Online – Office 365

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When we accidentally delete any items, documents, etc. in SharePoint, using the Recycle-bin feature of SharePoint we can restore the items, documents back to the original location. So, in this article, we will learn how we can manage the recycle bin in SharePoint Online – Office 365 and SharePoint 2016, 2013, 2010.

Levels of Recycle Bin in SharePoint Online:

In SharePoint online, there are three types of Recycle bin,
  1. First-Stage Recycle Bin
  2. Second-Stage Recycle Bin
  3. SharePoint Online Admin Center Recycle Bin

First-Stage Recycle Bin – user-level Recycle Bin:

When users delete an item or document from a list/library, first it will go to the “First-Stage Recycle Bin”, then if the user deletes that item from “First-Stage Recycle Bin”, it will go to the “Second-Stage Recycle Bin” – from the deletion, item will be retained in the recycle bin for 93 days, if you cross this day, we can not bring back the item. Let us see practically, how this works and we can access the recycle bin page. Delete a document from the document library as like below:
Delete a document from SharePoint Online Document library
Delete a document from SharePoint Online Document library

How to navigate to the “First-Stage Recycle Bin” or user-level recycle bin?

To navigate to the “First-Stage Recycle Bin” or user-level recycle bin or site level recycle bin, you need to click on the “Recycle bin” link from the left side quick launch menu. In the below screen, we can observe a couple of things:
  • The item that we have just deleted in the previous step, it is now located at Recycle bin location.
  • From here, either we can restore the document back to the original document library location or delete it from here.
  • If we delete this item from here, this will go to the “Second-stage recycle bin”.
  • We can see at the bottom of this page – “Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check the Second-stage recycle bin” – click on the “Second-stage recycle bin” link – this will take us to Second-stage recycle bin location.
First Stage Recycle Bin in SharePoint Online
First Stage Recycle Bin in SharePoint Online
Notes: If you don’t find the “Recycle bin” option to click on from the home page, you can navigate there using the below navigation:
Go to the site collection setting page like below (_layouts/15/settings.aspx):
"https://globalsharepoint2020.sharepoint.com/sites/allcompany/_layouts/15/settings.aspx"
Under the Site Collection Administraion section we can see "Recycle bin" option.

There are some scenarios where we don’t want to show the “Recycle bin” option, we can hide this using the below CSS:
<style>
    .ms-recyclebin {
    display:none;
    }
    </style>
    <style>
    .ms-quicklaunchheader{
    display:none;
    }
    </style>

Second-stage recycle bin – user-level recycle bin:

If we delete the item from the first-stage recycle bin, then this will sit in the second-stage recycle bin. Lets, see the below example which I have deleted from the first-stage recycle bin, now it is located at the second-stage recycle bin. Below is the “Second stage recycle bin” location. I am just restoring this document from the “Second stage recycle bin” which will go back to the original document library location from where it was deleted.
Restore item from second-stage recycle bin
Restore an item from second-stage recycle bin
Note: Item has been restored to the “Documents” library from the second stage recycle bin.
Item is restored from second-stage recycle bin
Item is restored from second-stage recycle bin
Retention duration from the deletion to both in first and second stage recycle bin is 93 days, not sure what is the logic behind this magic number from Microsoft. 🙂
Key take-away:
  • Permission in the recycle bin item works based on the permission in the source items from where it came.
  • The retention duration for the recycle bin is 93 days.
  • From the deletion of the original content (documents, folders, items, lists, and sites), either the user or SharePoint site collection administrator can restore documents, folders, items, lists, and sites within 93 days (no matter which recycle bin they are in). After 93 days, your content is permanently gone and cannot be restored.
  • To access the second stage recycle bin user should belong to a site collection administrator or owner group.

Recycle Bin objects mapping

Based on the object type of SharePoint, after deletion, the content will be moved to various recycle bin stage, example as:
  • Documents, folders, items, lists – > First and second stage recycle bin
  • Subsite deletion directly goes to -> Second-stage recycle bin
  • Site collection deletion directly goes to -> SharePoint Online Admin Center Recycle Bin
Note:
  • For all types of above retention, the duration is 93 days.
SharePoint Online Admin Center Recycle Bin : The SharePoint Online Admin Center Recycle Bin is completely managed by the SharePoint Online Administrator or Global Administrator. Let us see how we can navigate there. Login to the SharePoint admin center from this page – https://globalsharepoint2020-admin.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/online/AdminHome.aspx#/siteManagement From the active sites report, delete a site.
Delete site collection from SharePoint Online Admin Center - Office 365 Group Connected
Delete site collection from SharePoint Online Admin Center – Office 365 Group Connected
Even though for other types of content in SharePoint, the retention period is 93 days after deletion, but for Office 365 group – you will have 30 days to restore the group. So, while deleting the site, please make a note of this.
Now, how to restore the deleted site collection from SharePoint Online Admin Center? Go to this page – https://globalsharepoint2020-admin.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/online/AdminHome.aspx#/recycleBin Under the Sites section, click on the deleted sites link, then we can see all deleted site collection report where we can select the particular site collection or all site collection for restoring.
Restore deleted site collection from SharePoint Online Admin Center - Office 365 Group Connected
Restore deleted site collection from SharePoint Online Admin Center – Office 365 Group Connected
Note:
  • We can see under the deleted sites header described as “Sites are retained for 93 days, and then permanently deleted.”

Configure the SharePoint 2016, 2013, or 2010 recycle bin settings (SharePoint on-premise)

With these being said, however, we can configure the recycle bin settings in SharePoint 2016, 2013, 2010 from the SharePoint central administration site (on-premise). As the recycle bin setting is based on the web application level, we cannot control this setting from the specific site collection or site. Below are the steps to manage the settings of Recycle Bin from SharePoint on-premise.
  1. Open the SharePoint central administration app.
  2. Under the application management, click on the manage web applications.
  3. Choose the site you want to configure recycle bin settings for and then click General Settings under Manage on the ribbon.
  4. On the Web Application General Settings page, scroll to the Recycle Bin section, and you can configure the following settings:
  • Under Recycle Bin Status, select On or Off to specify whether the Recycle Bins of all the sites within this web application is turned on or turned off. If you turn off the Recycle Bins, all of the files in them will be deleted, however, deletion will take time, depends on the quantity and fullness of the Recycle bin.
  • Under Delete items in the Recycle Bin, select either After or Never. If you select After, type in the corresponding box the number of days to wait before the Recycle Bins are emptied (that is, the number of days that the items in Recycle Bins remain in a deleted state). If you select Never, the Recycle Bins are never automatically emptied.
  • Under the Second Stage Recycle Bin, select either Add or Off.
5. Scroll down to the end of the dialog and click OK.

Summary:

Thus, in this article – we have learned the below with respect managing the recycle bin both in SharePoint online and SharePoint on-premise:
  • What is the Recycle bin in SharePoint Online and SharePoint on-premise?
  • Types of Recycle Bin in SharePoint online and SharePoint on-premise.
  • What is the site-level recycle bin and second-stage recycle bin?
  • How to configure SharePoint recycle bin settings office 365.
  • How to hide recycle bin in SharePoint online.
  • Restore deleted items from the site collection recycle bin.
  • Manage the Recycle bin of a SharePoint site.
  • How to find the SharePoint recycle bin URL.
  • How to find the second stage recycle bin SharePoint online URL.
  • How to change SharePoint 2013 change recycle bin settings.

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