Restore deleted items from the site collection recycle bin

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When you delete items (including OneDrive for Business files) from a SharePoint site, they’re sent to the site Recycle Bin (also called the first-stage Recycle Bin), where you can restore them if you need to. When you delete items from a site Recycle Bin, they’re sent to the site collection Recycle Bin (also called the second-stage Recycle Bin).

A SharePoint site collection administrator can view and restore deleted items from the site collection Recycle Bin to their original locations. If an item is deleted from the site collection Recycle Bin, or it exceeds the retention time, it is permanently deleted.

Important: The SharePoint Recycle Bin is different from the Recycle Bin in Windows. If you delete files or folders that you’re syncing, you can restore them from the Windows Recycle Bin on your PC. To put your Windows Recycle Bin on your desktop, see Show or hide the Recycle Bin.

Updated May, 2018 thanks to customer feedback.Online2019 and 201620132010

Restore an item from the SharePoint Online site collection Recycle bin

  1. On modern team sites and classic sites (subsites), in the left pane, choose Recycle bin.Choose Recycle Bin on left navigation.On modern communication sites, select Site contents, and then click Recycle bin in the top navigation bar. If you don’t see the Recycle Bin, follow these steps:
    1. Click Settings Settings button from SharePoint Online and then click Site settings. If you don’t see Site settings, click Site information and then click View all site settings. Some pages might require you to select Site contents, and then Site settings.
    2. On Site settings, under Site Collection Administration, click Recycle bin.Settings under Site Collection admin heading with Recycle highlighted
  2. At the bottom of the Recycle Bin page, click second-stage recycle bin.SharePoint online recycle bin with Second-level link highlightedNote: You need administrator or owner permissions to use the site collection Recycle Bin. If you don’t see it, it might have been disabled or you don’t have permission to access it.
  3. Point to the items you want to restore, click the check icon to the right of each one, and then click Restore.SharePoint Online Restore button highlightedIf you restore an item that was originally located in a deleted folder, the folder is recreated in its original location and the item is restored in that folder.

Restore an entire site collection

If you’re a global admin or SharePoint admin in Microsoft 365, you can also restore entire site collections from the site collection Recycle Bin. For info, see Restore a deleted site collection.

How long are deleted items kept in the Recycle Bin?

In SharePoint Online, items are retained for 93 days from the time you delete them from their original location. They stay in the site Recycle Bin the entire time, unless someone deletes them from there or empties that Recycle Bin. In that case, the items go to the site collection Recycle Bin, where they stay for the remainder of the 93 days unless:

  • the site collection Recycle Bin exceeds its quota and starts purging the oldest items
  • the items are manually deleted by the site collection administrator from the site collection Recycle Bin (for info about doing this, see Delete items from the site collection Recycle Bin)

The site Recycle Bin storage counts against your site collection storage quota and the List View Threshold. The amount of space allocated to the site collection Recycle Bin is 200% of the site collection quota. These values are not configurable.

SharePoint Online retains backups of all content for 14 additional days beyond actual deletion. If content can not be restored via the Recycle Bin or Files Restore, an administrator can contact Microsoft Support to request a restore any time inside the 14 day window .

Note: Restorations from backups can only be completed for site collections or subsites, not for specific files, lists, or libraries. If you need to recover a specific item, find it in the Recycle Bin, right-click it, and choose Restore.

A few basics about restoring from the Recycle Bin

  • Securable objects bring all their contents back with them    When you restore any securable object (any object to which access can be controlled), it is restored with all of the objects that it contained when it was deleted. For example, if you restore a list, library, folder, or Document Set, the restored version contains all the documents and other items that it contained when it was deleted. If you restore a file or other item that has multiple versions, the restored file or item includes all the versions it contained when it was deleted.
  • Most objects can’t be restored if their container objects aren’t present    If you delete an object and then delete the object that contained it, you must restore the container before you can restore the object. For example, if you delete a file and then delete the library in which it was stored, you must restore the library before you can restore the file. If you delete an earlier version of a file and then delete the current version of the file itself, you must restore the file itself before you can restore the earlier version.
  • Exception: An object deleted from a folder can be restored without first restoring the folder    The folder is automatically re-created in its former location, but now contains only the object that you restored. (Alternatively, you can also restore the folder manually from the Recycle Bin, in which case it’s restored with all the contents that it had when it was deleted.)

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This information was compiled using information courtesy of © Microsoft 2020. All rights reserved.

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