Restore items in the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site

When you delete an item from SharePoint document library or list, it isn’t immediately removed from SharePoint. Deleted items go into the recycle bin, where they stay until they’re automatically removed. Within that time, you can restore the files to their original location as long as you have edit permissions on the site where the files are located. If you're using SharePoint Online, you can even restore items that were deleted by someone else.

If you're looking to delete items from the site recycle bin, see Delete items or empty the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site.

Notes: 

  • The SharePoint Recycle Bin is different from the Recycle Bin in Windows. To recover local files deleted from your desktop or apps, try the Windows Recycle Bin first. To put your Windows recycle bin on your desktop, see Put the Windows Recycle bin back on your desktop.

  • If you're looking for the recycle bin for OneDrive, go to your OneDrive site and select Recycle bin on the left side of the screen.

Updated January 12, 2017 thanks to customer feedback.

Restore items from the SharePoint Online site recycle bin

You can restore items that you've deleted or items that have been deleted by someone else in your company.

Note: Some functionality is introduced gradually to organizations that have opted in to the First Release program. This means that you may not yet see this feature or it may look different than what is described in the help articles.

  1. Click Recycle Bin in the Quick Launch bar on the left of the screen.

    Choose Recycle Bin on left navigation.

    If you don't see the Recycle Bin on the Quick Launch bar, follow these steps:

    • Click Settings Settings button from SharePoint Online , and then click Site Contents.

    • The Recycle Bin is in the top right portion of the Site Content page.

      SharePoint Online Site Contents page Recycle button

    Note: If you don’t see a Recycle Bin    The Recycle Bin might have been disabled. Talk with your farm or server administrator. If you're an administrator, see Configure SharePoint Recycle Bin Settings.

  2. On the Recycle Bin page, click to the left of the items or files to select the ones you want to restore.

    SharePoint Online recycle bin with item highlighted
  3. Click Restore to recover the selected files.

    SharePoint Online Restore button highlighted

    You'll get a notification if the restore succeeded or failed.

    SharePoint Online recycle notification

Note: If you don’t see the item you’re looking for, it may have exceeded the holding time limit and already deleted. If you have admin rights, see Restore deleted items from the site collection recycle bin. If not, contact your administrator who may be able to restore it.

When you restore an item, it is restored to the same location that it was deleted from.

Restore items from the SharePoint 2016 or 2013 Recycle Bins

  1. Click Recycle Bin in the Quick Launch bar on the left of the screen.

    Choose Recycle Bin on left navigation.

    If you don't see the Recycle Bin on the Quick Launch bar, follow these steps:

    • Click Settings Office 365 Settings button , and then click Site Content.

    • The Recycle Bin is in the top right portion of the Site Content page.

      View of recycle bin button inside Site Contents.

    Note: If you don’t see a Recycle Bin    The Recycle Bin might have been disabled. Talk with your farm or server administrator. If you're an administrator, see Configure SharePoint Recycle Bin Settings.

  2. On the Recycle Bin page, click the box to the left of the items or files to select the ones you want to delete or restore.

  3. Click Restore Selection to recover the selected files.

    Restore or delete items from recycle bin.
  4. Click OK in the confirmation dialog.

Note: If you don’t see the item you’re looking for, it may have exceeded the holding time limit and already deleted. If you have admin rights, see Restore deleted items from the site collection recycle bin. If not, contact your administrator who may be able to restore it.

When an item is restored, it is restored to the same location that it was deleted from.

Restore items from the SharePoint 2010 or 2007 Recycle Bin

  1. Click Recycle Bin on the Quick Launch bar (you may need to scroll down).

    SharePoint 2010 Site Recycle link on Quick Launch bar

    Notes: 

    • The Recycle Bin shows only the items that you have deleted. You cannot view items that were deleted by other users unless you are a site collection administrator.

    • If you don’t see a Recycle Bin    The Recycle Bin might have been disabled. Talk with your farm or server administrator. If you're an administrator, see Configure SharePoint Recycle Bin Settings.

  2. Select the check box next to the item.

    SharePoint 2007 Recycle dialog with items selected
  3. Click Restore Selection.

    SharePoint 2010 with items selected and the Restore button highlighted
  4. Click OK in the confirmation dialog.

Overview

You can restore a list, list item, library, file, or a version of a file to its original location, as long as you have not already deleted its parent. For example, you cannot restore a version of a file if the file itself has been deleted. That's because when you delete a file, you delete all versions of the file. Similarly, you cannot restore a file if the library to which it belonged has been deleted.

One way around the situation just described is to first restore the library and then restore the file to the library. Be aware, though, that when you restore a securable object, you restore the all of the contents of the securable object at the time it was deleted. A securable object is anything to which permissions can be assigned. In this case, we mean a list, list item, library, or a file. So in this example, when you restore a library, all of the files that the library contained are also restored.

The exception to the rule is with folders. If 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. In this case, the entire contents of the folder is not restored.

When you delete an item from a site recycle bin it automatically goes into the Second-Stage Recycle Bin or Site Collection Recycle Bin, where it remains for approximately 30 days, until it’s completely purged from SharePoint.

Put the Windows recycle bin back on your desktop

While the Windows recycle bin has nothing to do with SharePoint, it is important to have it handy for retrieving local files that you delete. Here's how to put it back on your desktop:

To put the Windows 10 Recycle bin back on your desktop:

  1. Select the Start Windows 10 start button button, then select Settings SharePoint 2016 Settings button on title bar. .

  2. Select Personalization > Themes > Desktop icon settings.

  3. Select the Recycle Bin check box > Apply.

• To get to desktop icon settings in Windows 8.1, swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then select Search. Type desktop icons in the search box, and then select Show or hide common icons on the desktop.

• To get to desktop icon settings in Windows 7, select the Start button, type desktop icons in the search box, and then select Show or hide common icons on the desktop.

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