Delete items from the site collection recycle bin

When you or an end user deletes most items in SharePoint, such as a file, list item, folder or document set, a list or library, a site, or a workspace, they’re moved to the site recycle bin. Some items, such as files can be contained in another item such as a folder or a library. When an item is deleted from the site or workspace recycle bin, it is placed in the site collection or second-stage recycle bin.

If you're looking to restore items from the site recycle bin, see Restore items in the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site.

Notes: 

  • The SharePoint Recycle Bin is different from the Recycle Bin in Windows. To recover files deleted in Windows 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.

  • If you don’t see a Recycle Bin    The Recycle Bin might have been disabled. Talk with your farm or server administrator.

Updated January 25, 2017 thanks to customer feedback.

Delete items or empty the Second-Stage Recycle Bin in SharePoint Online

Caution: When you delete an item from the Second-Stage or Site Collection Recycle Bin, it is permanently removed.

  1. On the left Quick Launch pane of the Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

    Choose Recycle Bin on left navigation.

    If you don't see the Recycle Bin, and you do have permissions, try the following steps.

    1. Click Settings Settings button from SharePoint Online and then click Site settings.

    2. Click Recycle bin under Site Collection Administration.

      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 highlighted
  3. Do one of the following:

    • Delete one or more items    Hover and click the circle next to the item(s) you want to delete and then click Delete.

      SharePoint Online 2nd level recycle with delete button highlighted
    • Delete all items    Clear all check marks and click Empty recycle bin.

      SharePoint Online 2nd level recycle bin with Empty recycle bin button highlighted
  4. In the confirmation box, click Delete.

    Caution: Once you delete an item from the Second-Stage Recycle Bin, it is permanently removed.

Delete items or empty the Second-Stage Recycle Bin in SharePoint Server 2016

Caution: When you delete an item from the Second-Stage or Site Collection Recycle Bin, it is permanently removed.

  1. On the left Quick Launch pane of the Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

    Choose Recycle Bin on left navigation.

    If you don't see the Recycle Bin, and you do have permissions, try the following steps.

    1. Click Settings Office 365 Settings button and then click Site settings.

    2. Click Recycle bin under Site Collection Administration.

      Settings under Site Collection admin heading with Recycle highlighted
  2. On the Recycle Bin page click second-stage recycle bin.

    SharePoint 2016 Second-level recycle bin link
  3. Do one of the following:

    • Delete one or more items    Click the check box next to the item(s) you want to delete and then click Delete Selection.

    • Delete all items    Click the box next to Type, and then click Delete Selection.

      SharePoint 2016 2nd level recycle bin with all items selected and delete highlighted
  4. Click OK.

Delete items or empty the Second-Stage Recycle Bin in SharePoint 2013

Caution: When you delete an item from the Second-Stage or Site Collection Recycle Bin, it is permanently removed.

  1. On the left Quick Launch pane of the Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

    If you don't see the Recycle Bin, and you do have permissions, try the following steps.

    1. Click Settings Office 365 Settings button and then click Site settings.

    2. Click Recycle bin under Site Collection Administration.

      Settings under Site Collection admin heading with Recycle highlighted
  2. In the recycle bin dialog, click Deleted from end user Recycle Bin.

    SharePoint 2013 recycle bin with Delete From User highlighted
  3. Do one of the following:

    • Delete one or more items    Click the check box next to the item(s) you want to delete and then click Delete Selection.

      SharePoint 2013 2nd level recycle bin delete button
    • Delete all items    Click the box next to Type, and then click Delete Selection.

      SharePoint 2013 2nd level recycle with all items selected and delete button highlighted
  4. Click OK.

Delete items or empty the Second-Stage Recycle Bin in SharePoint 2010

Caution: When you delete an item from the Second-Stage or Site Collection Recycle Bin, it is permanently removed.

  1. On the left Quick Launch pane of the Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

    SharePoint 2010 Site Recycle link on Quick Launch bar

    If you don't see the Recycle Bin, and you do have permissions, try the following steps.

    1. Click Site Actions Site Actions Menu , and then click Site settings.

    2. Click Recycle bin under Site Collection Administration.

      SharePoint 2010 Site Collection admin section with Recycle highlighted
  2. At the top of the Recycle Bin page, click second-stage recycle bin.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Delete one or more items    Click the check box next to the item(s) you want to delete and then click Delete Selection.

    • Delete all items    Click the box next to Type, and then click Delete Selection.

      SharePoint 2010 Recycle bin deleteing all files
  4. Click OK.

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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