Restore deleted items from the site collection recycle bin 

When you delete content from a SharePoint site, it’s not deleted immediately. Instead, it’s sent to the site's Recycle Bin, where you can restore the deleted content if needed. The Recycle Bin is a safety net for deleted content. Content is held in the site's recycle bin for a period, and then automatically moved to the Site Collection Recycle Bin.

If you delete content from the Recycle Bin of a site, it’s sent to the Site Collection Recycle Bin. As a SharePoint site collection administrator, you can restore a user’s deleted item from the Second-Stage or Site Collection Recycle Bin to its original location, if the item hasn't exceeded the retention time that the service administrator set. For more info, see How long are deleted items kept in the Recycle Bin?

Important: 

  • If you don’t see a Recycle Bin   the Recycle Bin might have been disabled. If you have the permissions, see Configure SharePoint Recycle Bin settings. If not, talk with your farm or server administrator.

  • 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.

Updated January 12, 2017 thanks to customer feedback.

Restore an item from the SharePoint Online Site Collection Recycle Bin page

  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. Hover and click the circle next to the item(s) you want to restore and then click Restore.

    SharePoint Online Restore button highlighted

    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.

Restore an item from the SharePoint 2016 Site Collection Recycle Bin page

  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 SharePoint 2016 Settings button on title bar. 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 2016 Second-level recycle bin link
  3. Click the box next to the item(s) you want to restore and then click Restore.

    SharePoint 2nd level recycle with restore button highlighted

    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.

  4. Click OK.

Restore an item from the SharePoint 2013 Site Collection Recycle Bin page

  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 dialog, click Deleted from end user Recycle Bin.

    SharePoint 2013 recycle bin with Delete From User highlighted
  3. Click the box next to the item(s) you want to restore and then click Restore.

    SharePoint 2013 2nd level recycle bin with restore button highlighted

    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.

  4. Click OK.

Restore an item from the SharePoint 2010 Site Collection Recycle Bin page

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

    SharePoint 2010 Site Recycle link on Quick Launch bar
  2. Click Site Collection Recycle Bin at the top of the page.

    If you didn't see the Recycle Bin in the Quick Launch 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
  3. Click Deleted from end user Recycle Bin on the right side of the screen.

    SharePoint 2010 2nd level recycle link
  4. Click the check box next to the item(s) you want to restore and then click Restore Selection.

    SharePoint 2010 with items selected and the Restore button highlighted
  5. Click OK.

    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.

Important: If you restore a file or folder with the same name as an existing file or folder on your SharePoint site, that existing file or folder will be renamed to allow the deleted item to be restored.

Restore an entire site or workspace

In early versions of SharePoint, the only way to restore a deleted site or workspace was to restore it from a backup.

But in SharePoint Server 2010 and later, deleted sites and workspaces are retained in the Site Collection Recycle Bin. From there, a site collection administrator can restore an entire deleted site or workspace directly to its site collection.

Before you restore, you should be aware that:

  • Any content types that are added while a site or workspace is in the Recycle Bin are not added to that site or workspace. Thus, field definitions might not be up to date.

  • Content deployment does not affect a deleted site or workspace in the Recycle Bin. To resolve this issue, run scoped deployment for the site or workspace after you restore it.

  • When update packages are installed, including Microsoft quick fix engineering (QFE) updates, the update packages are not applied to a site or workspace in the Recycle Bin. To resolve this issue, manually upgrade the site collection by using the Upgrade-SPContentDatabase cmdlet on the content database that contains that site collection.

For additional information about the Site Collection Recycle Bin, see one of these two TechNet articles: Configure Recycle Bin settings (SharePoint Server 2010) or Configure Recycle Bin settings (SharePoint Foundation). If you still have questions, talk with your farm or server administrator.

Note:  If you don’t see the site or workspace that you want, it might already have been permanently deleted, either manually or automatically. If you have questions about the automatic deletion settings, talk with your farm or server administrator.

Using Windows PowerShell and SharePoint Server, a site collection administrator can also restore an entire deleted site collection. For the details, see Restore a deleted site collection in SharePoint 2010 or see Restore a deleted site collection in SharePoint 2013.

How long are deleted items kept in the Recycle Bin?

The default length of time an item (file, folder, etc.) is kept in the site recycle bin is set by the administrator. In SharePoint Online, the default is approximately 90 days. The site recycle bin storage counts against your site collection storage quota and the List View Threshold. The Site Collection Recycle Bin retention time is 30 days. The default amount of space for the site collection is 200% of the site collection quota.

For SharePoint server 2016, 2013, or 2010, the default retention time is 30 days. Items in the site Recycle Bin count against the site's storage quota and the List View Threshold. The default amount of space for the Site Collection Recycle Bin is 50% of the site quota, but can be set for up to 100% of quota. These values can be changed by your site or farm administrator. For more info, see Configure SharePoint Recycle Bin settings.

Each recycle bin starts its own clock, so if the system deletes an item from the site recycle bin, and it goes to the site collection recycle bin, it starts another 30-day countdown.

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.)

Restore site collection with PowerShell

From the Second-stage recycle bin you can restore files, documents, folders, list items, as well as sites and workspaces. To learn how a site collection administrator can restore an entire site collection by using Windows PowerShell, see Restore a deleted site collection in SharePoint. If you want to delete content from the Site Collection Recycle Bin, see Delete items from the site collection recycle bin.

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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