View, restore, or delete items in the Recycle Bin of a site

The Recycle Bin provides a safety net when deleting files, versions of files, list items, libraries, lists, and folders from a site. When you or site visitors delete any of these items from a site, the items are placed in the Recycle Bin. This article focuses on the tasks that a contributor to a site can accomplish. For information about how to manage the Recycle Bin for a site collection or how to configure Recycle Bin settings, see Manage the Recycle Bin of a site.

Important: This article discusses the Recycle Bin on a SharePoint site, which is different from the Recycle Bin in Windows.

In this article

Overview

View items in the Recycle Bin

Delete an item in the Recycle Bin

Restore an item in the Recycle Bin

Overview

Items in the Recycle Bin remain there until you or a site collection administrator decide to permanently delete them from your Web site, or until the items are permanently deleted after a set number of days, which is based on a schedule defined in Central Administration. When you delete an item from a Web site, the item is sent to the site's Recycle Bin. If you click Recycle Bin, you can see all of the items that you’ve deleted from your site.

You can either restore or delete an item from the Recycle Bin. When you delete an item from the Recycle Bin, the item is sent to the Site Collection Recycle Bin.

Note: The Recycle Bin shows only the items that you have deleted. You cannot view items that were deleted by other users and only a site collection administrator can see items that you have deleted. If you do not see the Recycle Bin on your site, the Recycle Bin could have been disabled by the server administrator.

File moving through Recycle Bins

1. You delete a document from a document library.

2. The document is moved to the Recycle Bin for the site, where you or a site collection administrator can restore it or delete it.

3. If the file is deleted from the site Recycle Bin, it is sent to the Site Collection Recycle Bin, where a site collection administrator can restore it or delete it permanently.

The Site Collection Recycle Bin gives the administrator of a site collection greater control over deleted items by providing a second stage safety net before an item is permanently deleted from a site. When you delete an item from your Recycle Bin, the item is sent to a second stage Recycle Bin (also known as the Site Collection Recycle Bin) that the administrator of the site collection manages.

The Recycle Bin is enabled in a site collection by default, and is configured in Central Administration at the site collection level. When enabled at this level, the server administrator can specify how long items remain in the Recycle Bin before the items are emptied. The server administrator can also disable the second stage Recycle Bin, or disable the Recycle Bin in a site collection altogether.

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View items in the Recycle Bin

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 do not see the Recycle Bin on your site, it could have been disabled by the server administrator.

To view items in the Recycle Bin, click Recycle Bin on the Quick Launch.

Recycle Bin

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Delete an item in the Recycle Bin

By default, items that you delete from the Recycle Bin are sent to the Site Collection Recycle Bin. A site collection administrator can restore an item to its original location, as long as the item has not exceeded the expiration date that the server administrator set in Central Administration.

When you delete a file, all versions of the file are also deleted. When you delete a library, all files in the library are deleted.

  1. Click Recycle Bin on the Quick Launch.

    Note: 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 do not see the Recycle Bin on your site, it could have been disabled by the server administrator.

  2. Select the check box next to the item.

  3. Click Delete Selection.

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Restore an item in the Recycle Bin

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.

  1. Click Recycle Bin on the Quick Launch.

    Note: 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 do not see the Recycle Bin on your site, it could have been disabled by the server administrator.

  2. Select the check box next to the item.

  3. Click Restore Selection.

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