Empty the recycle bin or restore your files

When you delete an item from SharePoint team site library, or from a list, it isn’t immediately removed from SharePoint. Deleted items go into the recycle bin, where they stay until they’re automatically removed approximately 90 days later. Within that time, you can either restore the files to their original location, or remove them to free up storage space.

Notes: The SharePoint Recycle Bin is different from the Recycle Bin in Windows. If you're trying to recover files deleted in Windows, from your desktop, or apps, try the Windows Recycle Bin first. For information about the Recycle Bin in Windows, see Windows Recycle Bin: FAQ.

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.

To open your recycle bin

When you open the recycle bin, you’ll only see items that you’ve deleted. When you delete an item from a site recycle bin it automatically goes into the Second-Stage Recycle Bin where it remains for a set period until it’s completely purged from SharePoint. If you’re a site collection admin, see Manage the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site collection for more information about this feature.

  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.
  2. The Recycle Bin opens.

    Recycle bin

  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.
  2. In the Recycle Bin page, click the box to the right of the items or files you want to delete or restore.

  3. Click Delete Selection to delete or Restore Selection to recover the selected files.

Note:  If you don’t see the item you’re looking for, it may have exceeded the holding time limit and already deleted. But all is not lost. You can 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 or delete items from recycle bin.

  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.
  2. In the Recycle Bin page click Empty Recycle Bin to delete all items.

Empty the recycle bin of all items

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