Restore deleted content in the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site

When you delete content from a SharePoint site, it’s not deleted immediately. Instead, it’s sent to the Recycle Bin of the site, where you can restore the deleted content if needed. The Recycle Bin is a safety net for deleted content.

If you delete content from the Recycle Bin of a site, it’s sent to another Recycle Bin for the entire site collection. Only the site collection administrator can view, restore, or delete items from this second-stage Recycle Bin.

Important: The Recycle Bin on a SharePoint site collection is different from the Recycle Bin in Windows. For information about the Recycle Bin in Windows, see The desktop (overview).

As a site collection administrator, you can view and manage deleted items across a site collection from the Recycle Bin and Second-Stage Recycle Bin pages. When items are deleted from the Site Recycle Bin, they are sent to the Second-Stage Recycle Bin. This gives you greater control when users delete files, versions of files, list items, libraries, lists, and folders from a SharePoint site by providing a two-stage safety net before an item is permanently deleted from a site.

Note: Sites in SharePoint can be highly customized, and the recycle bin might not be on all menus.

A user who deletes an item from a Recycle Bin can contact you to restore the item to its original location.

Note:  Deleted sites are automatically sent to the Second-Stage Recycle Bin and can be restored only by a Site Collection Administrator.

Behavior of items in the first-level (Site) Recycle Bin:

  • Items in the Recycle Bin count against site quota.

  • The site collection administrator can see all items deleted by any user from any site within the site collection.

  • Non-administrator users can see the items they deleted from the site.

  • Items in the Recycle Bin can be sent to the Second-Stage Recycle Bin by the user or the site collection administrator.

  • All items re automatically deleted approximately 90 days after they were originally recycled.

Behavior of items in the Second-Stage Recycle Bin:

  • Items in the Second-Stage Recycle Bin don't count against site quota, with the exception of deleted subsites, which do count against site quota.

  • Items in the Second-Stage Recycle Bin can only be seen by the site collection administrator.

  • Items in the Second-Stage Recycle Bin can only be restored or deleted by the site collection administrator.

  • All items are automatically deleted approximately 90 days after they were originally recycled.

  • All items are automatically deleted when the total storage for the Second-Stage Recycle Bin exceeds 200% of your site collection quota.

As a site collection administrator, you can use the Site Recycle Bin to view, delete, and restore items deleted by other users.

To display the Site Recycle Bin:

  1. On the left navigation pane of the Team Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

    Choose Recycle Bin on left navigation.
  2. The Recycle Bin page opens:

    Recycle Bin

The Second-Stage Recycle Bin allows you to view, delete and restore items even after you have emptied, or deleted items from the Site Recycle Bin.

To display the Second-Stage Recycle Bin:

  1. On the left navigation pane of the Team Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

  2. On the Site Collection Recycle Bin page choose second-stage recycle bin.

    Choose second-stage recycle-bin link.
  3. The Second-Stage Recycle Bin page opens:

    Second-Stage Recycle Bin.

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

  1. On the site where you want to add an app, Click Settings Office 365 Settings button and then click Site settings.

  2. Click Recycle bin under Site Collection Administration.

  3. Click Deleted from end user Recycle Bin under the Select a View in the Quick launch bar.

  4. If there are any recycled items, check the items you want to delete or restore, and click Delete Selection or Restore Selection.

    The Recycle Bin menus under Site Settings

When you delete an item from the Site Recycle Bin, it is moved to the Second-Stage Recycle Bin.

  1. On the left navigation pane of the Team Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

    To remove an item or items, do one of the following:

    • Select the check box next to the item you want to delete > Delete Selection.

      Delet a selection from Recycle Bin.
    • To move all the items from the Site Recycle Bin to the Second-Stage Recycle Bin, choose Empty Recycle Bin.

      Empty Recycle Bin.

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

  1. On the left navigation pane of the Team Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

  2. On the Recycle Bin page choose second-stage recycle bin.

  3. Select the check box next to the item(s) you want to delete > Delete Selection.

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

As a site collection administrator, you can restore a user’s deleted item to its original location, as long as the item hasn't exceeded the original deleted date that the service administrator set. For SharePoint Online, items in the Recycle Bin are deleted automatically after approximately 90 days.

  1. On the left navigation pane of the Team Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

  2. Select the check box next to the item you want to restore, and then click Restore Selection.

    Restore a selection from Recycle Bin.

    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.

If you accidentally emptied the Site Recycle Bin, you can still restore those items from the Second-Stage Recycle Bin as long as they have not been automatically deleted. For SharePoint Online, items in the Recycle Bin are deleted automatically after approximately 90 days.

  1. On the left navigation pane of the Team Site page, choose Recycle Bin.

  2. On the Recycle Bin page choose second-stage recycle bin

  3. Select the check box next to the item you want to restore, and then click Restore Selection.

    Restore a selection from Recycle Bin.

    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.

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