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If you managing data on SharePoint you need to know Recycle Bin on SharePoint.

Learn how the data retention works in SharePoint recycle bin.

SharePoint offers by design available data retention that helps you to easily restore your deleted data. One of the key features presented in SharePoint is Recycle Bin which is trash for your data. SharePoint Recycle bin gives you the possibility to easily restore your data for 60 days.

Learn how to manage data retention on SharePoint Online in Office 365 using Recycle Bin feature.

How to use Recycle Bin on SharePoint


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What is SharePoint Recycle Bin?

SharePoint Recycle Bin is the trash that stores deleted data on SharePoint sites: list elements, documents, pages, news,, list and document libraries or subsites.

The main role of Recycle Bin in SharePoint is to secure the retention of deleted data. When you removing something on the SharePoint site it is not immediately permanently removed it is moved to SharePoint Recycle Bin.

How to use Recycle Bin on SharePoint

You have the possibility to Restore or Delete elements stored in Recycle Bin.

How to use Recycle Bin on SharePoint

You have two types of the Recycle Bin in SharePoint:

  • The first stage recycle bin – user-oriented recycle bin
  • Second-stage recycle bin – admin-oriented recycle bin

You can use SharePoint Recycle Bin or Restore option to restore removed data from SharePoint.

How to access SharePoint Recycle Bin?

To open SharePoint Recycle Bin select Site settings (1) and Site Contents (2).

How to use Recycle Bin on SharePoint

In the Site contents, you will be able to find Recycle bin icon to open it.

How to use Recycle Bin on SharePoint

To open the second-stage recycle bin you will need to open the first-stage recycle bin and at the bottom of the page, you will find a link to it.

How to use Recycle Bin on SharePoint

If in your case for some reason Recycle Bin icon is missing you can try to open the recycle bins in SharePoint using direct URL to the pages:

First-stage SharePoint Recycle Bin URL: YourSharePointSite/_layouts/15/AdminRecycleBin.aspx?view=5

Second-stage SharePoint Recycle Bin URL: YourSharePointSite/_layouts/15/AdminRecycleBin.aspx?view=13

How to empty SharePoint Recycle Bin?

SharePoint Recycle Bin will empty itself automatically based on retention periods. If you would like to empty SharePoint Recycle Bin manually, open it and select the Empty recycle bin button.

How to use Recycle Bin on SharePoint

How to search in SharePoint Recycle Bin?

If your SharePoint Recycle Bin contains hundreds of elements and it is very difficult to find the right file you could try to Search through Recycle Bin. To be fair Search window for the SharePoint Recycle Bin does not work very well.

? If you need to Search inside Recycle Bin I recommend using the Restore option on the list or library.

SharePoint Recycle Bin data retention

SharePoint Recycle Bin will store your data for up to 90 days.

Time to restore deleted filesFirst level Recycle Bin
Second level Recycle BinService request to MicrosoftTOTAL
SharePoint30 days60 days14 days104 days
OneDrive30 days60 days14 days104 days
Teams30 days60 days14 days104 days

You can restore removed data from SharePoint Recycle Bin.

SharePoint Recycle Bin permissions

You need to have higher permissions to have the possibility to restore data from SharePoint Recycle Bin.

Permissions required to restore data from Recycle Bin:

  • First-stage SharePoint Recycle Bin – At least Edit permissions – you are able to restore data deleted by you and by other users
  • Second-stage SharePoint Recycle Bin – Site Collection Administrator permissions are required

SharePoint Recycle Bin settings

In SharePoint Online there are no settings or available configurations for the SharePoint Recycle Bin.


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