SharePoint Dragons

Nikander & Margriet on SharePoint

SharePoint 2010 Recycle Bin Blues

Let’s do a recap of the SharePoint 2010 Recycle Bin functionality. There are two stages, the site recycle bin and the site collection recycle bin. When the end user throws away content, it first is thrown into the site recycle bin (where, by default, it stays for 30 days). After this retention policy causes the deletion of content from the site collection bin, its added to the site collection recycle bin, where only site collection admins can restore it. Both recycle bins are enabled by default.

Check the recycle bin settings by doing this:

Controleer eerst de thresholds en settings voor beide recycle bins:

1. Open SCA

2. Go to Application Management > Manage Web Applications

3. Select the web application your interested in

4. In the ribbon, click General Settings

5. Check the recycle bin settings

If you can’t find an item in the site recycle bin, pay attention to a couple of things:

  • The end user who has deleted the content will see it in the site recycle bin, other end users won’t. The site collection admin will see all deleted content.
  • If you delete a folder, it will show up in the recycle bin. Individual sub items located in that folder won’t, and you can’t navigate thru that folder to find them.
  • Be careful, the content may have been renamed or relocated instead of deleted.

When the content is not there, a couple of things may have happened:

  • An administrator used SCA to turn off the recycle bins which causes the deletion of all recycle bins (and may even have turned it back on again, which makes no difference).
  • A recycle bin threshold has been reached which caused the automatic deletion of content.
  • An administrator deleted the content permanently from the site collection recycle bin.

When the content has been deleted permanently, there’s only one way to get it back: get it from an old back-up. This goes something like this:

1. Create a back-up of the current environment.

2. Restore the old content.

3. Export the content that is deleted in the current environment to the file system.

4. Restore the back-up of the current environment.

5. Upload important files.

Of course, you can only do this in production if there’s a time slot that allows for this, and it’s usually better to restore the content in another environment. The following blog post describes an interesting variant on the back-up/restore scenario: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/modonovan/archive/2007/09/14/how-to-recover-sharepoint-document-once-deleted-from-recycle-bin.aspx

If you don’t have access to old back-ups, you’re in a dark place where unfortunately you won’t be able to restore the lost files. One last thing, be aware that end users may be confused by the fact that deleted items may still show up in searches. This confusion will go away eventually after indexing as taken place.

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