Recovering a Document from the SharePoint Recycle Bin

How to Configure the Recycle Bin and Save the Sanity of Every SharePoint Admin

SharePoint Recycle BinIssue: You’ve just been notified by one of your users that the super important document that keeps your company running is now missing and may very likely have been deleted.

What do you do now?

Solution: Well, the good news is – it can be recovered! This blog will discuss a couple document restore options and hopefully help you save the day and get the promotion (or at least a free lunch).

If you’re new to SharePoint administration or maybe just forgot about this built-in feature, SharePoint has a Recycle Bin. A few years ago, we explained how to empty the recycle bin in SharePoint. And while you probably don’t want to delete at this time, the Recycle Bin feature can easily save you a lot of time and effort by just a click of a button. Keep in mind, SharePoint’s default settings will save deleted items for 30 days, but this value can be adjusted, see below.

Recover Document or Backup/Restore SharePoint Recycle Bin

To access the SharePoint Recycle Bin:

  1. Log onto the SharePoint site
  2. Site Actions >> Site Settings
  3. Under the group “Site Collection Administration”  select Recycle BinSite Collection Administration Recycle Bin
  4. You will be presented with a list of items that have been deleted within the last 30 daysEnd User Recycle Bin Items
  5. If the document you’re looking for is not there, be sure to check the second layer of the SharePoint Recycle bin: “Deleted from end user Recycle Bin”Deleted from End User Recycle Bin
  6. Hopefully, this recovers your deleted item and saves the day.

Configuring SharePoint Recycle Bin Settings at Web Application Level

This affects all sites hosted by that Web Application. (The instructions below work for both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013.) To configure Recycle Bin settings at the Web application level:

  1. On the Quick Launch, Click Application Management
  2. Under Web Applications >> Manage Web Applications
  3. Select the Web Application you wish to adjust the Recycle Bin settings. On the SharePoint Ribbon select General Settings >> General SettingsSharePoint Ribbon General Settings
  4. Under the Web Application General Settings navigate to the Recycle Bin section and follow the guidelines below the image to configure to your liking.Web Application General Settings Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin Status:

  • On or Off

Delete Items in the Recycle Bin:

  • You can adjust the Recycle Bin retention period ( the amount of days items will be saved into the Recycle bin)
  • Default days = 30
  • Example: With the default value of 30 days, if item never deleted by the user in the first recycle bin, it will be automatically deleted permanently from the first and second recycle bin after 30 days. If item is deleted from the first recycle bin after 10 days, item will be permanently deleted from the second stage recycle bin after 20 days.

Second State Recycle Bin:

  • Select Add, and then type the number that is the percentage that you want to increase a site’s quota for Recycle Bin items. Otherwise, select Off to disable second-stage Recycle Bins
  • You can completely turn off the second-stage recycle bin which will disable the second-stage recycle bin.
  • Keep in mind that first stage of the recycle bin counts towards your site collection quota but Second stage of recycle bin has its own quota defined by these settings.
  • Example: If you define 100 GB site quota per site collection in the web application and allocate 50% quota for the second stage recycle bin, SharePoint will allocate 50 GB storage quota to the second-stage recycle bin making it 150 GB storage quota per site collection on the web application in the content database. This may have large implication of content database sizing and SQL Server storage requirements.
  • Here is most important and potentially scary nature of 2nd stage recycle bin => If site quota is not configured at the site collection level then recycle bin quota is unlimited.

That’s it! Click OK at the end of the configuration window to save changes

Pro Tip: To protect yourself against data loss please review all Managed Backup options available by Fpweb.net. Every business is different and we can work with you to find a Business Continuity Plan that fits your needs. Also, for further protection for your SharePoint documents, check out our Managed Backups and Recovery options.

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