A complete guide to recovering deleted SharePoint sites

Your team has designed a beautiful SharePoint Team Site for your intranet, which serves as the foundation of your business. Then someone pressed delete by accident, or the site becomes damaged. Or, even worse, another administrator deletes a whole Site Collection by mistake. It would be your responsibility as an Office 365 or Sharepoint administrator to retrieve them. Administrators have never had a straightforward method to restore a deleted site or site collection in SharePoint. The recycle bin, which was first introduced in SharePoint 2007, only allows you to recover lists and list items. The only option to recover a site or site collection that had been accidentally erased was to restore it from a database backup. We thought we’d offer some assistance by providing a step-by-step guide on how to restore a deleted Sharepoint site, as well as best practices for Microsoft 365 data recovery. 

  1. Steps to recover a deleted site in SharePoint
  2. Potential limitation when restoring a deleted SharePoint site
  3. Best practices for SharePoint site recovery

This comprehensive guide will cover all these points to help users get a better understanding of how to recover a SharePoint site. We’ll assess methods on how to recover a SharePoint site as well some potential limitations you could face when you begin to restore your SharePoint site. We will also discuss some of the best practices to help recover a site and some you should follow to help both protect your content as well as allow you to seamlessly restore your site. Follow through for more information on how to recover a deleted SharePoint site.

Steps to recover a deleted site in SharePoint

Admin Recovery of SharePoint site

Admins have it easier with an easy click and restore method within their dashboard. They can dictate which sites remain and which will be deleted. By default, all sites will remain for 93 days before they are completely removed from the site. Admins can add a retention policy to prevent the site from being deleted after 93 days, however during this time admins can restore the site. Admin users follow through for a step-by-step guide on recovering a SharePoint site using your dashboard.

Step by step process – Admin Recovery of SharePoint site

  • First, sign in to your Office 365 account.
  • Use the app launcher and navigate to admin.
  • Click on “Show All” to reveal “Admin centers.”
  • Here click on “SharePoint.”
  • Under “Sites” click on “Deleted sites”.
  • Select the site you want to restore.
  • “Finally”, click on “Restore”.

If you don’t see the restore button you either have more than one site selected or you don’t have the correct permissions, ensure your main global admin has given you access to restore a deleted site. Another reason is you have an access policy enabled to prevent further action of a site, you will need to ensure all those permissions are lifted to ensure the site can be restored or deleted.

When you restore a site that is part of a Microsoft 365 group, you are also restoring the Microsoft 365 group and all of its resources. The other group materials are only kept for 30 days, whereas the site is kept for 93 days. If the other group resources have been eliminated, you may permanently delete the site using the PowerShell command Remove-SPODeletedSite.

Summary

Regardless of the extra steps required following the steps above will help to restore a deleted site if you are an admin user of a network assuming you have all the correct permissions enabled you should be able to restore any site you have within the account.

Regular user recovery SharePoint site with PowerShell

An item’s maximum allowable retention time is 30 days. The deleted item remains in one of the recycle bins for 30 days if you don’t meet the second stage quota limit. If you remove an item and it ends up in the first stage recycling bin, it is kept for the whole 30 days since it still counts against your limit. If an item is deleted and resides in or is moved to the second stage recycle bin, it does not count against your quota unless it is a deleted SharePoint web application; however, the retention time for this item may be less than 30 days if the total amount of content in the second stage bin exceeds the site quota by 50%. You will need to restore a site via PowerShell within this time before the command request access to the site becomes videos as the site scrips are ready to delete after the 30 day period. After this time only admin access will restore your site, they will again have up to 93 days to restore your site before its deleted completely from the server.

If you destroy a site collection by accident, you may recover it with PowerShell.

When a site collection (that is, an SPSite object) is unintentionally destroyed in SharePoint Server, the SPDeletedSite object, not the SPSite object, is used to hold the deleted site collection. To recover a deleted site collection, use the Restore-SPDeletedSite cmdlet or access the object model programmatically.

Users of SharePoint Server 2019 can restore items that they have removed as well as objects that other site users have erased. Users must have edit permission on deleted objects in order for them to appear in their SharePoint recycle bin.

Step by step process – Regular user recovery SharePoint site with PowerShell

  • Go to Powershell
  • Input this code
Restore-SPDeletedSite       
[-Identity] <SPDeletedSitePipeBind>       
[-AssignmentCollection <SPAssignmentCollection>]       
[-Confirm]       
[-ContentDatabase <SPContentDatabasePipeBind>]       
[-WebApplication <SPWebApplicationPipeBind>]      
[-WhatIf]       
[<CommonParameters>]

Unlike the Restore-SPSite cmdlet, which utilizes the hostname and scheme for the Identity argument (https://server name), all SPDeletedSite cmdlets use a server-relative URL for the identity parameter. The forward slash character (/) usually starts a relative URL and also indicates the root site.

Potential limitation when restoring a deleted SharePoint site

Here’s where the caveat comes in, and it’s a big one. Sites that have been deleted are only kept for a maximum of 90 days. The removed sites are automatically and permanently erased after 90 days.

Furthermore, the quantity of data that may be retained in the Site Collection Recycle Bin is limited. The oldest things, including deleted sites, will be automatically and permanently erased if the quota is surpassed.

Best practices for SharePoint site recovery

Time and size constraints apply to native methods such as recovering sites from the SharePoint Recycle Bin. What if, as the administrator, you discovered that a deleted site or site collection could not be recovered because the Recycle Bin had been emptied or three months had passed? Understand that such built-in solutions are intended as a stopgap measure rather than a long-term solution.

Conclusion

That’s it for this Blog thank you for taking time out to read our content, please feel free to email our team about how it went if you followed the steps or if you need more help with the questions we answered in this Blog.

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Saajid Gangat

Saajid Gangat has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Saajid is a tech-savvy writer with expertise in web and graphic design and has extensive knowledge of Microsoft 365, Adobe, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more! You can connect with Saajid on Linkedin.

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