SharePoint 2010 Recycle Bin Capabilities – Do you know how it really works?

Do you really know how 2-stage SharePoint Recycle bin works? If your answer is yes, please beware and ensure you are aware of what’s in this article. Recently one of my clients asked me question regarding how 2-stage SharePoint Recycle bin works and its impact on the database sizing. It was interesting because recycle bin and its impact on database sizing is one of the most overlooked topic in the SharePoint world. Not many people know that by default, SharePoint 2nd stage recycle bin would increase site collection storage quota to 50% of originally specified during site collection creation process. For the small site collection, it may not matter but for the larger site collections, this would make huge impact on overall architectural decisions.

I had been taking notes on how 2-stage SharePoint recycle bin works since MOSS 2007 days but never blogged about it because of its trivial nature. Knowing how 2-stage recycle bin really works is one of the most important weapons in SharePoint architect armory. Thanks to Todd Klindt and Shane Young’s SharePoint 2010 Administration book, I was able to refine my notes and here are hopefully all the information you need to know how 2-stage SharePoint recycle bin really works and how it can help you to make intelligent decisions around this most overlooked functionality.

First-Stage/Site Level/End-User Recycle Bin

 

  • Accessible from the “Recycle Bin” link on the Quick Launch bar at the top level or sub site level
  • Available to the users with Contribute, Design, or Full Control Permissions
  • When user deletes the item in the list/library, items are moved to the first level recycle bin. It stays there until it remains purged by either the user or automatically deleted after number of days based on central admin recycle bin retention settings.
  • Users can restore the item from the recycle bin or permanently delete the item from the recycle bin
  • If second-stage recycle bin is not enabled, items deleted or automatically purged from this recycle bin will be permanently deleted from the content database.
  • Items located in this stage counts towards the Site Collection Quota.

Second-Stage/Site Collection Level Recycle Bin

  •  Accessible from the Site Collection Administration section from the Site Settings page
  • Available to the users with Site Collection Administrators Role
  • When end-user deletes the items from their site recycle bin, it will be moved to the Site Collection recycle bin. It stays there until site collection administrators flush them or automatically deleted after number of days defined in central admin recycle bin retention settings or until the second stage recycle bin has reached its allocated size limit defined in the central admin second stage quota settings, in which case the oldest items are permanently deleted.
  • Items located in this stage doesn’t count towards the Site Collection Quota. Second-Stage Recycle Bin quota separately defined in the Central Administration per application basis.
  • Site Collection Administrator can manage both recycle bin
    • Rollup View of All First-Level/End-User Recycle Bin – Site Collection Admin can restore one or many items, delete one or many items or empty end-user recycle bin. This is rollup view of all the site level recycle bin at the Site Collection level.

    • Site Collection Second-Stage Recycle Bin – All the items deleted from site level/first-level recycle bin gets moved to the second-stage recycle bin. Site Collection Admin can restore one or many items or permanently delete the items from the 2nd stage recycle bin and content database. Items deleted from this recycle bin is not recoverable.

 

Recycle bin settings are managed at the Web Application Level.

 

  • By default, Recycle bin is ON.
  • You can enable/disable recycle bin at the web application from the Central Admin -> Application Management -> Manage Web Applications -> Select Web Application -> Select General Settings from the Ribbon
    • Disabling Recycle in at the web application level will still show the “Recycle Bin” link on all the pages but it wouldn’t hold any information to restore at the site or site collection level.
    • Please note. This is very Important Info => Disabling Recycle bin even for a minute will immediately flush all the data from both recycle bins and those contents are unrecoverable.
  • Configure the recycle bin retention period – define when items in the recycle bin will automatically purged – by default is after 30 days.
    • You can configure to never purge from the recycle bin.
    • Note that this retention period reflects the total time after the item was initially deleted. In other words, total time spent by the item in both recycle bins.
    • 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.
  • Configure the second-stage recycle bin – You can define the second stage recycle bin storage quota. by default, it’s a 50% of site quota. Maximum is 100% of site quota.
    • 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.
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