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Recover Deleted Documents through SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 delivers on the promise that software has been making for years to make users more productive. Although that’s not always true, one feature of SharePoint that truly delivers is the Recycle Bin. When you delete a document from a document library, it isn't gone forever. Nope. The document just moves to a holding place in your site — the Recycle Bin.

Go ahead and try it. Go to a document library and delete a document. You can use the Edit menu or the Manage group on the Ribbon to access the Delete command. Either way, you're prompted to confirm the deletion, and then your document appears in the Recycle Bin.

The Recycle Bin works for list items also.

To restore a document from the Recycle Bin to its original location:

  1. Go to the Recycle Bin by clicking the Recycle Bin link in the site’s left navigation pane.

    You must click the Recycle Bin link in the same site where you deleted the file. Otherwise, the file won’t appear.

  2. Place a check mark next to any files you wish to restore.

  3. Click the Restore Selection link.

    The file is restored to the document library.

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You can click the Delete Selection link in the Recycle Bin to remove the file from your Recycle Bin. Doing so, however, doesn’t permanently delete the file. Instead, the file is moved to another Recycle Bin that can be accessed by the site collection administrator.

If you’re the site collection administrator, you can follow these steps to access the administrator’s Recycle Bin:

  1. Log into the site as the site collection administrator.

    Your SharePoint administrator in IT can look up this account information.

  2. Click the Site Actions menu above the Ribbon and select Site Settings.

    The Site Settings page appears.

  3. In the Site Collection Administration section, click the Recycle Bin link.

  4. In the Recycle Bin’s left navigation pane, click the Deleted from End User Recycle Bin link.

  5. Click the items you wish to restore and click Restore Selection.

    The items are restored.

Files remain in the site collection Recycle Bin for a period of 30 days or until they’re deleted by the administrator, whichever comes first. When removed from the Recycle Bin, the fate of your documents depends on your company’s business continuity management plan.

That’s a fancy way to ask, do they back up their data? SharePoint stores your documents in databases. An administrator can connect to a backed-up copy of the database and select individual documents to restore.

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