Fix 'You have to delete all the items in this folder before you can delete the folder" Error in SharePoint Online

Problem: When trying to delete a folder which has sub-folders and files, got an error message "You have to delete all the items in this folder before you can delete the folder" in SharePoint Online.
You have to delete all the items in this folder before you can delete the folder

Root Cause:
Usually, we don't need to empty the folder before we delete it. However, If the site is on preservation "On-Hold" policy, we may get this error message. when the site is on hold, documents can be deleted but we can't delete a folder with files and sub-folders directly. This is how Preservation hold works to prevent the data loss.

Solution: Either you disable the Hold for the site from Office 365 Security and Compliance center as Global Administrator (and allow some time to take effect!) or as the error message says, delete all files and sub-folders inside the folder first! You can use "View in File Explorer" or PowerShell too to make it easier. How to Empty a Folder in SharePoint Online using PowerShell?
Fix 'You have to delete all the items in this folder before you can delete the folder" Error in SharePoint Online Fix 'You have to delete all the items in this folder before you can delete the folder" Error in SharePoint Online Reviewed by Salaudeen Rajack on August 20, 2018 Rating: 5

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