SharePoint Online: Delete All List Items using PowerShell

Requirement: Delete All Items from SharePoint Online List using PowerShell

We have a list in SharePoint Online - Office 365 site with a bunch of items. Need them to be deleted in bulk rather deleting one by one from SharePoint web UI. So, let us use SharePoint Online PowerShell to delete all list items.
delete all list items in sharepoint online using powershell

SharePoint Online: How to Delete All Items in a List?
How to delete all list items in SharePoint Online? To delete all items from a SharePoint Online list, do the following:
  • Browse to your list, select all items in the list by ticking the checkbox besides the first column on the list. This should highlight all items in the list view. 
  • Click the "Delete" button in the list's menu bar.
    sharepoint online delete all list items
  • Confirm the prompt. The selected item will be sent to the recycle bin.
SharePoint allows you to select 100 items at once! However, in modern lists, you can select all items by scrolling to the bottom of the page - so that SharePoint loads and selects the remaining items. What if you have a very larger list? Well, PowerShell is the time-saver here!
If you don't get the check boxes, Edit the list view >> Under the Tabular View section make sure "Allow individual item checkboxes" is selected!

Delete All List Items in Bulk in SharePoint Online using PowerShell:
Here is the script to delete all list items in SharePoint online Office 365 using the client-side object model (CSOM) with PowerShell.
#Load SharePoint CSOM Assemblies
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"
  
#Parameters
$SiteURL="https://crescent.sharepoint.com"
$ListName="Projects"

#Get Credentials to connect 
$Cred = Get-Credential

#Setup the context
$Ctx = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteURL)
$Ctx.Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($Cred.Username, $Cred.Password)

#Get the List items to delete
$List = $Ctx.web.Lists.GetByTitle($ListName)
$ListItems = $List.GetItems([Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.CamlQuery]::CreateAllItemsQuery()) 
$Ctx.Load($ListItems)
$Ctx.ExecuteQuery()       
 
write-host "Total Number of List Items found:"$ListItems.Count
 
#SharePoint Online PowerShell to delete all list items
If($ListItems.Count -gt 0)
{
    #Loop through each item and delete
    For($i = $ListItems.Count-1; $i -ge 0; $i--)
    {
        $ListItems[$i].DeleteObject()
    } 
    $Ctx.ExecuteQuery()
         
    Write-Host "All List Items deleted Successfully!"
}
 
This PowerShell script deletes all items from the SharePoint Online list. Please note, these items are not moved to the Recycle Bin but deleted permanently! This PowerShell script could be quite helpful when dealing with deleting bulk items from a huge list.

PowerShell to Delete All Items from Large Lists in SharePoint Online
When you have a SharePoint Online list or library with a larger number of items (>5000), You may face "The attempted operation is prohibited because it exceeds the list view threshold enforced by the administrator." error. So, to mitigate this issue let us delete list items in the batch. Here is my PowerShell script to delete list items in the batch.
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"
    
#Config Parameters
$SiteURL="https://crescent.sharepoint.com"
$ListName="Projects"
$BatchSize = 500
  
#Setup Credentials to connect
$Cred = Get-Credential
  
Try {
    #Setup the context
    $Ctx = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteURL)
    $Ctx.Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($Cred.UserName,$Cred.Password)
  
    #Get the web and List
    $Web = $Ctx.Web
    $List=$web.Lists.GetByTitle($ListName)
    $Ctx.Load($List)
    $Ctx.ExecuteQuery()
    Write-host "Total Number of Items Found in the List:"$List.ItemCount
 
    #Define CAML Query to get list items in batches
    $Query = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.CamlQuery
    $Query.ViewXml = "<View Scope='RecursiveAll'><RowLimit Paged='TRUE'>$BatchSize</RowLimit></View>"
 
    Do {  
        #Get items from the list in batches
        $ListItems = $List.GetItems($Query)
        $Ctx.Load($ListItems)
        $Ctx.ExecuteQuery()
         
        #Exit from Loop if No items found
        If($ListItems.count -eq 0) { Break; }
 
        Write-host Deleting $($ListItems.count) Items from the List...
 
        #Loop through each item and delete
        ForEach($Item in $ListItems)
        {
            $List.GetItemById($Item.Id).DeleteObject()
        } 
        $Ctx.ExecuteQuery()
 
    } While ($True)
 
    Write-host -f Green "All Items Deleted!"
}
Catch {
    write-host -f Red "Error Deleting List Items!" $_.Exception.Message
}
This script deletes all list items in SharePoint Online using PowerShell.
The "DeleteObject()" method permanently deletes the item. Use "Recycle()" to send the item to recycle bin.

SharePoint Online PnP PowerShell to Delete All List Items
Here is the PnP PowerShell to empty list in SharePoint Online
#Config Variables
$SiteURL = "https://crescenttech.sharepoint.com/sites/marketing"
$ListName ="Records"

#Get Credentials to connect
$Cred = Get-Credential

Try {
    #Connect to PNP Online
    Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Credentials $Cred
    
    #Get All List Items in Batch
    $ListItems = Get-PnPListItem -List $ListName -PageSize 1000 | Sort-Object ID -Descending

    #sharepoint online powershell delete all items in a list
    ForEach ($Item in $ListItems)
    {
        Remove-PnPListItem -List $ListName -Identity $Item.Id -Force
    }
}
catch {
    write-host "Error: $($_.Exception.Message)" -foregroundcolor Red
}
Use -Recycle parameter to send the items to the recycle bin instead of permanently deleting it!
Get-PnPList -Identity $ListName | Get-PnPListItem -PageSize 100 -ScriptBlock { 
    Param($items) Invoke-PnPQuery } | ForEach-Object {$_.Recycle()
    }
To delete all files from a SharePoint Online document library, use: SharePoint Online: Delete All Files in a Document Library using PowerShell

14 comments:

  1. Hi
    Great article really helped. When running the script it gave an error when the list items are greater than 5000. Any idea how we can overcome this?

    ReplyDelete
  2. How do I delete all Files (Not Folders)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Add an If condition:
      If($ListItem.FileSystemObjectType -eq "File")
      {
      #Delete the Item
      }

      Delete
  3. Second script for large lists works fine except this error: "Error Deleting List Items! Exception calling "ExecuteQuery" with "0" argument(s): "The operation has timed out." It makes me execute script constantly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try decreasing the batch size to 100! $BatchSize = 100

      Delete
  4. Thank you for advice! I suppose error appears only at first several attempts while list had large amount of entries. After deleting several thousands, scripts started working more stably.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great article, helped me significantly

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm trying to use the batch mode script but it's not limiting the view, I'm still getting the

    Error Deleting List Items! Exception calling "ExecuteQuery" with "0" argument(s): "The attempted operation is prohibited because it exceeds the list view threshold enforced by the administrator."

    There are 174492 items in my sharepoint Document's folder. Please advise.

    I tried adjusting from 500 to 100 but no change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Found HTML entities were removed in the rendered script in the site and fixed the same. Try now!

      Delete
  7. Hi,

    Thank you very much for this script.

    Unfortunately, I am not able to use this for a Folder under a Documents Library.

    It works for Lists though, like a charm.

    Did I miss something here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you getting "Remove-PnPListItem : Item does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user."? Try to sort the list items by ID field in descending order.
      $ListItems = Get-PnPListItem -List $ListName -PageSize 1000 | Sort-Object ID -Descending

      Delete
  8. How do i use this script if i have a 2FA enabled? Thank you

    ReplyDelete

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