SharePoint Online: Search Recycle Bin using PowerShell

Requirement: Search SharePoint Online recycle bin for all files deleted by a particular user.

How to search SharePoint Online Recycle Bin?

Did you know you can use PowerShell to search the recycle bin in SharePoint Online? In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of using PowerShell to search the SharePoint online recycle bin.

To find all items deleted by a particular user, do the following:

  1. Navigate to your SharePoint Online site, and Click on Site Settings Gear >> Choose “Site Settings”.
  2. From the Site settings page, click on “Recycle bin” from Site Collection Administration. This page gives you all deleted items in the site collection along with deleted by user data. search recycle bin sharepoint online

However, searching SharePoint Online recycle bin through the web user interface is painful when you have a lot of deleted files. So, let’s use PowerShell to get deleted files from Recycle bin.

PowerShell script to Search SharePoint Online Recycle bin

Here is the SharePoint Online PowerShell to search recycle bin:

#Load SharePoint Online 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"
##Variables for Processing
$SiteUrl = ""

#Get the password to connect 
$Password = Read-host -assecurestring "Enter Password for $AdminUserName"
$Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($AdminUserName,$Password)
Try {    
    #Setup the context
    $Context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteUrl)
    $Context.Credentials = $Credentials
    #Get the site recycle bin
    $Site = $Context.Site
    $RecycleBinItems = $Site.RecycleBin

    #Get all items deleted by particular user in Recycle bin
    $DeletedByUser = $RecycleBinItems | Where {$_.DeletedByEmail -eq $DeletedByUserAccount}
    Write-Host "Total Number of Items deleted by user:" $DeletedByUser.Count
    #format output as table and print to console
    $DeletedByUser | Select Title, DeletedByEmail, DeletedDate | Format-Table
catch {
    write-host "Error: $($_.Exception.Message)" -foregroundcolor Red

PnP PowerShell to Get SharePoint Online Recycle bin Items:

Searching your recycle bin in SharePoint Online using PnP PowerShell is easy. With just a few lines of code, you can query the contents of your recycle bin and find the items you’re looking for. To get started, open PowerShell and connect to your SharePoint Online site. Then, run the following script:

Here is how to search SharePoint Online recycle bin with the PnP PowerShell cmdlet Get-PnPRecycleBinItem.

#Config Variables
$SiteURL = ""

#Connect to PnP Online
Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Interactive

#Get Recycle bin Items
Get-PnPRecycleBinItem -RowLimit 500000 | Select Title, ItemType, Size, ItemState, DirName, DeletedByName, DeletedDate | Format-table -AutoSize

This PowerShell script gets all items from the given SharePoint Online site collection’s recycle bin:

sharepoint online powershell get recycle bin

You can export recycle bin items data to a CSV file by:

#Get Recycle bin Items and Export to CSV
Get-PnPRecycleBinItem -RowLimit 500000 | Select Title, ItemType, Size, ItemState, DirName, DeletedByName, DeletedDate | Export-Csv "C:\Temp\RecycleBin.csv" -NoTypeInformation

This script gets you all deleted items’ data from both the first and second-stage recycle bins. To restore deleted items from recycle bin, use: How to Restore Deleted Items in SharePoint Online?

If you’re a SharePoint Online Administrator, you can also use PowerShell to manage the Recycle Bin. For example, you can use PowerShell to empty the Recycle Bin or to restore items from the Recycle Bin. To learn more about using PowerShell with SharePoint Online, see the following articles:

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

16 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: Search Recycle Bin using PowerShell

  • Is it possible to search for this by specifying the deletion date?
    It is now possible to get the last 10 days with “Where { $_.DeletedDate -gt (Get-Date).AddDays(-10)}”, but I want to search only 10 days ago.

  • This is great but one user deleted more than the threshold, and it doesn’t load the results to anywhere. Can we search for a keyword, or how can I achieve this threshold error?

    Thank you

  • Great Contribution.
    When I execute a script that generate the following message; Can you tell me how to avoid this

    PS C:\Windows\system32> C:\Temp\ScriptTest\ListRecycledBin.ps1
    Get-PnPRecycleBinItem : La operación que se intentó realizar está prohibida porque supera el umbral de vista de lista.
    En C:\Temp\ScriptTest\ListRecycledBin.ps1: 9 Carácter: 1
    + Get-PnPRecycleBinItem -RowLimit 5000 | Select Title, ItemType, Size, …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : WriteError: (:) [Get-PnPRecycleBinItem], ServerException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : EXCEPTION,PnP.PowerShell.Commands.RecycleBin.GetRecycleBinItems

  • Thank you so mutch, this was very useful to me.


  • Is it possible to do the same thing for 2013?

  • I am getting threshold error while executing Restore-PNPRecycleItem. ALready used rowlimit paramenter in Get-PNP item.

  • change the connect part to this: #Connect to PnP Online Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL –UseWebLogin

  • Is there a way to show the retention label?

  • Nope, sorry… Can’t log into PnPOnline with MFA required this way. Any other suggestions? Thanks.

    • you can use this, Connect-PnPOnline -Url -PnPO365ManagementShell -LaunchBrowser

      after you run the command it will produce a code that you can use to login your credential

  • You might want to look into Restore-PnPRecycleBinItem after you have located the files from the CSV.

  • Excellent post, mate!
    Is there a way to restore specific files using Powershell? I found the items I wanted but they are deep back in date so would take me forever to scroll there to restore them.

  • Hi,

    Great script, but I have a question to this? Will it be possible to resore items to you local server / pc added to this script.


    • No! The Deleted Items can be restored only to its original location! There are no ways to directly restore a deleted item to a different location. However, You can restore and then move!


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