Fix "A compliance policy is currently blocking this site deletion" Error in SharePoint Online

Problem: When trying to delete a SharePoint Online site collection, getting error message "Can't Delete Site: A compliance policy is currently blocking this site deletion".
can't delete site A compliance policy is currently blocking this site deletion

Also, in SharePoint Admin center, we get an intimation saying "This site has a compliance policy set to block deletion." 

This site has a compliance policy set to block deletion.

Root Cause: This is because, retention policy is enabled for the site you want to delete!

Solution: Exclude Site from Retention Policy
To be able to delete a site collection, we should exclude it from retention policies. Follow these steps to exclude a site collection from retention policy in SharePoint Online.
  • Login to Microsoft 365 admin center
  • Open the Compliance Admin Center (If you don't find it, Click on "All Admin Centers" in left side menu and open "Compliance" link)
  • In Compliance Admin Center, Expand "Policies" from left hand navigation menu bar >> Open "Retention" link.
  • Find the Retention policy which is protecting SharePoint, or there maybe a rule  protecting everything in  Microsoft 365, depends on your settings.
  • Double-click on that retention rule >> Click on "Edit" button next to "Applies to content in these locations" >> Click on "Exclude Sites" >> Add the site to delete in the exclude list.
    exclude sharepoint online site from retention policy
  • Wait for some time (10 to 60 min) for the status to turn: On - Success.
    edit retention policy in compliance center
  • Now, Try to delete the site! this time it should proceed without any errors.
Other than retention policy, this could be due to the eDiscovery hold policy as well! SharePoint Online: How to Exclude a Site from eDiscovery Hold?

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