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 an 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 of the retention policy enabled for the site you want to delete!

Solution: Exclude SharePoint Online 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 the 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” on the left side menu and open the “Compliance” link)
  • In Compliance Admin Center, expand “Policies” from the left-hand navigation menu bar >> Open the “Retention” link.
  • Find the Retention policy which is protecting SharePoint, or there may be a rule protecting everything in  Microsoft 365, depends on your settings.
  • Double-click on that retention rule >> Click on the “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 the retention policy, this could be due to the eDiscovery hold policy as well! SharePoint Online: How to Exclude a Site from eDiscovery Hold?

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack is a SharePoint Architect with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. He loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with the SharePoint community, through his real-world articles!

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