Working with SharePoint’s Second Stage Recycle Bin in PowerShell

I thought I’d share a PowerShell script that I’ve created to perform a few tasks against a Site Collection Second Stage Recycle Bin (SSRB) in SharePoint.


The requirement was to delete items that were older than a set number of days from the Second Stage Recycle Bin (SSRB). A record of each item deleted also needed to be added to a report.  But SharePoint can do this already I hear you say…well yes if a Site Collection quotas and the auditing features are used. In this scenario neither could be.

To display items in the Second State Recycle Bin in a table I used this command.

[code lang=”powershell”]$site.Recyclebin | where { $_.ItemState -eq "SecondStageRecycleBin" -and $_.deleteddate -le $dateDiff} | Format-Table -Property Title, Web, DeletedBy, DeletedDate -Autosize -Wrap

Then to remove each item from the Recycle Bin I used the delete command.

[code lang=”powershell”]$site.Recyclebin.Delete($_.ID)[/code]

The full script is shared below. Remember to review, rename and test this script before using it in a production environment.

[code lang=”powershell”]
# Remove-SecondStateRecycleBinItems.ps1
# Author: James Callaghan (
# Date: April 2014
# This script will delete items from the Second Stage Recycle Bin that
# are older than XX days.

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell

$i = 0

#SharePoint Site Collection URL
$url = ""
#$url = Read-Host "Enter a valid URL to a SharePoint Site Collection?"
#if($url -eq ""){write-host "No URL provided." -foregroundcolor Red; Exit}

#How many days ago should items be deleted from?
$deleteFrom = -10
#$deleteFrom = Read-Host "Remove items older than how many days?"
#if($deleteFrom -eq ""){write-host "No value provided." -foregroundcolor Red; Exit}

#Create report in script path
$scriptpath = $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Path
$dir = Split-Path $scriptpath
$report = "$($dir)\DeletedSecondStateRecycleBinItems.csv"

#Date calculations
$dateNow = Get-Date
$dateDiff = $dateNow.AddMinutes(-$deleteFrom)
#$dateDiff = $dateNow.AddDays($deleteFrom)

#Display date/times for review in table
$table = @()
$review = New-Object System.Object
$review | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name "Date" -Value "Timestamp now"
$review | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name "Value" -Value $dateNow
$table += $review
$review = New-Object System.Object
$review | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name "Date" -Value "Files older than"
$review | Add-Member -type NoteProperty -Name "Value" -Value $dateDiff
$table += $review
$table | Format-Table –AutoSize

#Connect to the site
$site = Get-SPsite $url

#Report file and first row
New-Item $report -type file -Force | Out-Null
Add-Content $report "Deleted Items: $($dateNow)"
Add-Content $report "Name, Title, Deleted by, Deleted date, Path, File Guid"

#Get items from the Seconday Stage Recycle Bin (SSRB) that are older than are removel period.
$items = $site.Recyclebin | where { $_.ItemState -eq "SecondStageRecycleBin" -and $_.deleteddate -le $dateDiff}
$site.Recyclebin | where { $_.ItemState -eq "SecondStageRecycleBin" -and $_.deleteddate -le $dateDiff} | Format-Table -Property Title, Web, DeletedBy, DeletedDate -Autosize -Wrap

#Confirm there are items to delete
if($items -ne $null){

#Create prompt
$ok = New-Object System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription "&OK","Description."
$cancel = New-Object System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription "&CANCEL","Description."
$options = [System.Management.Automation.Host.ChoiceDescription[]]($ok, $cancel)
$title = "Confirm"; $message = "Delete items from Second Stage Recycle Bin?"
$result = $host.ui.PromptForChoice($title, $message, $options, 1)

switch ($result) {
#Get items to be deleted
$site.Recyclebin | where { $_.ItemState -eq "SecondStageRecycleBin" -and $_.deleteddate -le $dateDiff} | foreach{
#Add entry to report
Add-Content $report "$($_.LeafName),$($_.Title),$($_.deletedbyname),$($_.deleteddate),$($_.Dirname),$($_.Id)"

#Delete item by ID

write-host "$($i) items removed from Second Stage Recycle Bin."
write-host "Cancelled by user." -foregroundcolor Red
write-host "No files were found in the Second Stage Recycle Bin." -foregroundcolor Red


One quirk I found while creating the script was that through the web browser, SharePoint reported the time each file was deleted correctly whereas in PowerShell, the time was not honouring GMT summer time.

British Summer Time  in SharePoint vs. PowerShell
British Summer Time in SharePoint vs. PowerShell

Enjoy and delete carefully!