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Delete a site collection (Office SharePoint Server)

Updated: June 11, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-06-11

When you delete a site collection, all the sites and subsites under that site collection are also deleted. You permanently destroy all content and user information, including the following:

  • Documents and document libraries

  • Lists and list data, including surveys, discussions, announcements, and and events

  • Site configuration and settings

  • Roles and security information relating to the site

  • Subsites within the site collection, their contents, and user information

The tool that you use to delete a site collection depends on the size and number of the site collections that you are deleting.

  • If you are deleting a small site collection, you can use the user interface in Central Administration.

  • If you are deleting a site collection larger than 1 gigabyte, we recommend that you use the Stsadm deletesite operation with the –gradualdelete parameter. For more information about using deletesite, see Deletesite: Stsadm operation (Office SharePoint Server).

    NoteNote:

    The –gradualdelete parameter was added in the April Cumulative Update. For more information about the April Cumulative Update, see Deploy software updates for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

  • If you are deleting many site collections, we recommend that you use the Batch Site Administration tool, which is available in the SharePoint Administration Toolkit. This article does not describe how to use the Batch Site Administration tool. For more information, see SharePoint Administration Toolkit (Office SharePoint Server).

NoteNote:

You should back up a site collection before you delete it. For more information about how to back up a site collection, see Plan for backup and recovery (Office SharePoint Server).

Delete a site collection by using Central Administration

At a minimum, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group to complete this procedure.

  1. In SharePoint Central Administration, on the top link bar, click Application Management.

  2. On the Application Management page, in the SharePoint Site Management section, click Delete site collection.

  3. In the Site Collection drop-down list, click the down arrow, and then click Change Site Collection. The Select Site Collection dialog box appears.

  4. On the Select Site Collection page, in the URL list, click the site to delete. You can also search for a site collection by using the URL Search box.

  5. On the Delete Site Collection page, click Delete.

  6. Click OK in the message box confirming that you want to proceed with the deletion.

Delete a site collection by using Stsadm

This procedure uses the Stsadm deletesite operation with the –gradualdelete parameter. When you use the –gradualdelete parameter with the deletesite operation, the site collection is marked as deleted, which immediately prevents any further access to its content. The data in the deleted site collection is then deleted gradually over time by a timer job instead of all at once, which reduces its impact on SharePoint and SQL Server performance. For more information about using deletesite, see Deletesite: Stsadm operation (Office SharePoint Server).

ImportantImportant:

The –gradualdelete parameter was added in the April Cumulative Update. For more information about the April Cumulative Update, see Deploy software updates for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Membership in the Administrators group on the local computer is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

  1. On the drive on which SharePoint Products and Technologies is installed, at a command prompt, change to the following directory: %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft shared\Web server extensions\12\Bin.

  2. To delete the site collection, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    stsadm -o deletesite -url <URL name> -gradualdelete

  3. If the deletion is completed successfully, the Command Prompt window displays the following text:

    Operation completed successfully.

See Also

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