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Delete a site collection in SharePoint 2013

Published: July 16, 2012

Summary: How to delete SharePoint 2013 site collection content, user information, and the site hierarchy.

Applies to:  SharePoint Foundation 2013 | SharePoint Server 2013 

You might want to delete a site collection if it is no longer needed. For example, if you created a team site to track progress on a specific project, and the project has ended, you might decide to delete the site collection after a certain amount of time has passed.

When you delete a site collection, you are deleting the hierarchy of sites that comprise the collection. When you delete a site collection, you permanently destroy all content and user information, such as the following:

  • Documents and document libraries.

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

  • Site configuration settings.

  • Role and security information that is related to the website.

  • Subsites of the top-level website, their contents, and user information.

note Note:

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 in SharePoint 2013.

00e1f644-b93b-4dd5-a1f3-62385a2a34a8   If the site collection is associated with a Project Server service application, you must remove the association and delete the Project Web App before you delete the site collection. You can remove the site collection association with the Project Server service application from the Project Server service application settings page in the SharePoint Central Administration website.

Important Important:

The steps in this article apply to both SharePoint Foundation 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013.

In this article:

Before you begin

Before you delete a site collection, ensure that the following prerequisites are available:

  • A backup copy of the site collection and all of its contents exists.

Delete a site collection by using Central Administration

After you perform this procedure, the site collection and all of its content and user information will be permanently destroyed.

To delete a site collection by using Central Administration

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • To delete a site collection, the user account that is performing this procedure must be a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group.

  2. Start SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2008 R2:

      • Click Start, click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    • For Windows Server 2012:

      • On the Start screen, click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

        If SharePoint 2013 Central Administration is not on the Start screen:

      • Right-click Computer, click All apps, and then click SharePoint 2013 Central Administration.

    For more information about how to interact with Windows Server 2012, see Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012.

  3. On the Central Administration website, on the Quick Launch, click Application Management.

  4. On the Application Management page, in the Site Collections section, click Delete a site collection.

  5. On the Delete Site Collection page, in the Site Collection list, click Change Site Collection.

    The Select Site Collection dialog box appears.

  6. In the Web Application list, click Change Web Application.

    The Select Web Application dialog box appears.

  7. Click the name of the web application that contains the site collection that you want to delete. Relative URLs of sites in the site collections of the web application that you have selected appear on the Select Site Collection dialog box.

  8. Click the relative URL of the site collection that you want to delete, and then click OK.

  9. Read the Warning section and verify that the site collection information is correct.

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

Delete a site collection by using Windows PowerShell

After you perform this procedure, the site collection and all of its content and user information will be permanently destroyed.

To delete a site collection by using Windows PowerShell

  1. Verify that you meet the following minimum requirements: See Add-SPShellAdmin.

  2. On the Start menu, click All Programs.

  3. Click Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Products.

  4. Click SharePoint 2013 Management Shell.

  5. At the Windows PowerShell command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

    Remove-SPSite -Identity "<URL>" -GradualDelete
    

    Where:

    • <URL> is the URL of the site collection you want to delete.

    This command removes the specified site collection and all subsites. Gradual deletion reduces the load on the system during the deletion process.

    The previous procedure illustrates a common way to use the Remove-SPSite cmdlet to delete a site collection. You can specify different parameters to configure this command differently. For more information, see Remove-SPSite.

    noteNote:

    We recommend that you use Windows PowerShell when performing command-line administrative tasks. The Stsadm command-line tool has been deprecated, but is included to support compatibility with previous product versions.

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