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Plan to protect content by using recycle bins and versioning (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: May 12, 2010

Plan to use recycle bins and versioning in an environment to help users protect and recover their data. Recycle bins and versioning are key components of a business continuity strategy.

Recycle bins   Users can use recycle bins to retrieve deleted objects. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 supports two stages of recycle bins, the first-stage Recycle Bin and the Site Collection — also called the second-stage — Recycle Bin. When Recycle Bins are enabled, users can restore items that are in them, including deleted files, documents, list items, lists, and document libraries.

Versioning   Users can use versioning to help prevent data loss that is caused by overwriting a document. When a site owner turns on versioning in a document library or a list, the library or list keeps multiple copies of a document, item, or file. In the event of an unwanted change, an overwritten file, or document corruption, the previous version can be easily restored by the user.

In this article:

Protecting content by using recycle bins

SharePoint Server 2010 supports two stages of recycle bins, the first-stage Recycle Bin and the Site Collection, or second-stage, Recycle Bin. The recycle bins are enabled and configured at the Web application level. The recycle bins collect deleted documents and list items. When a list item is deleted, any attachments to the item are also deleted and can be restored from the Recycle Bin.

The Recycle Bins can contain multiple copies of a document that each have the same file name and source. These documents cannot be restored over an existing copy of a document. The Recycle Bins cannot be used to recover previous versions or accidental overwrites of documents — you must use versioning to enable this functionality.

The following table describes how an item is deleted and recovered from the first-stage Recycle Bin and the second-stage Recycle Bin.

When a user does this The item is The item can be restored by

Deletes an item

Held in the first-stage Recycle Bin until the item is deleted from the Recycle Bin or the item has been in the Recycle Bin longer than the time limit configured for an item to be held in the Recycle Bin.

Users or site collection administrators

Deletes an item from the Recycle Bin

Held in the second-stage Recycle Bin

Site collection administrators

Turning off the Recycle Bin for a Web application empties all Recycle Bins and permanently deletes all items in them.

First-stage Recycle Bin

The first-stage Recycle Bin is located at the site level and is available to users who have Contribute, Design, or Full Control permissions on a site.When a user deletes an item from a Web site, the item is sent to the site's first-stage Recycle Bin. Items located in the first-stage Recycle Bin count toward the site quota.Items remain in one of the first-stage Recycle Bins in the site until a specified time period has been reached (the default setting is 30 days).

When an item is deleted from the Recycle Bin, the item is sent to the second-stage Recycle Bin.

note Note:

The time limit for the Recycle Bins applies to the total time after the item was first deleted — not the time spent in either Recycle Bin stage.

Second stage (Site Collection) Recycle Bin

The second-stage Recycle Bin is located at the site collection administrator level. The second-stage Recycle Bin is organized into two views: objects in the first-stage Recycle Bins of all sites in the site collection, and objects in the second-stage Recycle Bin. When an item is deleted from the first-stage Recycle Bin, it can be recovered only by a site collection administrator from the second-stage Recycle Bin.

Items remain in the second-stage Recycle Bin until a specified time period has been reached (the default setting is 30 days) or until the second-stage Recycle Bin reaches its size limit, at which time the oldest items are deleted. The time limit for the Recycle Bins applies to the total time after the item was initially deleted — not the time spent in either Recycle Bin stage.

When a second-stage Recycle Bin is enabled for a Web application, we recommend that you designate how much disk space is available to the second-stage Recycle Bin as a percentage of the quota allotted to the Web application. Items stored in the second-stage Recycle Bin do not count toward the site quota; however, the size that is specified for the second-stage Recycle Bin increases the total size of the site and the content database that hosts it. If no site quota has been set, there is no limit on the size of the second-stage Recycle Bin.

For example, if you have allotted 100 megabytes (MB) of space for the Web application, allotting a 50 percent quota for the second-stage Recycle Bin allots 50 MB for the second-stage Recycle Bin and 150 MB for the Web application as a whole. You can allot up to 100 percent for the second-stage Recycle Bin quota.

For more information about setting quotas, see

  • Plan site maintenance and management (SharePoint Server 2010)

  • Create quota templates (SharePoint Server 2010)

For more information about how users can use the Recycle Bin in SharePoint Server 2010, see View, restore, or delete items in the Recycle Bin (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=90917&clcid=0x409)

For information about configuring the Recycle Bins, see Configure the Recycle Bin (SharePoint Server 2010).

Protecting content by using versioning

Versioning addresses the issue of losing data by overwriting a document. It allows the document library to keep multiple copies of the same document. In the event of an unwanted change, an overwrite, or a document corruption, the previous version can easily be restored by the user. Versioning can be enabled at the library or list level. Items and files can be versioned.

Before configuring versioning, be sure to read Plan site maintenance and management (SharePoint Server 2010).

For more information about configuring versioning, see Enable and configure versioning (SharePoint Server 2010).

Administrators must closely manage versioning, because if sites have many versions of files and documents, the sites can become quite large. If you do not restrict the size of sites, your sites can surpass your storage capacity. Farm administrators can manage this issue by establishing service level agreements with site owners and by setting size quotas on sites. For more information about managing versioning, see Manage versioning by using quotas (SharePoint Server 2010).

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