New improved SharePoint Recycle Bin released!!! (must have)

One of the most frequent questions I get from customers is around a recycle bin for SharePoint.  This is not functionality that you get Out of the Box (OOB).  OOB you need to go back to a backup to retrieve a deleted document (this is being sorted out in the next version by the way).

There have been some third party solutions that have helped with this issue :

- Smart Library from Nintex 

- MSDN post : Add a Recycle Bin to Windows SharePoint Services for Easy Document Recovery.

However, both of these solutions are built using Document Library Event handlers.  Anyone who has had to work with these will know that the events that you can catch are all asynchronous, meaning they fire after the fact.  This is not very helpful if you are trying to capture the fact that a document has just been deleted! (this is also being sorted in the next version).

So ... to get around this issue ... both of the above solutions store a second copy of the document in a mirror document library when it is added/updated in the primary library.  This means when a document is deleted there is a backup copy that can be restored.

Pretty cunning really ... however! ... as you have probably already realised this means that you end up storing 2x the amount of data as there is really two copies of each document.  Not cool!, especially if you are storing a lot of data.

Here at Microsoft we have a huge number of WSS sites, somewhere in the order of >200,000 sites and something like 6-7TB of data (not sure on the exact numbers these days).  So this means that both of the above solutions are really not an option for us as doubling the amount of storage would be quite costly.

So ... the smart guys in MS IT have come up with an alternate way of providing document recovery without going to a SharePoint backup.  They have also decided that it is so useful that they are providing it to the world via GotDotNet.

This solution uses an ISAPI filter that sits in front of the WSS ISAPI filter.  It watches for requests from users to delete documents.  When it sees one, it grabs the document and copies it down to a file share first, then allows WSS to delete the document.  This means that when someone rings the helpdesk with a deleted document issue the helpdesk can grab the document from the file share, and either send it to them or put it back in the WSS site for them!

Unfortunately, this does not allow users to restore their own documents ... however it does make the process of recovering a document much simpler.  This should significantly improve IT’s ability to meet SLAs or reduce them.  Great for IT and great for users.

You can get it here:

- SharePoint Recycle Bin 1.0

Thanks to Joel Oleson from MS IT for this one.


Comments (54)
  1. Tariq says:

    you mean Nintex right? πŸ˜‰

  2. chjohn says:

    Ah Yes. Thanks… corrected.

  3. Mark Kruger says:

    Looking forward to trying this out! Thanks!

  4. Bil Simser says:

    Just thinking outside of the box here but if you want your users to undelete, you could copy the document to a document library rather than a file share when the delete comes in. That way you’re not copying the entire content, only what gets deleted so no double storage issues. You could have an event handler on that doclib that would do a retention type thing (or write a small command line app to run nightly) and purge documents older than say 30 days.

  5. BaoBao says:

    l have been tried to installed it into my SPS server, and totally follow this steps.

    But l found that when l tried to deleted some doc in Document Library, the error message:

    " You are not authorized to view this page"

    HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden:Access is denied.

    Internet Information Service (IIS)

    Even Administrator also cannot del the file,

    until l uninstall the RecycleBin from SPS.

    Any encounter the same problem? How to solve it?

    Many Thanks!

  6. chjohn says:

    Hi BaoBao,

    Looks like the user your IIS Virtual server is running in does not have write permissions to the directory.


  7. BaoBao says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much!

    But would you please to tell me how can l do?

    l have loggon to the SPS as administrator right,and follow all the steps to do.



  8. chjohn says:

    Hi BaoBao,

    Check the application pool identity that you are running your virtual servers under … then make sure that user has write permissions on the directory.

    – First find the user that IIS is using from the Application Pool

    – Second set the permissions on the directory to allow this user write access.

  9. BaoBao says:

    Thanks Chris,

    l just check with the SPS IIS application pool identity and found under the " Select a security account for this application pool,

    the "Predefined" was selected.

    Is it the reason?


  10. SPS User says:

    Had big problems with Nintex undelete! Has it ever been tested with concurrent undeleting??!?? Lost files! amongst other bugs Not happy!

  11. Bob says:

    Using an ISAPI filter infront of the WSS ISAPI filter is a clever idea, but what about implementing a Recycle Bin the old fashioned way – using a INSTEAD OF DELETE trigger on the docs table and forcing a copy of the content to back-up table? I haven’t given it much thought, but it seems to accomplish the same thing but avoids the security vulernabilities offered with an ISAPI filter, and keeps the content inside of Sharepoint.


  12. chjohn says:

    Hi Bob,

    Technically it would be possible to implement a solution that used sql server triggers to do this. However … modifying any WSS or SPS database in anyway is not supported my Microsoft Support. This may mean that if you have an issue the support folk may ask you to reproduce the problem on an installation that does not have your changes applied.

    Database modifications are very dangerous for a number of reasons:

    – Hotfixs or Services packs may change the DB which might mean your changes no longer work or are undone.

    – The fully tested and supported methods for working with data are via the published Object Model and Web Services interfaces … not the DB.

    – Microsoft dont support them πŸ™‚

    Hope this clears up why we opted for an ISAPI solution and not a DB solution. Our IT people rely on having a suported solution also.

    Mike Fitz has a good post on supportability here:


  13. Bob says:

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I’m just wondering, isn’t the ISAPI filter unsupported as well?


    – Bob

  14. chjohn says:

    <P>Hi Bob, Yes you are right … the Recycle Bin is not supported by Microsoft Support.&nbsp; But WSS is still supported by Microsoft support whilst this recycle bin is in use.</P>

    <P>Also the source is available for the recyclebin&nbsp;so that you can support it if you choose to use it.</P>

  15. Paolo Bettoni says:

    what if instead of dropping the files on a local drive you select a shared network path? You could then map a Library to that folder… and have your Recycle Bin Library…

    Would it work with the current implementation?

  16. Mark says:

    I have a problem similar to BaoBao, but I am logged in as local administrator, and the account used in my application pool is also a local administrator. Any further ideas?

  17. Andreas says:

    Hi Chris, when I try to delete a document, I get the following WSS Error:

    Invalid redirect URL detected. Please contact your system administrator

    Maybe you have an idea, where to search for the problem.

    Best Regards


  18. Kate says:

    I have tried this installation twice and both times have failed with the following error when I try to delete a document either in SPS or WSS:


    Any Ideas?

    Thanks, Kate

  19. chjohn says:

    Best place to ask questions and file bug reports is on the Got Dot Net site:

  20. KateRK says:

    The link you gave me just leads right back here. Where should I post my question on the GotDotNet site?


  21. Gavin says:

    Awesome!  This will save me so much time.

    Only problem with the install was that the RegKeys didn’t install where they were supposed to, and I had to recreate them to get the recycle bin to work.  They were created in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARESharePointRecycleBin – took 2 installs to suss this out!



  22. thanks says:

    Your blog is really very interesting.

  23. VK says:

    Invalid redirect URL detected. Please contact your system administrator

    From Log:  (2006:04:05 04:11:41.477):*** In ArchiveSPSUI_ListItem: security – sReturn=[Invalid redirect URL detected. Please contact your system administrator]

    Verified the install a few times along with the accounts that the services are running on.  The only thing I see is that the registry keys are not in the location specified in the documentation.

    Any help to get this squared away will be apreciated.  serverunion [at]gmail[d0t]dom

  24. nathan says:

    Still getting response stating that there is a redirect error when trying to delete.  An audit log it placed in the recycle folder, but the files are mot moved and deleted.

    email responses to serverunion[at]gmail[d0t]com

    Thanks for the help.

  25. Randy says:


    i am trying to install this with WSS (NOT THE PORTAL…) v2 on windows 2003r2 with .net 2.0 and i am having some troubles…

    i get to step "22" in the documentation and the green arrow never shows up after i have added the recyclebinisapifilter.dll to he virtual server ISAPI FILTER tab…

    do i have to install SOS?

    anythoughts at all? i could really use the help!


  26. Greg Brown says:

    It is also worth considering the Dark Blue Duck Document Library with Recycle Bin.

    The Dark Blue Duck Document Library with Recycle Bin is a custom list definition that extends the functionality of the Document Library to include a Recycle Bin.

    This addin to Windows SharePoint Services installs (and uninstalls) nicely and is not broken by the Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server Service Packs.

    Best of all it is free.

  27. Sergey Chernov says:

    Hi, excellent tool!

    How should this product be configured in the Medium Server Farm Environment where we have 2 Network Load Balanced Front End Web Servers and an Active/Passive SQL2005 server that utilizes common SAN storage?  

    Can we use an UNC share for the Recyclebin path during installation?

    Given two Front End web servers, can we point both of them to the same Recyclebin folder (UNC Share)?

  28. Peter Taras says:

    Hi Sergey,

    In case you are reffering to the free product Greg has mentioned I like to add – you just need to install the "Document Library with Recycle Bin" on all your web front-end servers. Thats it.

  29. YU says:

    I need help with this I ereases some documents that were send to racyclen bin and then I ereased them from there . How can I get them back?

  30. I too am evaluating this product as I am looking to implement it as part of a medium scale high availability server farm.

    The farm consists of two hardware load balanced front-end web servers, a dedicated index server and two clustered SQL servers that sit ontop of an attached SAN array.

    The key answers I am waiting for are;

    Whether or not the tool can be pointed at a UNC path name?

    Whether both of the Front-end web servers can point to the same UNC path?

  31. Mychel says:

    Andreas and Kate said  Invalid redirect URL detected when …

    Check version, same version for recycle bin and site….

    In my server, I change and we have not error next time.

    bye and good luck

  32. Peter Taras says:

    Our Recycle Bin has been tested on a Medium Server Farm Environment (

    You need to install the "Document Library with Recycle Bin" onto each of the SharePoint web servers.

    From a capacity planning point of view there is not much to worry about. We are not using mirror libraries and do not rely on library event handlers. A deleted document just gets moved to the Recycle Bin and stays there until a user decides to delete it for good or the automatic purge process runs.

    If you encounter any issues please e-mail us (



    P.S. We will add your question to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page (

  33. For those who aggregate my feed and do not often visit the blog iteself… I’ve updated my SharePoint…

  34. Sean says:

    I installed the recycle bin exactly as explained on my server running WSS (Not Portal). Everything went according to the Installation Guide but when I try to delete a file. I get the error message——-Could not find a part of the path "e:".——–It looks as if the recycle bin was created in the path below HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosofttITSharePoint Portal ExtentionsRecycle Bin.

    I am using server 2003 Enterprise. Can some one please help me solve this problem?

  35. Paulo says:

    Any news on 1.2? W

    e are getting the explorer view delete bug, as listed on your bugtracker as resolved. But I assume it was fixed in 1.2 and is still there in 1.1. Is that right?


  36. Lambros says:


     We installed a similar recycle bin (ISAPI based) for an old client and following that we had an IIS metabase corruption. Is this version safe to use?

  37. Nick says:

    Hi all

    I downloaded both Sharepoint RecycleBin versions, 1.1 and 1.2, I found in GotDotNet but did not find any hint of Installation instructions. Everyone here talks about them. Where are they?

  38. Free SharePoint Web Parts (3rd Party) Konrad Brunner – UGS&#39;s Web Parts (broken link 8/25) Document

  39. Duray Akar says:

    And the downlaod is where again? πŸ™‚

  40. Geoff Walker says:

    The download is located on the (phasing out) GotDotNet website:

    For those having troubles with 403 errors, check your application pools between /_layouts/Recycle and /_vti_bin and make sure they match.

  41. Kernal says:

    We have istalled the ISAPI Recycle Bin onto both of our front end web servers without any added configuration to IIS. The recycle bin does work but every so often when a user tries to delete a document, the browser will hang. The document library (and Team Site) become inaccessible and the only solution is to RESET IIS.

    Is there any IIS configuration that we should be aware of to fix this hanging problem?

  42. Kernal says:

    We have istalled the ISAPI Recycle Bin onto both of our front end web servers without any added configuration to IIS. The recycle bin does work but every so often when a user tries to delete a document, the browser will hang. The document library (and Team Site) become inaccessible and the only solution is to RESET IIS.

    Is there any IIS configuration that we should be aware of to fix this hanging problem?

  43. Joel says:

    Where can I get the ISAPI Recycle bin ? The links provided point to GoDotNet which doesnt display the link anymore.


  44. Mac says:

    gotdotnet has been phased out so the download is no longer available. Anyone know where to find it?

  45. Kevin Changet says:

    If you’re looking for the SP Recycle bin for SP2003, the one that used to be on…. you can find it here

    Or just search for "MSIT Recycle bin for WSS 2.0 and SPS 2003 "

  46. RK says:

    We have installed MS IT Recycle bin 1.2 version.  However the following are the problems.  I have gone thru step by step installation.

    1.  Folders are not getting created while installation.  I have created them manually.

    2.  Though installation went successfully I couldn’t see deleted documents in the recycle bin folder.

    3.  It was working in a single server, but not in load balanced environment.

    Do I need to change anything to make it work in Load Balanced environment?

  47. teklords says:

    I love the recycle bin but I would like to try modifing it slightly. Is the source code available somewhere?

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