How to delete and restore a list in SharePoint Online

When you’re finished using a list in SharePoint Online, you may wish to delete it. Sometimes you’re at the end of a project and have no need to keep the list’s information, and other times you may have just been testing out capabilities and are ready to clean up.

You must be a site owner or site member to delete a list by default. List permissions can be changed, however, so that even as a member you may not have the ability. Check with your site’s owner if you’re running into an issue when following these steps.

Delete a SharePoint list

To delete a list in SharePoint Online, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the list you wish to delete
  2. Select the settings wheel in the upper right corner, then List settings.
  3. Select Delete this list and click OK when prompted in your browser.
Location of Delete this list option | Click to enlarge

Restore a previously deleted SharePoint list

Items, including lists, remain in your site’s recycle bin for 93 days once deleted. Site owners have access to a second-stage recycle bin from which they can restore “double deleted” items (when someone empties the main recycle bin, or deletes a specific item from it).

As long as you’re within the 93-day window, follow these steps to restore a SharePoint list:

  1. Go to your site’s Recycle bin (may be on the navigation menu, or in your Site contents (settings wheel in upper right > Site contents).
  2. Select the deleted list
  3. Choose Restore
Steps to restore a deleted SharePoint list | Click to enlarge

Here’s a video demonstration of the deletion and restoration process for SharePoint lists:

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