Force delete Group Site Collection after Group Deleted?

Silver Contributor

I don't suppose there is a way to force delete a site collection after the group is deleted?


I created a test group that happened to use the name that I now need to use.  I deleted that group days ago.   It will create the group if I try to use the name I need, but appends a number to the end of the site collection (in this first case 69)


Dont see a way in UI, powershell doesnt work, a bit frustrating.

63 Replies


I'm try this "_layouts/15/deleteweb.aspx" but it did not work for me got this error message all along doesn't matter what I try to do. 

This site collection can't be deleted because it contains sites that are included in an eDiscovery hold or retention policy.


I've created a ticket with MS and they been looking into it for few days but no luck.

Have anyone experience this error message before?

I think you may have done it the wrong as you may need to first remove the sitecollection before you remove the group.


I deleted the Office365 group and attempted to delete the site via _layouts/15/deleteweb.aspx.  I got error "Remove-SPOSite : This site collection can't be deleted because it contains sites that are included in an eDiscovery hold or retention policy." 


I suppose I can exclude the site in the Retention Policy.  correct?



I'm getting the same error. Did you solve it?

I logged a ticket with Microsoft and they resolved some of the problems for me. I can delete most of the Site collections that need to be deleted but still having problem with one.

You need to log a ticket with them and they will contact you to go through the log. The investigation process was taking a couple of weeks.


Thank you for me answer. I really was with retention policy applied in my environment. To resolve my problem, I needed disable my retention policy. After I can get delete my site of group throught Powershell.

I'm having this problem. I had a user create a bunch of Office 365 Groups. I deleted them a few days ago but the sharepoint sites won't delete. It complains about retention policy or eDiscovery. I've turned off all retention policies even though I don't think that's the issue. I also made sure there were no eDiscovery cases as well. Still, the sites won't delete even after trying the recommendations here.


I went into one of the sites and found word files in the document library. I deleted them and they ended up in "preservation hold library" which from what I can tell is an eDiscovery hold thing. It won't let me delete them.


Is there some way to see WHAT the sharepoint site thinks the retention policy or eDiscovery case is that is assigned to it?


Could it be that it won't delete the sharepoint site until the 30 days for recovery of the Office 365 group expires?


I just want this stuff gone so I can clean up the mess the users created!

@Jason Gould : did you find out if it was happening due to ediscovery retention policies ? And site will delete once retention expires?


@poojac19 No. I've been dealing with Microsoft Support, multiple escalations, and they still can't fix the issue. They were only able to delete some sites for me. But sharepoint sites both old and new keep saying they can't be deleted due to a "compliance policy". I've completely disabled all retention policies. Deleted them. Recreated them. Made sure no policies were applied to sharepoint sites. Tried to add certain sites as excluded. I've tried everything.


There are no ediscovery cases in my tenant.


It's honestly beyond annoying at this point. 

@Jason Gould Did you get any resolution from Microsoft on this? Currently dealing with the exact same problem and they seem mystified by it :\ 



Here is how I remove modern sites from "deleted sites" with power shell

1. Install SharePoint Online Management Shell

2. Connect-SPOService (enter your site management url (

3. Remove-SPODeletedSite -Identity


Just went to the same issue. You need to delete the Office 365 groups in two places. If you delete online in the Admin Center->Groups, you still need to go inside Portal Azure and permanent delete the Groups there. Portal Azure ->Azure  Active Directory -> Groups -> Deleted Groups -> Send them to SPACE :)


You give a day or two and the sites will be deleted. :)


This whole issue has nothing to do with ediscovery policies.. crazy!

FYI, our tenant still has issues. I get an email every day telling me that they are waiting on the escalation team to offer some form of input. Every site says there is a compliance policy in place and can't be deleted. Doesn't matter what I do. All retention and label policies were deleted.


I'm pretty sure that somehow when I deleted an old retention policy (without disabling it first) that it somehow wasn't fully removed. It was a 7yr retention policy on email and sharepoint. Of course the policy doesn't appear in any powershell commands, but it's the only policy that I had previously and is the only logical explanation.


I've tried EVERYTHING. Nothing works and Microsoft still can't fix it.

@Jason Gould so you did delete the groups in the Azure AD? Sorry to hear you still struggling. 


group deletion.PNG

@Julio Lima 

My issue is different I suspect. I can delete the group out of Office365 Admin section. That also causes it to delete in Azure Active Directory. The issue I've been experiencing is that the Sharepoint site never gets deleted and can't be via the portal or powershell. It complains about compliance policy (when none exist).




And this "policy" gets applied to even newly created sites. I've disabled and deleted all retention policies. Tried to exclude sites from retention policies. Made sure there were no eDiscovery cases. And a bunch of other things. Nothing works. Microsoft can delete them for me, but that's not a solution.



@Jason Gould

Dude. This is EXACTLY the issue I'm having. Migrated a new client to SharePoint, put in their requested 7 year retention policies but even after deleting them it seems the policies are still in place. Powershell, admin center, azure ad, freaking Microsoft support: nothing. You know you're desperate when you go more than a few levels deep in a Google search and I'm way past that at this point. Do your sites still have a Preservation Hold Library in the Site Contents section even though there are no visible holds? And I agree, Microsoft support being able to delete the sites is not a solution.

@jprimmer Guys, I had the same problem, the issue is that the error message leads you t another path. try to go to the Azure AD -> Groups-> and Delete the group from there, if it was deleted, delete from the Deleted Groups as well (purge them).


Also, delete from the Portal Office->Admin-> Groups (if it's there - should not).  Give 48 hours, the site will be automatically deleted. I was getting precisely the same policy message, and I had no more policy enabled . I  actually deleted all policies and gave it 7 days as requested by Microsoft and still nothing, same error... then I spoke with a Premier Support guy, he told me about this Office Groups issue, which I thought it had nothing to do and I would be wasting my time, but it did the work. After I removed the Office Groups for my SP and Teams sites, Voila!!! sites deleted automatically.

@jprimmer Yep, certain sites have a preservation hold library. I know this is how they keep revision history and deleted content on sharepoint sites that have a retention policy, but like you said I've tried disabling and deleting all policies.


I'm 99% positive the policy was never actually disabled when it was deleted and now this old policy continues to be applied to all content with no ability to alter it. It's essentially a ghost policy.

@Julio Lima I'm telling you, that doesn't work in my situation. I checked Azure AD months ago when I had the issue. Deleted the Group from the portal. Waiting 30 days. The group was completely purged and couldn't be "recovered" anymore. It was gone in ALL portals. The sharepoint site that was associated with that Group still remained with the warning I posted above. Deleting fails.


Furthermore, I have a 2nd tenant for a subsidiary company that must remain separate for legal purposes. This behavior doesn't happen there. In that environment if I enable the retention policy I get the message I posted above and you can't delete the site. Exclude the sharepoint site from the retention policy or disable the policy and the message goes away and you can delete it no problem.


I've talked to 4-5 different people at Microsoft support. Multiple escalations. I've run multiple powershell commands. I've tried disabling, enabling, excluding, etc everything they've asked me to. I've tried waiting months. They don't know how to fix the problem and nothing posted here or anywhere else online has worked.

@Julio Lima 


Here is an example. This sharepoint site won't delete. At one time it was associated with a O365 Group (if I remember correctly). The Group was deleted and is GONE, but the sharepoint site remains and CAN'T BE DELETED!


Here is the sharepoint site. Details of site even state it is no longer associated with a Group;sites.JPG


Here are the errors trying to delete;




Here you can see Admin Portal Groups;groups.JPG


Here you can see there is no longer a Group for it in Azure AD;

AD groups.JPG

AD deleted groups.JPG