Unable to delete SharePoint site

%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-918969%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EUnable%20to%20delete%20SharePoint%20site%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-918969%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EI'm%20unable%20to%20delete%20any%20SharePoint%20site.%20When%20I%20attempt%20to%20delete%20I%20get%20a%20popup%20window%20(see%20attached)%20saying%3A%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3ECan't%20delete%20site%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EA%20compliance%20policy%20is%20currently%20blocking%20this%20site%20deletion%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EWe%20have%20only%20one%20retention%20policy%20and%20no%20DLP.%20The%20default%20retention%20policy%20is%20saving%20everything%20forever.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EHow%20do%20I%20delete%20sites%20in%20SharePoint%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EI%20was%20able%20to%20locate%20two%20similar%20issues%20like%20this%20on%20the%20community%20but%20neither%20had%20a%20good%20answer%20other%20than%20contact%20MS%20Support.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-LABS%20id%3D%22lingo-labs-918969%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3EAdmin%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3ESharePoint%20Online%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3ESites%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3C%2FLINGO-LABS%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-919283%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Unable%20to%20delete%20SharePoint%20site%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-919283%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EYou%20can't%20delete%20the%20site%20if%20you%20have%20a%20retention%20policy%20by%20default.%20The%20only%20option%20is%20to%20go%20into%20the%20policy%20and%20add%20an%20exclusion%20for%20the%20site%20you%20want%20to%20delete%2C%20wait%20some%20time%20for%20it%20to%20process%20and%20then%20you%20can%20delete%20the%20site.%20Once%20deleted%20you%20can%20go%20back%20and%20remove%20the%20site%20from%20the%20exclusion%20list.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-927977%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Unable%20to%20delete%20SharePoint%20site%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-927977%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3E%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F869%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40Chris%20Webb%3C%2FA%3EThanks%20for%20the%20quick%20response.%20The%20SharePoint%20site%20I'm%20trying%20to%20delete%20is%20included%20in%20the%20exclude%20list.%20Additionally%2C%20since%20that%20didn't%20work%20I%20turned%20off%20retention%20for%20all%20SharePoint%20sites.%20That%20was%20over%2072%20hours%20ago%20and%20I'm%20still%20unable%20to%20delete%20any%20sites.%20The%20sites%20I'm%20trying%20to%20delete%20are%20not%20connected%20to%20an%20Office%20365%20account.%20Also%2C%20there%20is%20an%20error%20showing%20on%20the%20retention%20policy%20page%20stating%3A%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%3CEM%3E%3CSTRONG%3EIt's%20taking%20longer%20than%20expected%20to%20deploy%20the%20policy.%20It%20might%20take%20an%20additional%202%20hours%20to%20update%20the%20final%20deployment%20status%2C%20so%20check%20back%20in%20a%20couple%20of%20hours.%3C%2FSTRONG%3E%3C%2FEM%3E%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EThis%20message%20appeared%20shortly%20after%20I%20turned%20retention%20off%20for%20SharePoint%20sites.%20It%20has%20not%20updated%2Fchanged%20and%20the%20sites%20still%20can't%20be%20deleted.%20These%20changes%20are%20being%20made%20from%20a%20Global%20Administrator%20account.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EI%20have%20a%20ticket%20open%20with%20Microsoft%20Support%20and%20they%20are%20responding%20however%20they%20don't%20seem%20to%20understand%20that%20the%20sites%20are%20not%20included%20in%20a%20retention%20policy%20as%20of%2072%2B%20hours%20ago.%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EThanks%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-928019%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Unable%20to%20delete%20SharePoint%20site%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-928019%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EDepending%20on%20how%20much%20content%20you%20have%20it%20could%20take%20quite%20a%20long%20time.%20Other%20things%20to%20consider%20are%20ediscover%20searches%20you%20have%20saved%20that%20might%20transverse%20those%20sites%20or%20possibly%20even%20check%20content%20searches.%20There%20are%20a%20number%20of%20places%20that%20can%20put%20holds%20on%20things%20to%20prevent%20deletion.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-1198133%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Unable%20to%20delete%20SharePoint%20site%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-1198133%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3E%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F869%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40Chris%20Webb%3C%2FA%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EI%20have%20the%20same%20scenario%2C%20however%20i%20have%201500%2B%20sites%20to%20be%20cleaned%20up%20which%20are%20Empty%20after%20an%20migration.%20How%20do%20i%20approach%20this%2C%20it%20s%20not%20easy%20to%20exclude%20manually%20all%20the%201500%2B%20sites.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EIs%20there%20any%20Best%20practice%20to%20include%20the%20sites%20or%20exclude%20%3F%20The%20sites%20should%20only%20be%20deleted%20by%20Global%20admin%20account%20not%20by%20users%20or%20others%3F%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EAny%20suggestions%20would%20be%20Appreciated!%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EThanks!%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
Occasional Contributor

I'm unable to delete any SharePoint site. When I attempt to delete I get a popup window (see attached) saying: 

 

Can't delete site

A compliance policy is currently blocking this site deletion

 

We have only one retention policy and no DLP. The default retention policy is saving everything forever. 

 

How do I delete sites in SharePoint?

 

I was able to locate two similar issues like this on the community but neither had a good answer other than contact MS Support. 

 

4 Replies
You can't delete the site if you have a retention policy by default. The only option is to go into the policy and add an exclusion for the site you want to delete, wait some time for it to process and then you can delete the site. Once deleted you can go back and remove the site from the exclusion list.

@Chris WebbThanks for the quick response. The SharePoint site I'm trying to delete is included in the exclude list. Additionally, since that didn't work I turned off retention for all SharePoint sites. That was over 72 hours ago and I'm still unable to delete any sites. The sites I'm trying to delete are not connected to an Office 365 account. Also, there is an error showing on the retention policy page stating:

 

It's taking longer than expected to deploy the policy. It might take an additional 2 hours to update the final deployment status, so check back in a couple of hours.

 

This message appeared shortly after I turned retention off for SharePoint sites. It has not updated/changed and the sites still can't be deleted. These changes are being made from a Global Administrator account. 

 

I have a ticket open with Microsoft Support and they are responding however they don't seem to understand that the sites are not included in a retention policy as of 72+ hours ago. 

 

Thanks 

Depending on how much content you have it could take quite a long time. Other things to consider are ediscover searches you have saved that might transverse those sites or possibly even check content searches. There are a number of places that can put holds on things to prevent deletion.

@Chris Webb 

I have the same scenario, however i have 1500+ sites to be cleaned up which are Empty after an migration. How do i approach this, it s not easy to exclude manually all the 1500+ sites.

Is there any Best practice to include the sites or exclude ? The sites should only be deleted by Global admin account not by users or others? 

Any suggestions would be Appreciated! 

Thanks!