How To Delete All Items In SharePoint List

Deleting all items in a SharePoint list can be accomplished using various methods, depending on your preferences and the specific requirements of your list. If you need to remove all the items from your SharePoint list, you have several options available to you.

One method is to use the “Manage Content and Structure” view in SharePoint. This is particularly useful if your list contains more than 500 items. By navigating to the “Manage Content and Structure” view, you can easily select and delete all items in one go.

Another approach is to utilize Microsoft Access. By connecting Microsoft Access to SharePoint, you can use SQL commands to delete all records in your list. Alternatively, you can use WHERE conditions to specify which items should be deleted.

If you prefer a more intuitive interface, you can use the Datasheet view. Simply select the first item in the list and click the checkbox to select all items. Then, you can delete them using the delete row option.

If you have access to PowerShell, you can leverage the SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline module to delete all items from your SharePoint list. This method requires coding knowledge and proper configuration of the module.

Lastly, you can export your SharePoint list as a template, delete the original list, and then recreate it using the template. This method is recommended if you need to completely delete and recreate the list.

It is important to exercise caution when deleting items from a SharePoint list, as this action is irreversible. Double-check your intentions before proceeding to ensure that you want to permanently delete the items.

Using the “Manage Content and Structure” view

If your SharePoint list contains a large number of items, the “Manage Content and Structure” view can be an efficient way to delete all items at once. This view allows you to easily select and delete multiple items in just a few steps.

To access the “Manage Content and Structure” view, follow these steps:

  1. Open your SharePoint site and navigate to the list you want to delete all items from.
  2. In the top navigation bar, click on Site Actions and select Manage Content and Structure.
  3. In the “Manage Content and Structure” view, locate your list in the left-hand navigation pane and click on it.

Once you have accessed the view, you can select all items in the list and delete them. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the checkbox in the column header to select all items on the current page.
  2. If your list has multiple pages, click on the Select All checkbox that appears above the column headers to select all items across all pages.
  3. With the items selected, click on the Delete button in the toolbar.
  4. Confirm the deletion when prompted.

It’s important to note that the “Manage Content and Structure” view is only available in certain versions of SharePoint, such as SharePoint Server 2019 and SharePoint Online. Additionally, this method may not be suitable for lists with a very large number of items, as it can take some time to load and select all items.

Overall, the “Manage Content and Structure” view offers a straightforward way to delete all items in your SharePoint list, making it a convenient option for those dealing with large volumes of data.

Pros Cons
Allows you to select and delete multiple items at once May not be suitable for lists with a very large number of items
Easily accessible in the SharePoint interface Only available in certain versions of SharePoint

Using Microsoft Access to Delete All Records in a SharePoint List

For those familiar with Microsoft Access, connecting it to SharePoint provides a powerful method to delete all items in a SharePoint list using SQL commands. By leveraging the SQL capabilities of Access, you can effectively remove all records from your list, providing a quick and efficient solution.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Access and create a new database or open an existing one that you want to use.
  2. Click on the “External Data” tab and select “More” to expand the options.
  3. Choose the “SharePoint List” option and enter the URL of your SharePoint site.
  4. Select the specific list you want to delete all records from and click “Next”.
  5. Choose the option to “Link to the data source by creating a linked table” and click “OK”.
  6. In the navigation pane, you will see the linked table representing your SharePoint list. Double-click on it to open.
  7. Once the table is open, switch to the “Database Tools” tab and click on “Query Design”.
  8. Add the linked table to the query design and switch to the “SQL View” to enter the SQL command for deleting all records.
  9. In the SQL View, enter the following command: DELETE FROM [YourTableName].
  10. Replace [YourTableName] with the actual name of the linked table representing your SharePoint list.
  11. Save the query and run it to delete all items in the SharePoint list.

This method provides a direct and efficient way to delete all records in a SharePoint list using Microsoft Access. However, please exercise caution when executing SQL commands, as they can have irreversible consequences. It is recommended to create a backup of your data before performing any mass deletion operations.

Pros Cons
Quick and efficient method Requires familiarity with Microsoft Access and SQL commands
Provides granular control over which records to delete No way to undo the deletion once it is executed
Eliminates the need for manual deletion of individual items

Using PowerShell to Delete All Items in a SharePoint List

If you have PowerShell access and coding expertise, leveraging the SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline module can streamline the process of deleting all items in a SharePoint list. PowerShell is a powerful scripting language that allows you to automate administrative tasks, and the SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline module provides specific commands for managing SharePoint Online environments.

The first step is to install the SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline module if you haven’t already. You can do this by opening PowerShell as an administrator and running the following command:

Install-Module SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline

Once the module is installed, you need to connect to your SharePoint Online site using the Connect-PnPOnline command. This command requires the URL of your SharePoint site and your credentials. For example:

Connect-PnPOnline -Url “https://yoursharepointsite.sharepoint.com/sites/yoursite” -Credentials (Get-Credential)

Once connected, you can use the Remove-PnPListItem command to delete all items in a SharePoint list. This command requires the list name or list object as a parameter. For example:

Remove-PnPListItem -List “Your List Name”

Executing this command will permanently delete all items in the specified list. It’s important to note that this action cannot be undone, so please exercise caution when using PowerShell to delete items from a SharePoint list.

Summary of Steps
1. Install the SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline module using the Install-Module command.
2. Connect to your SharePoint Online site using the Connect-PnPOnline command.
3. Use the Remove-PnPListItem command to delete all items in the desired SharePoint list.

Exporting and Recreating the List

An alternative approach to deleting all items in a SharePoint list involves exporting the list as a template, deleting the original list, and subsequently recreating it using the exported template.

This method is recommended when a complete deletion and recreation of the list is desired, as it provides a fresh start while preserving the structure and settings of the original list.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to export and recreate a SharePoint list:

  1. Go to the SharePoint site where the list is located and navigate to the list.
  2. Click on the “Settings” gear icon in the top right corner and choose “List settings” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Under the “Permissions and Management” section, click on “Save list as template”.
  4. Provide a name for the template, optionally specify whether to include the content, and click “OK”.
  5. Wait for SharePoint to generate the template file. Once done, go back to the list settings page.
  6. Under the “Permissions and Management” section, click on “Delete this list”. Confirm the deletion when prompted.
  7. To recreate the list using the exported template, go to the SharePoint site’s home page and click on the “Settings” gear icon.
  8. Choose “Add an app” from the dropdown menu and search for “List” to create a new list.
  9. On the new list creation page, give the list a name and scroll down to the “Custom” category.
  10. Select the template you exported earlier from the list of available templates.
  11. Click “Create” to create the new list using the template.

By following these steps, you can easily delete a SharePoint list and recreate it using the exported template, saving time and effort in reconfiguring the list from scratch.

Important considerations

It is crucial to proceed with caution when deleting items from a SharePoint list since the action is irreversible and cannot be undone. Before deleting all items, it is important to double-check and ensure that the intention is to permanently delete the items.

When using methods such as the “Manage Content and Structure” view or the Datasheet view, it is recommended to carefully review the list and verify that only the desired items are selected for deletion. This will help prevent accidental deletion of important data.

For methods like Microsoft Access and PowerShell, it is essential to have a good understanding of the processes involved and the potential impact they may have on the SharePoint list. It is advisable to have coding knowledge and configure the necessary modules properly to avoid any unintended consequences.

Lastly, if you choose to export and recreate the list, remember to back up the data before deleting the original list. Although this method allows for a complete deletion and recreation, it is important to exercise caution to ensure that no vital information is lost in the process.

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Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.