I've copied a 10 GB site to a site collection in another content database. Then I deleted the site and emptied the recycle bin of the former site collection.

The database size has remained the same as expected. Unfortunately, the available space in the content database didn't change either.

What I noticed is that even if I emptied the site collecton recycle bin, the table RecycleBin has still references to documents of the deleted site.

How can I definetely delete them and recover some available space?

EDIT: This is not a duplicate. I had read the presumed duplicate post. That's why I wrote "The database size has remained the same as expected." I'm talking about the available free size in the content database and not the database size (please read better my post) and if not clear let me know. To add, I wrote about the recyclebin table which still contains the deleted files.

  • Possible duplicate of Emptying site collection recycle bin doesn't make content DB smaller?
    – Mike
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:00
  • please @Mike read my edit
    – Gyonder
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:11
  • did you moved the site between site collections? did you empty the both level recycle bins?
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:23
  • I first copied one site in a new collection on another content database. Then I deleted first the documents and then the old site. After that, I emptied the recycle bin in the old site collection only. Did I have to have to empty the site recycle bin first, maybe? I thought it wasn't necessary,
    – Gyonder
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:28
  • 2
    there are two level of recycle bin, did you empty both ( 1st level and Site collection admin recyclebing)
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


If you still see references to deleted documents in the DB, it may simply means you did not empty the second-level recycle bin. Go to the site collection settings, choose "Recycle bin" and switch the view to the "second stage" recycle bin. There you can really delete all documents. You'll notice that deleting from second-stage bin takes longer than deleting from the user/first-stage bin, since the operation actually removes docs from the DB.

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