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I have a document library in a SharePoint Online site. When I try to delete a folder with sub-folders and content items in the folder I get the error message as follows:-

you have to delete all the items in this folder before you can delete the folder

None of the folders selected with sub-folders or items will be deleted.

In a different tenant with similar set up I can delete folders that contain sub-folders and items within that folder.

Deleting folder error

Why is there inconsistent behaviour for this delete folder action?

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  • What's different between the two libraries? Is there a lot of content (more than 5000 items) in the folders where you can't delete? Nov 15 '18 at 14:49
  • There's only couple of folders in each library for testing this out. The folder contains 2 sub folders and 5 items. I noticed the issue in one tenant so I then tested it in a library on the other tenant to see if it happens there. Folders with sub folders and content can be deleted on the other. Settings are the same. Nov 15 '18 at 15:00
  • Do you have any checked-out documents?
    – Tally
    Nov 15 '18 at 15:12
  • @Tally no. no checked out documents. Check-in/Check-out is not turned on on either library. Note that the references I am seeing to this issue are all related to OneDrive and ODFB. I'm seeing it in SharePoint Online. For example, this post: answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/… Nov 15 '18 at 15:18
  • Do you have any Shares or broken inheritance on the files or folders? And are you a Site Collection or tenant admin? Nov 15 '18 at 16:45

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