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?

  • 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? – Mike Smith - MCT - MVP 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. – motionpotion 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/… – motionpotion 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? – Mike Smith - MCT - MVP Nov 15 '18 at 16:45

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