An add-in named 'Forms Builder' is deployed to app catalog 'Apps for SharePoint'. After modifications to the add-in code, I clicked on 'Deploy' via visual studio and cancelled it realizing the site URL was set to PROD Site URL. But , this step made the app disappear from the site contents, though, it was available in App catalog. So, I downloaded the same version and uploaded it again but it still wouldn't be seen in the site contents. Therefore, Added the app explicitly via 'Add an App' but the lists that were associated with this app were deleted and now they are empty.

I am helpless and can't figure out why the app was deleted from the site contents. Is there a way we could get back the previous app? or any solution to come out of this situation? Can someone please help me with this situation. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance



1 Answer 1


Installing a SharePoint-hosted Add-in creates a child site of the current site. All the resources that implement the Add-in (i.e. pages, scripts, images, css) are deployed to this child site. In this scenario we refer to the site where you installed the Add-in as the Host Web and we refer to the child site that contains the Add-in resources as the App Web.

When you deploy an Add-in from Visual Studio it will check to see if the App Web already exists. If it does then Visual Studio will refresh the resources, if it doesn't Visual Studio will create the App Web and provision the resources into it.

However there are certain cases where Visual Studio needs to remove the existing App Web and replace it with a newly created one. We call this a retract and re-deploy. Changing the App Manifest is one example that requires a retract and re-deploy.

It appears that when you deployed from Visual Studio it did a retract which deleted the existing App Web and you cancelled before the new App Web could be created.

If you delete an Add-in using the SharePoint user interface it goes into the recycle bin (I know this is true for SharePoint Online. I think it's also true for the on-premises versions of SharePoint). However the last time I checked an Add-in deleted during a Visual Studio deploy does not go to the recycle bin. You can check your recycle bin to be sure.

If the Add-in isn't in the recycle bin then you'll have to go to a backup to get it back.

I hope this helps.

  • Thank you for the detailed response Rob.Yes, I cancelled it before it could even re-deploy the app web. Hadn't I cancelled it, would the associated lists have all the data even though the app was re-installed? I am really not sure how and where to check for a backup copy in SharePoint Online. Please let me know. I appreciate all your help.
    – shravs
    Apr 16, 2019 at 14:04
  • Another update: There are no backups configured in our environment. Is there a way we can retrieve the list data?
    – shravs
    Apr 16, 2019 at 14:49
  • 1) No. Deleting the App Web means the SharePoint site that contains the resources for the Add-in is deleted. If there were lists in the site then they get deleted along with everything else. Apr 16, 2019 at 18:03
  • Oops! Do you think Microsoft will be able to restore the site collection or the site to how it was previously?
    – shravs
    Apr 16, 2019 at 18:11
  • If you haven't checked the Recycle Bin I suggest you do that first. If the Add-in is not there then Microsoft should be able to restore it for you from the backups they take of your SharePoint Online sites. I believe you need to submit a support ticket for that. Apr 16, 2019 at 18:12

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