How to delete a “locked” SharePoint Library

Just came across this challenge and I thought I’ll document this.

Anyway the challenge is that some of the libraries and lists in SharePoint both online and on-premises might get “locked” for deletion, meaning you cannot delete them by any means, this is particullary through for “Record libraries”.

If you need to remove a “locked” library or list you must first unluck the list, for SharePoint Online this can be done using CSOM PowerShell

  1. Install the SharePoint Online SKD
  2. Use the following powershell to unlock the list/library

Add-Type -Path “C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll”

Add-Type -Path “C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll”


$siteURL = “your site”

$userId = “admin user UPN”

$pwd = ConvertTo-SecureString “password” -AsPlainText -Force

$creds = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($userId, $pwd)

$ctx = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($siteURL)

$ctx.credentials = $creds


$list = $ctx.Web.Lists.GetByTitle(“RecordLibs”)


$list.AllowDeletion = $True #chaging to false will lock the list/library

$list.Description = “Updated with CSOM”




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