Sometimes it is quite easy to get lost in your SharePoint site when you have lots of content, libraries, lists and sub sites. A lot of the actions you do in SharePoint involves uploading content, retrieving information and building up your site to make it the best it can be for your services. But there may be a time where you decide to remove content or subsites from your site as they are no longer needed. But as I said above with having many sub sites, lists, libraries and site collections have you ever stopped to think ‘which site am I actually on?’

From my experience I have been in this situation a few times in which I referred to the URL in order to find out where I am. An example which I have experienced is creating a sub site and realising that I had selected the wrong type of site when I created it. So I navigated to the site settings and deleted the site. I had done this action many times before and probably too quickly and not carefully to make sure what I was deleting was correct. I found straight away afterwards that nothing on the SharePoint site was working, other sub sites, lists, libraries I tried to access kept giving me a ‘HTTP 404 not found’ error. At this point I was slightly confused as this was all working a couple of minutes ago. Horribly when I went through my browser history to see what I deleted exactly, it turned out that I had accidently just deleted the whole site collection as opposed to the sub site.

So everything was gone, all the content, lists, libraries and sub sites which had been set up. But that led me to think that there is surely a way to restore the site collection, it couldn’t have just vanished?

Well thankfully there is a way and it is very simple, all you have to do is open up the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell and enter the following command specifying the arguments where needed.

Where ‘’ is the URL of your site collection. There are also other arguments which can be passed through such as ‘-Force’ or ‘-Verbose’ and others which can be found with the link provided below. It can also be applied to any site and not necessarily a site collection.

I hope this very simple but effective command will be helpful to anyone who has experienced this problem. You could argue that more care should have been taken when deleting sites but sometimes it is easy to lose track of which site you are on in SharePoint if you have multiple sites with which you are working with.

Hope this blog helped you restore your site collection on Microsoft SharePoint after a moment of panic! If you have problems with this command please leave a comment below and we’ll get right back to you! Alternatively see our local offices page for SharePoint in Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

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