Empty Sitecore Recycle Bin Periodically

July 26, 2016
3 min read

The recycle bin and archive within Sitecore are useful features for content editors, the problem is that unless somebody proactively keeps removing items from them, then they will keep growing in size. For example, I once saw the archive tables reach 3GB.

Firstly, the following Sitecore setting must be set to true to ensure items are put in the recycle bin rather than being permanently deleted when a content editor deletes an item:

<setting name="RecycleBinActive" value="true"/>

To remove the need for somebody to keep going into the Sitecore client and cleaning up the recycle bin (or archive) manually, the following Sitecore Job will keep checking the entries on a set interval and remove any items older than the configured DaysToKeep setting. For example, you could configure the job to keep all items deleted in the past 90 days but remove older items as they are unlikely to be needed:

public class CleanupArchiveEntries
    private const int PageSize = 100;

    public int DaysToKeep { get; set; }
    public string ArchiveName { get; set; }
    public string DatabaseName { get; set; }

    public void Run()
        Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(ArchiveName, "ArchiveName was not provided, please use recyclebin or archive");
        Assert.IsNotNullOrEmpty(DatabaseName, "DatabaseName was not provided");
        Assert.IsNotNull(DaysToKeep, "Days to keep was not provided");

        var archive = ArchiveManager.GetArchive(ArchiveName, Database.GetDatabase(DatabaseName));
        var entriesToRemove = FindOldArchiveEntries(archive).ToArray();
        RemoveOldArchiveEntries(archive, entriesToRemove);

    private static ArchiveEntry[] GetArchivePageEntries(Archive archive, int page)
        return archive.GetEntries(page, PageSize).ToArray();

    private ArchiveEntry[] GetArchiveEntryItemsToRemove(ArchiveEntry[] archiveEntries)
        return archiveEntries.Where(item => item.ArchiveDate < DateTime.Now.AddDays(DaysToKeep * -1)).ToArray();

    private void LogEntryCount(Archive archive)
        var archiveCount = archive.GetEntryCount();
        Log.Info(string.Format("Archive ({0}) contains {1} entries", archive.Name, archiveCount), this);

    private void RemoveOldArchiveEntries(Archive archive, ArchiveEntry[] entriesToRemove)
        Log.Info(string.Format("Removing {0} entries", entriesToRemove.Length), this);

        foreach (var itemToRemove in entriesToRemove)
            archive.RemoveEntries(new ID(itemToRemove.ArchivalId));

    private IEnumerable<ArchiveEntry> FindOldArchiveEntries(Archive archive)
        int page = 0;
        var itemsToRemove = new List<ArchiveEntry>();
        var archiveItems = GetArchivePageEntries(archive, page);

        while (archiveItems.Any())
            var pageItemsToRemove = GetArchiveEntryItemsToRemove(archiveItems);
            if (pageItemsToRemove.Any())

            archiveItems = GetArchivePageEntries(archive, page);

        return itemsToRemove;

To add the job to your application, create a new include file with the following configuration:

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
        <agent type="Your.Namespace.CleanupArchiveEntries, Mamba.Presentation.Website" method="Run" interval="12:00:00">
            <ArchiveName>recyclebin</ArchiveName><!-- recyclebin or archive -->

You can configure the DaysToKeep, ArchiveName and DatabaseName parameters to customise the job to run how you need it to be run. To run against multiple databases or multiple archives, simply specify multiple agent configuration nodes for each setup required.

When the job runs, it will log something similar to the following if INFO logging is enabled:

12:27:32 ManagedPoolThread #2 INFO  Job started: Your.Namespace.CleanupArchiveEntries
12:27:32 ManagedPoolThread #2 INFO  Archive (recyclebin) contains 218 entries
12:27:32 ManagedPoolThread #2 INFO  Removing 61 entries
12:27:36 ManagedPoolThread #2 INFO  Archive (recyclebin) contains 157 entries
12:27:36 ManagedPoolThread #2 INFO  Job ended: Your.Namespace.CleanupArchiveEntries (units processed: 61)