SharePoint “List cannot be deleted while on hold or retention policy”

You receive the following error message when trying to delete a SharePoint list from a SharePoint site.

When you try to delete a SharePoint List, you receive the following error message.

Error message.


You receive the error message because the list is not empty. To delete the list, first delete all the items in it.

Open the list

Select all the items in the list

Click Delete

Once the items are deleted, go ahead and delete the list.

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