Delete a List Using “forcedeletelist”

Posted on Posted in SharePoint 2007, STSADM Commands

I’ve noticed a lot of people looking for a way to delete a list (based on search terms used to hit my blog). There’s a built in command called "forcedeletelist" which will do the trick. Note that there’s a bug with the help message for the command:

C:\>stsadm -help forcedeletelist

stsadm.exe -o forcedeleteweb
           -url <url>

Notice above that it says "forcedeleteweb" – have no fear though – it won’t delete your web – it’s just a typo in the help text. I’m not sure why they called it forcedeletelist instead of just deletelist – if you disassemble the command though you’ll see that it’s calling an internal method called ForceDeleteList on the SPWeb object – this in turn calls ForceDeleteList on the unmanaged SPRequestInternalClass object. If you’re looking for other list related operations check out these postings: Import, Export, and Copy Lists and Import, Export, Copy, and Delete List Items.

One thought on “Delete a List Using “forcedeletelist”

  1. I have 2 lists that were apparently created by the publishing feature at some point, but a user apparently got in there and half deleted things, created another round of publishing feature created lists, and half deleted them as well. Now Content deployments fail if i include this level. I cannot delete the lists regardless of what I do. To further complicate things, the folders have been renamed. Effectively I have Images2 and Images3 visible (there are others, but if I figure out a way to get rid of any, I imagine to be able to get rid of all). Neither will accept deletion.

    stsadm – o forcedeletelist -url leavingoutthehttps//portal/portalsite/site/subsiteLv1/subsiteLv2/subsiteLv3/subsiteLv4/subsiteLv5/folderinquestion

    the response, after a brief pause is:

    Value does not fall within the expected range.

    Anyone got an idea how to beat this lil doozie out of SharePoint?

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