How to delete a document library in SharePoint 2010

Learn which permissions are required to delete a SharePoint 2010 document library and get step-by-step instructions for deleting a document library in SharePoint 2010.

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There might be times when you want to delete an entire document library in SharePoint 2010 as part of your processes and procedures for document management in SharePoint.

To be able to delete a document library in SharePoint 2010, you must have Design permission on the SharePoint document library.

Users who are members of the Site Owners SharePoint Group have this permission by default.

By default, document libraries inherit permissions from their parent, which is the SharePoint site on which they reside.

Therefore, any owner of the site on which the SharePoint document library is located will be able to delete the document library.

You can break inherited permissions on a SharePoint document library and assign custom permissions to it, so that an additional group of users and/or groups can delete the SharePoint document library.

Assign custom permissions on a SharePoint 2010 document library

To assign custom permissions to a document library in SharePoint 2010:

  1. Log in as a SharePoint site administrator on the site where the document library is located.
  2. On the Site Actions menu, click View All Site Content.
  3. On the All Site Content page under Document Libraries, click the name of the document library to which you want to assign custom permissions.
  4. In the top menu bar under the Library Tools tab, click Library. This action will display the Ribbon for the SharePoint document library.

    Library Tools tab in SharePoint 2010

    Figure 1. Library Tools tab in SharePoint 2010.

  5. On the Library tab under the Settings group, click Library Permissions.

    Library Permissions on SharePoint 2010 document library

    Figure 2. Library Permissions on SharePoint 2010 document library.

  6. On the Edit tab under the Inheritance group, click Stop Inheriting Permissions.

    Stop Inheriting Permissions on SharePoint 2010 document library

    Figure 3. Stop Inheriting Permissions on SharePoint 2010 document library.

  7. Now you can customize the permissions for the SharePoint document library as you see fit by clicking the Grant Permissions button and giving users, groups, or both Design permission on the SharePoint document library.

Delete a SharePoint 2010 document library

Once you've got the necessary permissions, you can delete the SharePoint 2010 document library as follows:

  1. Log into the SharePoint site on which the document library resides.
  2. Go to the SharePoint 2010 document library you want to delete by clicking on the name of the SharePoint document library in the Quick Launch navigation bar or by clicking on View All Site Content on the Site Actions menu and then clicking on the name of the SharePoint document library listed under the Document Libraries section on the All Site Content page.
  3. On the Library Tools tab, click Library.
  4. On the Library tab under the Settings group, click Library Settings.
  5. On the Document Library Settings page under Permissions and Management, click Delete this document library.

    Delete document library in SharePoint 2010

    Figure 4. Delete document library in SharePoint 2010.

  6. Click OK to confirm that you really want to delete the SharePoint 2010 document library.

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