Remove items by ID or server relative path in one line

Removing a specific set of items (this could also be documents) in SharePoint from a list (or Library) may be challenging. If all items could be removed of a few specific folders this could be easily done manually. But if only some items need to be removed (and in other similar cases) it may be useful to script the removal of items.

Assuming there is already a correct client context object $ctx (please have a look for some of my other posts if you want to know how to get a Client Context Object) I will show a few quick examples of how to remove an item if you know either its ID (and the title of the list or library it lives in) or its server relative path (only applies to files or folders).

By ID:

By Server relativeUrl (File):

By Server relativeUrl (Folder or Document Set):

You could optimize performance by running the ExecuteQuery command after each 100 removals. However, if the first of the 100 goes wrong, the other 99 are not processed. That is why I recommend to use this as mentioned above (have one ExecuteQuery for each item that is removed).

Connect to SharePoint Online CSOM through ADFS with PowerShell

To manage a SharePoint Online environment I find the CSOM (Client Side Object Model) for SharePoint very usefull. Untill now we used a separate account for this. The UPN of this account was in this form: [account name]@[tenant name] This was very practical as it even allows access when ADFS is down.

Being one of the admins of the Office 365 enviroment I was able to create such an account. However there may be plenty of situations when one would like to query a site or site collection, but cannot use CSOM because of ADFS authentication. For the latter I found a solution which I will share here.

First of all lets look the answer given to this question by “Brite Shiny” (who also asked the question). This lists the prerequisites needed to authenticate through ADFS.

Summarized these are needed:

  1. Uninstalled the SharePoint Online Management Shell – I found this was not necessary in my case. However, it may be necessary in other cases.
  2. Installed the latest SharePoint Online Client Components SDK ( As “Brite Shiny” explains note the “Online” part, as it is different from the SharePoint 2013 Client Components SDK
  3. Ensured that the Microsoft.SharePoint.Client and Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime dlls in the program loaded from the 16 version in the Web Server Extensions folder

Besides this you also need at least PowerShell 3.0 (otherwise you can’t use the needed dlls).

PowerShell 3.0 can be downloaded as part of Windows Management Framework 3.0.

For the script I give credit to Michael Blumenthal. On his (old) blog he posted this post to which I made some minor adjustments.

Short and sweet, here is the script:

As you may notice, I specify the full path to each of the dll’s so I am sure that the correct version is loaded.

As you may imagine, in stead of just getting the Title property of all lists there is so much more that can be done. However I leave this to each to decide for their own how far they want to go to script against SharePoint Online.

Get groups with users from SharePoint Online

One of the things PowerShell enables you to do with Office 365 (particularly SharePoint Online) is collecting bulk info. In this post I will be providing a nice little script which can be used to collect groups from site collections including the names of users in those groups.

The main reason you might want to collect this is the information takes quite some time to be collected. By the time the information would be needed It would take a long unnecessarily amount of  time. If the data however is already collected the requested information can be looked up quickly. The only real downside is that your data used will be “old” data. How old depends on how often you execute the function in this post.

Before going into detail about what the script does, let me elaborate about what goes in and what comes out.

There is one mandatory parameter which must be specified: “outputFullFilePath”. This will be the path where the csv will be stored. Providing an invalid or unreachable path will result in the output being lost.

Optional parameters are:

  • csvSeparator: this will be used as separator for the output csv file, by default its value is ‘;’
  • internalSeparator: this will be used as separator inside csv fields (make sure it is different from the csvSeperator), by default its value = ‘,’
  • selectSites: if selected you will be prompted to select of which site collections the groups will be collected (this is a switch it requires no value, if omitted its value is false).

The output will be a csv file with the following headers: SiteCollectionUrl, LoginName, Title, OwnerLoginName, OwnerTitle, GroupUsers, GroupRoles

If the output file is opened in Microsoft Excel the columns can be used for filtering and searching. Making it an east way to find out who is in which group or where a certain person has access over all selected site collections.

Important note: groups can only be collected if the account that runs the script is site collection admin. Tenant admin is not enough! The account has to be specified at each site collection as site collection admin.

Important note: before the following script can be run a connection to the Microsoft Online service and the SharePoint Online service must be established. For more information on how to achieve this, check out this previous post.

Here is the total script (further down I will highlight the main parts of the script):

At line 14 we create a generic collection (which can hold any type of object). At line 58 each group is added to this collection. At line 67 this collection is exported to the csv file which is specified at the outputFullFilePath parameter.

If the switch is set to manually select site collections a prompt will be shown. This will be in form of an Out-Gridview (line 18). You can select multiple items with Ctrl or Shift. If manual selection of sites is off (not set) then the groups of all site collections will be collected. Because of the time it takes to collect groups it is advised to only collect the most important site collections. Keep in mind that the collection of the groups is dependant on the permissions of the account that runs them. If the account is not site collection admin of one site no groups will be collected and the host will show a red line where the site collection URL is mentioned (line 64).

Because the process may take a while I added a progress indicator. It does not give an accurate estimation for the remaining time (as it only counts the amount of site collections and not the remaining groups or users). For this three variables are used. They are defined at lines 24 through 26. At line 29 the counter is raised by one for every site collection. At line 30 through 32 the count is written to the host including the URL of the current site collection. Note the switch “NoNewLine” which means that the success or error message (lines 60 and 64) are places behind it in stead of below the counter.

The main loops are quite simple. First there is a loop through all site collections (starts at line 27). Inside this loop there is a loop which loops all groups for each site collection (starts at line 35). Inside each group, all users are added to a string, also all roles of the group (these are only roles on site collection / root site level). After the users and roles are collected the site collection URL, the groups users and the group roles are added to the group object (at lines 55 through 57). Finally the group object is added to the siteCollectionGroups collection.

At the bottom of the script there are three lines commented. The first of the three provides a brief explanation of the two following examples.

The first example (second comment line) is a minimum required use of the function. It only specifies the outputFullFilePath (if this parameter is omitted you will be prompted to enter it before the script is ran.

The second example (third comment line) has all optional parameters, this includes the separators and the manual selection switch.

Save the script someplace, remove the hash (#) before one of the examples, and modify this as it suits your need. Then simply run the file and wait… After completion check the file in the location that is specified in the script and start working the numbers.

Because the file is in CSV format it is easy to load it in PowerShell and use scripting to quickly analyse data.

In my next post I will share a followup script which collects external users over all site collections using the output csv of this script as input.