Problems creating list or library views based on created date

The situation

Data retention and deletion…I’m sure this is a something that anyone involved in Office 365, SharePoint on information management in general gets fed up of saying since the recent GDPR legislation!

Recently we have been rationalising and cleaning up our data in preparation for moving to Office 365. We are starting with SharePoint as the first target repository or silo of content.

The general consensus is to delete files and folders over 7 years old unless there is a pre-existing data retention policy to adhere to. So the next task is to identify those files that fall within our threshold, and ultimately delete.

Luckily, we have Tree Size Pro and ShareGate so I was able to relatively easily identify the files in question (there were a lot!).

The setup

As our SharePoint environment is a) rather full; and b) rather old, I made the decision to incrementally delete files rather than en-masse to mitigate risk, targeting the lists/libraries containing the most out of date content. I started by creating a view in the first library – library A with the following parameters:

  • Standard library view
  • Filtered by Created Date if less than or equal to 01/01/2011
  • Folders or Flat: Show items inside folders
    Show this view: In all folders

(all other settings are left default)

Results this returned looked good, I could see folders and files in this view that matched the criteria – brilliant! Based on my previous statement I decided to delete in batches out of working hours, again to mitigate risk. I deleted first from library A, then from the first stage and finally from the second stage recycle bin all in this fashion.

The problem

I had permanently deleted around 50% of the total volume of content to be deleted from library A when we started to receive reports of current files being ‘missing’ from library A…not a good day.

After these reports were investigated they were indeed true. It turns out that when folders are included within a library view, folders that match the filter will be shown in the view, regardless of whether the files inside match.

We tested the view exluding folders and all the files returned matched the filter criteria. The same results were demonstrated from a SharGate report of the same nature. The report of all files over 7 years old brought back folders over 7 years old, but they also contained files that were newer.


At present, we are not entirely sure as to why these filters are not able to drill down past a top-level folder. It appears to be difficult to specify via view settings to only show files within folders, including the folder itself that matches the criteria.

We have decided to omitt folders from our reports and views going forward and to solely focus on files as this is the most reliable way we can delete files.

Bonus: for those of you with ShareGate, heres an example of my report we created to bring back all files over 7 years old, excluding folders. I ran this report across the entire intranet application over a weekend and it worked a treat 🙂


Microsoft 365 update for March 2019

Here are some of the latest improvements and new features in Microsoft 365 for March 2019:

What’s new this month:


SharePoint organizational news

SharePoint news allows you to broadcast stories and announcements across the organization. Now, within the news web part you can apply a custom order to your news, meaning you can highlight key content to be more visible among other news items.

Also coming in March 2019 is the ability to make a SharePoint site an authoritative news site. When you post news from these sites, it will propagate throughout SharePoint home in Office 365 or via the news tab on the SharePoint app. You can tell an authoritative news post from others by a color badge on the title.

Page templates

One that I’ve been personally waiting for…page templates! Templates are a really great way of ensuring a consistent design for your intranet or team sites. Initially there will be three page templates – basic, text-centric and visual, but you can also create your own template from an existing page and it will be displayed in the template gallery.

New sharing page in the SharePoint admin center

A new sharing page has been released within the SharePoint admin center. The new SharePoint admin center has been in preview for some time, and more management capabilities are being updated throughout March and April 2019.


List and library sticky headers

SharePoint list and libraries will now have the column headers pinned at the top of the page. This will prove extremely useful when dealing with large lists and libraries! Column headers will also remain in place when inside web parts.

Find out more:

Microsoft Teams

Customized backgrounds in video chats

As mentioned in the November 2018 Office 365 update, background blur enables you to remove any unwanted distractions from video calls to keep colleagues focused. Later this year you will not only be able to blur but completely change your background.

Live captions/ subtitles

Live captions and subtitles make meetings in Teams more inclusive for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing, having different language proficiency levels or connect from a noisy location.

Secure private channels

This one is great 🙂 secure private channels are coming to Teams later this year. This will allow you to restrict channel participation and channel visibility without having to create an entirely separate Team.

Yammer in Teams

You can now add a Yammer tab to a Teams channel that will load a specific topic or group feed from Yammer.


Copy a plan…in planner

You can now duplicate an existing plan to create a new one based off of a previous creation. From the Planner hub, select the Copy plan option in the ellipsis menu.


Find out more:

Microsoft Whiteboard

Teams meeting integration

Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams meetings allows attendees in the same tenant to participate in the conversation on any device. The board is automatically shared with all meeting attendees.

Intelligent ink grab and beautification improvements

You can now easily take content from a physical whiteboard and convert it to digital using Ink Grab. Ink Grab converts images of your whiteboard notes into digital ink, making them easier to read and share with others.

Then this is where Ink Beautification comes in. Ink Beautification takes the written notes and makes them easier to understand, erasing a common problem with whiteboard notes – bad handwriting!

Find out more


Co-author with first-degree connections

Documents being shared in Outlook on the web, OneDrive, SharePoint, Word Online, PowerPoint Online and Excel Online can now be co-authored with first-degree connections from LinkedIn.

This feature is available for targeted release customers now.

Find out more:

Live events in Microsoft 365

Live events in Microsoft 365 is now generally available, meaning anyone can create live or on-demand events using video and interactive discussion across Teams, Stream or Yammer.

Attendees will receive notifications and are able to participate in real time, with high-def video and interactive discussion across all devices. Live Events also allows you to connect with attendees whether they are in Yammer, Teams or Stream.

Once a live event has finished, you can easily make the recording available to access on-demand and catch up quickly, with AI features that automatically transcribes the content and detects who the speakers are to make it simple to search for content later.

Forms Pro

Forms Pro has just been announced in public preview, this new solution allows you to professionally distribute surveys (including custom forms), with extensive capabilities to collect feedback and analyze data.

You can try the preview at

Security Center

The new Microsoft 365 security center is the place to monitor and manage security across your Microsoft identities, data, devices, apps, and infrastructure.

Some of the new tools include:

  • View security trends and track the protection status of your environment
  • Analyze and take actions to improve your security posture with the all-new Microsoft Secure Score
  • Hunt for intrusion attempts affecting your e-mail, data, devices, and identity

Find out more:

Admin Center

The also new Microsoft 365 admin center simplifies how you manage Microsoft 365 and Office 365 services. The admin center is tailored based on the roles within your organisation, improving task efficiency and providing insights deliver a better experience to users.

Find out more:

Links and resources