PowerShell and CSOM Bulk Delete List Items

From my desktop, I wanted to delete all the items in a list. The list had 10,000+ items and loop through the items one at a time is slow and not efficient. This is where the batch process comes in and will help to quickly delete all the items in a large list.

In this example, I commented-out the SharePoint Online Credentials because I’m working with an on-prem environment.

The batch size is set to 1,000

#Load SharePoint CSOM Assemblies (you will need to grab these from a SharePoint server)
Add-Type -Path "C:\SharePoint DLL\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"
Add-Type -Path "C:\SharePoint DLL\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"

$SiteURL = "https://mylocalsite/sites/taco/"
$ListName = "GiantList"
$BatchSize = "1000"

Try {
    #$Cred= Get-Credential
    #$Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($Cred.Username, $Cred.Password)

    #Setup the context
    $Ctx = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteURL)
    #$Ctx.Credentials = $Credentials

    #Get the List
    $List = $Ctx.Web.Lists.GetByTitle($ListName)

    #Define Query to get List Items in the batch
    $Query = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.CamlQuery
    $Query.ViewXml = @"



    #Get List Items in Batch
    Do {
        $ListItems = $List.GetItems($Query)

        if ($ListItems.Count -gt 0) {
            for ($i = $ListItems.Count - 1; $i -ge 0; $i--) {
        else {
            Write-Host "." -foregroundcolor black -backgroundcolor yellow
            $continue = $false;

        $Query.ListItemCollectionPosition = $ListItems.ListItemCollectionPosition
    While ($Query.ListItemCollectionPosition -ne $null)

Catch {
    write-host -f Red "Error Adding Items to List!" $_.Exception.Message

Limiting the number of rows returned in each query will help to avoid this error:

Exception calling "ExecuteQuery" with "0" argument(s): "The attempted operation is prohibited because it exceeds the list view threshold enforced by the administrator."

Some of the scripts were borrowed from:

I plan to revisit this and batch processing where you combine all the delete statements into a large XML string and pass it to SharePoint for processing.

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