Paleoenvironments during the late Younger Dryas through early Holocene retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet from the outer shelf in the Disko Trough system of central West Greenland were investigated via lithofacies, foraminifera, dinocysts and sediment provenance analyses in radiocarbon‐dated sediment cores from the upper slope (JR175‐VC35) and outer shelf (JR175‐VC20 and HU2008029‐070CC). Core data show that the ice margin retreated rapidly from the outer shelf by calving, beginning by 12.2k cal a BP under cold paleoceanographic conditions with up to 11 months of sea‐ice. Ice retreat into Disko Bugt was well underway by 10.9k cal a BP. Enhanced ice‐sheet ablation in Disko Bugt and elsewhere along the West Greenland coast is inferred from cold glacial marine conditions associated with high sedimentation rates between 10.9 and 9.5k cal a BP on the outer shelf. Glacial marine conditions are recorded on the outer shelf until 7.8k cal a BP. Detrital carbonate‐bearing sediments rich in >2‐mm clasts deposited between 11.6 and 10.6 k cal a BP indicate that icebergs calved from northern Baffin Bay ice margins were melting and releasing sediments along West Greenland while the Greenland Ice Sheet margin was retreating into Disko Bugt.