Introducing Restricted SharePoint Search to help you get started with Copilot for Microsoft 365
Published Mar 06 2024 08:00 AM 43.2K Views
Microsoft

Update April 17, 2024: Restricted SharePoint Search is now in Public Preview 

 

Copilot for Microsoft 365 reasons across your universe of data—all your emails, meetings, chats, documents, and more, plus the web. Copilot also inherits your existing Microsoft 365 security, privacy, identity, and compliance policies—so you know it’s enterprise-grade. Over the past year, we’ve learned that this experience is most effective when coupled with strong content management and data governance practices. As organizations roll-out Copilot across their workforce, we have seen that some are comfortable with their existing practices, some are making adjustments in parallel, and some want more time to update their data governance practices.  

 

Restricted SharePoint Search gives you time to review and audit site permissions. It is designed to help you maintain momentum with your Copilot deployment while you implement robust data security solutions from Microsoft Purview and manage content lifecycle with SharePoint Advanced Management. Combined, these two solutions offer a complete solution for data discovery, protection, and governance.   

 

How Restricted SharePoint Search works with Copilot 

Restricted SharePoint Search allows you to disable organization-wide search, and to restrict both Enterprise Search and Copilot experiences to a curated set of SharePoint sites of your choice. Additionally, whether you have enabled Enterprise Search or Restricted SharePoint Search, users in your organization will still be able to interact with files and content they own or that they have previously accessed in Copilot.  

 

Restricted SharePoint Search is off by default. If you decide to enable it Copilot and non-Copilot users will be able to find and use content from: 

  • An allowed list of curated SharePoint sites set up by admins (with up to 100 SharePoint sites), honoring sites’ existing permissions. 
  • Content from their frequently visited SharePoint sites. 
  • Users’ OneDrive files, chats, emails, calendars they have access to. 
  • Files that were shared directly with the users. 
  • Files that the users viewed, edited, or created.   

Additionally, Copilot users in your organization will see the following message on their Copilot experiences: "Your organization's admin has restricted Copilot from accessing certain SharePoint sites. This limits the content Copilot can search and reference when responding to your prompts. Learn more. 

 

Copilot for Microsoft 365 end user experience. There is a message at the top of the screen with the following text: Your organization's admin has restricted Copilot from accessing certain SharePoint sites. This limits the content Copilot can search and reference when responding to your prompts. Learn more.”Copilot for Microsoft 365 end user experience. There is a message at the top of the screen with the following text: Your organization's admin has restricted Copilot from accessing certain SharePoint sites. This limits the content Copilot can search and reference when responding to your prompts. Learn more.”

Restricted SharePoint Search began rolling out in Public Preview on April 17, 2024 and is designed for customers of Copilot for Microsoft 365. To follow the status of the rollout, please follow this public roadmap link.  

 

We appreciate your trust in Copilot for Microsoft 365 and are committed to continuing to serve your needs. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

 

1.Does Restricted SharePoint Search require an additional license? 

No, Restricted SharePoint Search will be available to tenants with Copilot for Microsoft 365 subscriptions from April onwards. To follow the status of the rollout, please follow this public roadmap link. 

 

2.How can I turn on Restricted SharePoint Search? 

Restricted SharePoint Search is off by default. You can enable it by running PowerShell scripts that require Global/Tenant and SharePoint permissions. You can also use the same tools to control the list of sites that are allowed.  

 

3.Does enabling Restricted SharePoint Search change permissions for what a user has access to? 

No, this feature does not change permissions for what a user has access to, but instead it is intended to help minimize the risk of overexposure of overshared content by reducing what they can discover in search and Copilot. 

 

4.How does Restricted SharePoint Search affect my search results and Copilot experiences? 

If Restricted SharePoint Search is enabled, your experience will be impacted in the following ways:  

 

  • Search results and Copilot search results will be limited (enabling this feature impacts the search experience, even for non-Copilot users). Users will be able to discover content from: 
    • An allowed list of curated SharePoint sites set up by admins (with up to 100 SharePoint sites), honoring sites’ existing permissions. 
    • Users’ OneDrive files, chats they are part of, emails they send and receive, calendars they have access to, etc. 
    • Users’ accessed files and files shared with the user.  
    • Content from their frequently visited sites. 
  • Copilot will have less information available to reference, which may impact its ability to provide accurate and comprehensive responses to prompts.  
  • Users within the organization will see the following banner on Copilot experiences: Your organization's admin has restricted Copilot from accessing certain SharePoint sites. This limits the content Copilot can search and reference when responding to your prompts. Learn more. 

5.Will users be unable to access their information with Copilot if Restricted SharePoint Search is enabled? 

No, if you have Enterprise Search or Restricted SharePoint Search on, either way you will be able to interact with the information you own in OneDrive, chats you are part of, emails you send and receive, calendars you have access to, etc. 

 

 

Did you know? The Microsoft 365 Roadmap is where you can get the latest updates on productivity apps and intelligent cloud services. Check out what features are in development or coming soon on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, or view roadmap item here

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