Replacing Root site - Impact on Site collections

Occasional Contributor



I want to replace the current Root site in my environment with a newly set-up communication page. The current Root site contains many Document Libraries within the Site Contents. As I first understood it, replacing the Root site simply changes the link to the old Root site, so you can still reach it and it's contents don't change. When I read the Limitation below, I started questioning this:


"Replacing the root site with another site replaces the entire site collection with the new site collection. If your current root site has subsites, they'll be archived" Source


Can somebody confirm that when I swap the current root site with another one, the documents that are in the Site Contents of the current site will remain as is? I really don't want to lose these documents. Simply archiving is not easy, as it are a lot of documents.




3 Replies
best response confirmed by K-MailMom (Occasional Contributor)

@K-MailMom What type of site is your current root site? If it is already a Communications site, it might be less work to just create the new hope page in the existing Sitepages library and make the new page the homepage.


If that is not an option, does your existing root site have subsites? My understanding is the archived just means read-only, so they should still be attached to the old root site after the swap.  The old root site will be given a new url. SharePoint will tell you the new url after the swap and everything should be available.


If the document libraries need to be at the root, you will need to migrate them. I recommend using a migration tool, like ShareGate to ensure all of the metadata for your documents is preserved. Because you have lots of document, you can do a "Copy only" migration, which might take a while.  After that you can do incremental jobs that will only update the files that have changed since the last job. Do one of these right before you do the swap to ensure you have the latest file versions available.


Good luck! -Don


Please click Mark as Best Response & Like if my post helped you to solve your issue. This will help others to find the correct solution easily. It also closes the item. If the post was useful in other ways, please consider giving it Like.

Hi Don,

Thanks for your response.

The current root is an old site, so the first option wouldn't work unfortunately.

The document libraries don't necessarily need to be at the root. The important thing is they don't get permanently deleted when I replace the root site with a new site. But as I understand it from your response, they will not get deleted: they will just be moved to a new url.

Thanks again!

No worries! The document within the old site remains in the same site having new URL after swapping. You can explore more about site swapping by referring to this blog.