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Corey Roth [MVP]

A SharePoint MVP bringing you the latest time saving tips for SharePoint 2013, Office 365 / SharePoint Online and Visual Studio 2013.

How to: Create a Site Collection at the root level of your Web Application

Have you ever wanted to create a site collection off the root of your site at a path such as (/MySiteCollection), only to find a screen that looks like this?


This really stinks.  After all, I don’t want my site new site collection to be under /personal or /sites. I want it to be under the root (/). The link to the left points us to the managed paths page, but you need to know what you are doing.  Going to the managed paths page, we see something like this.


As you can see we have four entries listed, but only two are setup as Wildcard inclusions.  Looking at the dropdownlist from the first screenshot, we can quickly put two and two together and realize that it has to be a wildcard inclusion to show up in the list.  So at this point, it seems we need to change the (root) inclusion to be a wildcard.  However, there is no edit button, so this leaves us with no choice but to delete it.  We can then add the root as a wildcard inclusion as shown below.


After adding the managed path, we can now go back to the Create Site Collection page and we see that the root path is now available.


Excellent, we can now create our new site collection with the path off of the root that we wanted.  Complete the rest of the information on the page, and we now have a working site collection.  We test the new url http://moss-server/MySiteCollection and things work great.  Now, I want to go back and check something on the root site collection.  Wait, what’s this?


404 Not Found.  That’s a bad time.  Remember those changes to our managed paths?  SharePoint won’t serve up the root site collection with it set as wildcard inclusion, but it will server up anything underneath it.  This means we have to go back to our managed paths and delete the wildcard inclusion off of the root and change it back to an explicit inclusion.


Excellent, that fixed our root site collection, but is our new site collection working?  Of course not!


Now what do we do?  Well when you think about it, it does make sense.  We need a managed path defined for our new site collection since we deleted the wildcard.  Go create a managed path for the new site collection with an explicit inclusion.  Here is what the complete site collection lists looks like when we are done.


If we test both the root and new site collection, we will find that they both now work.  It’s kind of a pain isn’t it?  Hopefully, these detailed steps will help you the next time you need to create a site collection off of the root site (or anywhere else for that matter).

Published Sep 22 2009, 03:02 PM by CoreyRoth
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September 22, 2009 3:37 PM

David Bojsen said:

Realle saved me there - thanks a bunch

June 3, 2010 1:46 AM

Root Level Site Collections « SharePoint From Scratch said:

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October 11, 2010 10:46 AM

Steve Combs said:

Would it be feasible to set the root with a wildcard inclusion, create a http://moss-server/RootContent site collection, then use something like UrlRewrite or a 404 handler/redirector to serve the "root" content?  What would be the best implementation to maintain full function and performance?

March 18, 2011 10:54 AM

CoreyRoth said:

@Steve I think I have tried an approach like that before, but I ran into issues.  It's been a while so I can't remember the details though.

March 22, 2011 11:27 PM

Jason said:

Hey Guys. I was following this guide but didn't realize I had Central Admin selected and deleted the root path. Now I can't get into the Central Admin site.

Any suggestions? Ran a stsadm -o repairdatabase but it doesn't help.

This system isn't currently in production but was expected to be live in a few days o.O

Any help is appreciated!

February 13, 2012 6:37 PM

CoreyRoth said:

@Jason Yikes.  You can fix it by running the Configuration Wizard and removing central admin.   Then run the wizard again and readd it.  If you have a backup of your content database, that will work too.

February 16, 2012 10:32 PM

Jenny Council said:

Could you explain the problem you are trying to solve... (apologies in advance if this is a dumb question - I just installed SP2010 for the first time this weekend)...

In Managed Paths I just created an explicit path for a URL I want (eg doclibrary, for a URL of mydomain.local/doclibrary).

Doesn't that resolve it the problem rather than the delete/recreate process you have above?

Also, when I went to create a new site off my root site, it asked for a path - having created /doclibrary first in "managed Paths", that site creation attempt failed.  So I tried again with a clean path name /doclib, which successfully created a site with the URL mydomain.local/doclib.  However /doclib does not show up in Central Admin Managed Paths...

I am somewhat confused!  ie, I can get the result I want without your method, but I'm not clear what I did, or why it doesn't register in Managed Paths... Can you explain?

December 30, 2012 12:23 AM

Izzeddeen Alkarajeh said:

You saved me a lot of headache. Thanks a lit.

But unfortunately, when I fixed the root collection the "My profile" link became broken.

Any idea how to fix it?

February 3, 2013 3:41 PM

CoreyRoth said:

@Izzeddeen I'm not sure what would cause that.

February 6, 2013 9:25 AM

CoreyRoth said:

@Jenny  You can just create an explicit managed path first.

February 6, 2013 9:35 AM

Alshah said:


May 3, 2013 1:51 PM

Aly Emam said:

Thanks for All

but for sorry i did all the above mentioned steps but i can not access the web app i have created.

June 2, 2013 7:39 AM

Rajat Jindal said:

Great post helped a lot.

Thanks for explaining such a tricky thing.

September 2, 2013 2:32 AM

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About CoreyRoth

Corey Roth is an independent SharePoint consultant specializing in ECM, Apps, and Search.
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