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Can I remove the site prefix from the URL when I create a new site collection? For example if the URL of the web application is http://servername and I want to create a new site collection I need to specify a site prefix like this http://servername/sites/xxxx.

Can I remove the /sites?

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These are called managed paths. You can create your won managed paths while creating a site collection. There can only be one site collection at the root. That is why, when you try to create more site collection you automatically get /sites in the url, while creating a site collection. However, you can click on "Define Managed Paths" and create a new managed path based on your choice.

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If I want the url for example to be servername/intranet does that mean that there will be more than one site collection at the root? –  user3470 Nov 9 '12 at 12:08
    
No there can always be only one site collection at the root web application. For eample, when you create a webapplication servername. After that you create a site collection without including the managed path, the url to the site collection will still remain same i.e shttp://servername.But by creating a managed path "intranet"you can create as many site collections as you want (there is perhaps some upper limit, don't remember it right now) under this managed path e.g servername/intranet/site1, servername/intranet/site2 ....servername/intranet/siten –  Nadeem Yousuf Nov 9 '12 at 12:30
    
Ok can I hide the /sites by using alternate access mappings? –  user3470 Nov 9 '12 at 12:38

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