I have a Web App with a root and four different HNSCs. I've been able to successfully backup and restore the HNSCs from a dev environment, but I am having trouble achieving this with my root site collection.

This is my PowerShell script:

Restore-SPSite http://contoso.com/ -Path xxx.bak -DatabaseServer xxx -DatabaseName xxx -HostHeaderWebApplication http://contoso.com -Force

I get the following error:

Restore-SPSite : The URL 'http://contoso.com/' is in use as an alternate access URL or as the URL of a host header site.  Please choose a different URL and try again.

I tried removing the existing root site collection before running the script with the same outcome. I even tried using / as the Site Collection's url with no success.

Microsoft examples are for site collections under sites, not root site collections. So, is this even possible?

  • Is root level site collection is hnsc? If you go central admin> view all site collections under the Web app check what is the url of "/" site collection
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Jun 8, 2015 at 21:39
  • @WaqasSarwarMCSE Same as the Web App's url: http:// contoso.com
    – Gonzalo
    Jun 8, 2015 at 23:09
  • 1
    Try to run the command without host header parameter?
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Jun 8, 2015 at 23:12
  • Great, I added that into as answer for other benifit as well as for some rewards.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Jun 8, 2015 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


Because you are trying to restore a site collection, I would remove the host headerwebapplication url from coomand i.e

Restore-SPSite http://contoso.com/ -Path xxx.bak -DatabaseServer xxx -DatabaseName xxx  -Force
  • Great, It works. Thanks a lot!
    – Xavi
    Jun 17, 2021 at 16:29

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