I know the process involves backing up the site collection. And restoring it afterwards.

I'm looking for specific steps on the restore process.

I have a site collection at the root of a web application: http://myServer:40123/ I now want to move this root site collection to a different path, e.g. http://myServer:40123/sites/myOldRoot/, so that I can have a new/different root site collection.

What are the steps I need to do? Will I need to create this site collection beforehand or will Restore-SPSite do everything for me?

3 Answers 3


You should use Import-SPWeb/Export-SPWeb Cmdlets to can move site collection as a subsite.


Export-SPWeb http://site -Path "site export.cmp"


Import-SPWeb http://site -Path export.cmp -UpdateVersions Overwrite

Note: Restore-SPSite is not working to move Top site collections to subsite.


You can use PowerShell to do that, check Restore-SPSite cmdlet.

Restore-SPSite http://server_name/sites/site_name -Path C:\Backup\site_name.bak
  • That is incorrect. I cannot restore a top-level web site to a subsite.
    – Dennis G
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 12:21
  • 1
    Hmm, just tried it again and it works. I used top site collection and restored it to same web application as a sub site collection. Did you receive an error or what? Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 12:28
  • "Restore-SPSite:The specified URL is not a top level Web site. The backup and restore operations work only for top-level Web sites.". See this post for more information: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/eu/sharepoint2010setup/… - I got it to work now by using Export-SPWeb and Import-SPWeb - maybe you can edit your answer so I have something to accept ;-)
    – Dennis G
    Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 14:41
  • 1
    Are you trying to move Site Collection (SPSite) or just a single Site (SPWeb), your question is about moving (restoring) entire site collection to another location, while you comment is about moving a single site, so I am bit confused here :) Commented Nov 18, 2011 at 15:30
  • Sharepoint and naming of things... I want to move the site collection (SPSite) located at the URL above. This site collection contains only a root web anyways, so in this case my SPSite == SPWeb. In any case: You cannot restore a backed up root site collection to another sub-path. You can only restore it to a root again.
    – Dennis G
    Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 19:04

I ran into this the other day.

If you are using the url format of http://sharepointserver/sitename then you'll want to visit Define Managed Paths and add the sitename.

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