Is there any way to create a site collection in SharePoint Online using the blank site template, STS#1 via PowerShell?

I have attempted to do so already using the New-PnPTenantSite cmdlet and providing STS#1 as the Template parameter but it returns an error message saying the web template is not available.

Is there any workaround to allow me to create a blank site collection?

What I'm ultimately trying to achieve is creating a new classic site collection and applying a web template to it which I have in a WSP file. The steps I was hoping could achieve this were:

  1. Create a blank site collection
  2. Upload, install and activate the web template WSP to the site collection
  3. Apply the web template to the root web of the site collection

2 Answers 2


That's correct, the STS#1, or Blank site template, is not available in SharePoint Online, but that's not what you want anyway. You can't apply a template to a site that already has a template.

What you want to do is use the "select template later" option. In the UI, click the "Custom" tab and "Select Template Later".

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Then once the site is created you can upload your WSP.

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If you need to do this programmatically you can call New-PnPTenantSite with no Template parameter. This will acheive the same thing.


  • 1
    Thanks for your answer. I need to do this with PowerShell. I should have mentioned I already tried New-PnPTenantSite with no value for the Template parameter but this creates a site collection with the team site template, despite what the documentation says. So I'm a bit stuck at the moment.
    – Submits
    Mar 28, 2019 at 22:07

To achieve the above requirement from PowerShell way use below.

Note: we need to explicitly mention the -template switch with no value i.e., "" (blank double quotes)

$conn = Connect-PnPOnline -Url "https://test-admin.sharepoint.com" -Credential (Get-credential)
New-PnPTenantSite -Title test -Url /sites/testhello1 -Owner "[email protected]" -TimeZone 4 -Template "" -Connection $conn

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