I recently created a prototype site in SP Online with the root as a communication site and several modern subsites. As it stands, I use the first subsite as "Home" in my navigation while the other subsites contain other content. The root site is there for permissions and content that I don't want in the site. (I know, this isn't the right way- I did it because I was trying to make the navigation do one thing- which it won't- and I ended up manually creating the navigation structures.) At any rate, I am now working on Search and I find that searching from Root returns results from all subsites, while searching from any of the subsites returns results only from that particular subsite.

What I am wondering is if it's possible to change the structure by removing Root and promoting the first subsite to be the new Home (Root) with the other subsites under that, as shown in the attached picture.

enter image description here

I would rather not recreate any of the subsites as there is content in each- including the one that I would like to become the new Home. That said, if I must recreate that one, I will but I hope to avoid recreating the others.


2 Answers 2


I'm not aware of a powershell way to do this in SharePoint Online. I suggest you open a support ticket in the admin portal to see if Microsoft can assist with this, or you will need to use a third party tool like ShareGate to accomplish this.


Per my knowledge it is not doable to change a sub-site to the root site. Here is approach you can have a try.

If you have the site collection administrator permission, visit "http://yoursite/_layouts/sitemanager.aspx", you'll see a site manager, where you can do a move operation of all contents.

You can move your sub-site 2 and 3 to be the sub-sites of sub-site 1. Per my test, search results will return contents in sub site 2 and 3 in Sub site 1

Update: I record a simple gif to show the process, please check enter image description here

  • I thought that I am the site collection administrator since I created the site collection (large corporate tenant) but I am unable to move a subsite as you describe.
    – Richard
    Jun 28, 2019 at 20:28
  • Is it possible to just "fix" this with crawl rules? I want to be able to search for content in all of the subsites regardless of which subsite I am in when I originate the search. Currently, they only search within the subsite where the search is entered. Additionally, I want to see search results from all of the subsites. I do not want to include results from the root, from OneDrive, from other site collections in the tenant, etc. even if the user does click on "Organization."
    – Richard
    Jun 28, 2019 at 20:38
  • I am unable to create a custom search center because, apparently, it is impossible to enable "Navigation with Sharepoint Server Publishing Infrastructure" on a communication site (which is where I began with trying to replace my communication site root).
    – Richard
    Jun 28, 2019 at 20:38
  • Thanks, Jerry, but "how to do it" isn't the problem. I simply don't have the permissions, apparently. I get a meaningless "Sorry, something went wrong" error when I attempt the move.
    – Richard
    Jul 1, 2019 at 14:38

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