We are trying to clean up the unused sites in SharePoint 2013 Farm.

When we delete the root site collection, other site collections will become inaccessible as mentioned here

For instance, when we delete


other site collections like the ones below will become inaccessible


Is there a way to delete the root site without affecting the other sites?


A SharePoint site at the root of the Web Application is required for supportability purposes. You must have a site at the root, even if it is empty.

  • yeah @Trevor looks like we need to have it even if it is not used. I was hoping that there will be some way to change the root site – Vignesh Subramanian Dec 17 '20 at 18:31

The article you mention refers to SharePoint online. If you are on-prem (as you mention that you are) your other site collections under the same web application using managed paths will not be affected.

They will still be accessible.

Go ahead and try it in your dev/test environment! (You do have one, don't you? ;-) )

  • A root site is required for SharePoint. Yes, deleting a root site will break other functionality/sites. – Trevor Seward Dec 17 '20 at 18:22

Although the SharePoint Admin Center warns Admins of the consequences of deleting the root site, some Admins may still accidentally delete the site or intentionally delete the site because they want to start over with the site. If the root site is deleted, users will experience the following problems immediately:

Users will receive an error 404 when trying to access the root site because the root site is no longer available. All sites that reside under the root site will be inaccessible for all users. Custom applications accessing sites or content may fail. If you delete this site, all SharePoint sites in your organization will be inaccessible until you either restore the site or create a new site at .

If users are experiencing any of these issues, the fastest resolution is to restore the root site from Deleted Sites (Recycle Bin).

Hope this helps. Jerry

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