In a fresh install of SharePoint 2010, I naively built a site without first creating a site collection to put it in. The site sites in the root of the server's URL space (i.e. it is simply http://sharepoint.mycompany.com).

Having realised this is not the best idea in the world I want to delete it.

I am logged into the server as a user that has 'Full Control' but I find that when I attempt to delete the site via 'Site Actions'->'Site Settings'->'Delete This Site' I get:

    Error: Access Denied 
    Current User 
    You are currently signed in as:  SGC\sgcadmin
    Sign in as a different user

In Sharepoint Designer, logged in as the same user, the Delete button is greyed out.

Note that I can delete sites made by the same user within site collections.

What am I missing? Where should I look now to try to better understand what permission(s) is/are missing?

  • 2
    Please let us all know how do you create a site without creating a site collection first ...
    – ArkoD
    Jun 21, 2012 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


You haven't created a site outside a site collection, that's imposible. What you have is the Root site of the site collection which is at the root of your web application.

You must have a site collection at the root of your web application for your SharePoint to be in Supported state.

You can't delete the Root Site of a Site Collection. If you want to change the type of site you have, then you'll have to go to Central Administration and delete the entire Site Collection, create a new Site collection and select the appropiate template.

  • Thank you - that was exactly the problem. My misunderstanding was indeed that it seemed that a site could be made outside of a collection. Deleting the root site collection did the trick. Many thanks.
    – nroam
    Jun 21, 2012 at 20:25

Maybe try deleting the root site collection from central admin. Also, to make sure you have full control access to everything, you might want to setup a web application user policy (also in central admin).

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