I am trying to build a Powershell Script, which iterates over all SiteCollections and checks if they are on lockdown.

This is because, sometimes some collections don't come back from read-only, after the nightly backup. If a SC is on read-only, I want to set it to unlock.

This is my code so far:

$sites = get-spsite -limit all | foreach 
    write-host "Site Collection: " $_.RootWeb.Title
    if (  $_.ReadOnly -eq $true)
         write-host "Site Collection: "$_.RootWeb.Title "--- Read-only" 
         //How to unlock?
         //Set-SPSite -identity $_.RootWeb -lockstate unlock
         //$_.ReadOnly = $false

I can't verify if my unlock code is working, because I have no testing environment at hand right now. I need help for the commented line on how to correctly unlock $_.RootWeb

Kind regards

/edit: To make things clear. The problem is not, that I do not have test environments. The problem is, I can't access them right now. I can't figure out from the top of my head how i can set the readonly property to false or how to get the -identity from $_. to get the Set-SPSite working in the foreach loop.

  • is it definitive solution or I have to execute this POC each time (or schedule it)? I mean.. does it cure the initial problem? Thanks, Anthony – user21098 Nov 28 '13 at 12:36

The following POC code works for me:

foreach($site in Get-spsite "PORTALURL/*" -limit all)
    Write-Host $site.RootWeb.Url
    $site.ReadOnly = $true
    Write-Host "Is read only:" $site.ReadOnly
    $site.ReadOnly = $false
    Write-Host "Is read only:" $site.ReadOnly

It first successfully sets a site as Read Only, and thereafter unsets it.


Unfortunately, there really isn’t a one-line equivalent in PowerShell to “get” locks for site collections that I know of. If you list out the properties of the site collection object, there is no property called “Lock State” or similar. The lock values shown in the UI are actually stored across 4 different properties in the site collection object:

  • ReadOnly
  • ReadLocked
  • WriteLocked
  • LockIssue

To get the list of locked site collections, you can make use of the below powershell script.

Add-pssnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.Powershell -ErrorAction silentlycontinue
$sites = get-spsite -limit all | foreach
    write-host "Checking lock for site collection: " $_.RootWeb.Title -foregroundcolor blue
    if ($_.ReadOnly -eq $false -and $_.ReadLocked -eq $false -and $_.WriteLocked -eq $false)
        write-host "The site lock value for the site collection"$_.RootWeb.Title "is:  Unlocked" -foregroundcolor Green
    if ($_.lockissue -ne $null)
        write-host "The additional text was provided for the lock: " $_.LockIssue -foregroundcolor Green
    elseif ($_.ReadOnly -eq $false -and $_.ReadLocked -eq $false -and $_.WriteLocked -eq $true)
        write-host "The site lock value for the site collection"$_.RootWeb.Title "is:  Adding Content Prevented" -foregroundcolor Green
    elseif ($_.ReadOnly -eq $true -and $_.ReadLocked -eq $false -and $_.WriteLocked -eq $true)
        write-host "The site lock value for the site collection"$_.RootWeb.Title "is:  Read-only" -foregroundcolor Green
    elseif ($_.ReadOnly -eq $null -and $_.ReadLocked -eq $null -and $_.WriteLocked -eq $null)
        write-host "The site lock value for the site collection"$_.RootWeb.Title "is:  No Access" -foregroundcolor Green

After running the above script you will get to know which all site collections are locked, using the below code you can unlock it, instead of setting unlock for all the site collections,

using STSADM stsadm -o setsitelock -url <Site-collection-url> -lock Unlock

Using PowerShell Set-SPSite -identity "<Site-collection-url>" –lockstate Unlock


  • I am aware of this neat little script. It was the basis for my experiment. So I can't set $_.ReadOnly = $false or any equivalent? – Marco Nov 15 '13 at 13:20
  • stsadm doesn't allow "-lock Unlock" you have to use "-lock none" instead – Andreas Jan 16 '18 at 10:59

According to this TechNet article for SharePoint 2010, the PowerShell code to lock or unlock a Site Collection is as follows:

Set-SPSite -Identity "<SiteCollection>" -LockState "<State>"

Where SiteCollection is the URL of the site collection that you want to lock or unlock.

And State is one of the following values:

  • Unlock to unlock the site collection and make it available to users.
  • NoAdditions to prevent users from adding new content to the site collection. Updates and deletions are still allowed.
  • ReadOnly to prevent users from adding, updating, or deleting content.
  • NoAccess to prevent users from accessing the site collection and its content. Users who attempt to access the site receive an error

So to unlock, the LockState should be set to Unlock

But I really advise you to set up a test-environment to try this out. Set up a SharePoint Foundation environment in a Virtual Machine.

  • 1
    You should also be able to set the C# property of $_.ReadOnly = $false – Robert Lindgren Nov 15 '13 at 13:09
  • 1
    @Robert, if you can verify that, that would be really great - and post it as an answer if so. – Marco Nov 15 '13 at 13:31

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