We have a particular site collection that is becoming a problem (with huge amounts of content, large lists etc), and it is massively interfering with the indexing process. Whilst ideally we would sort out the large list problem itself, this is not currently possible without disrupting BAU, so...

Is it possible to separate a site collection out to a different content source so that they can be managed separately? I know this is possible by setting different start addresses on content sources, but then we run into problems when trying to include the root because of the error "The start address X already exists in this or another content source".

Currently we have the default "Local SharePoint sites" content source, but in an ideal world we would end up with the following:

  • Content source A
    • rootsite
    • rootsite/sitecol1
    • rootsite/sitecol2
    • rootsite/sitecol3
  • Content source B
    • rootsite/sitecol4

Is it possible to do this? Please note that this is because we want the content to actually be indexed separately on different crawl schedules, not because we want them to be separately searchable, so search scopes aren't an option. Thanks in advance all!

1 Answer 1


Yes - you can do that. Split the sitecols to your need in different content sources. You can automate it with PowerShell.

Beware: The reorganization can delete items from your index and a recrawl could be necessary!

  • Hi Max, thanks for your response. My question is though, how can we include the root as well? As soon as we try to do that, we get the "start address X" error as stated above. Separating out sitecols is easy enough, but including the root is proving tricky.
    – Vassal
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 14:57
  • You do it like you do it for other site collections - just do it like you wrote in your list above - if you dont select "include all from host" it should work. Try to list the sites with: get-spsite -limit all | select url Then split the results and copy them to content source a or b. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 17:14
  • Thanks Max - this appears to be working on the face of it, although are there any limitations when choosing the 'only crawl the site collection' option in the content source? Will the crawl also index subsites that sit under the site collection, or just the top level site collection?
    – Vassal
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 11:40
  • 1
    This will work for subsites, too: It crawls the entire sitecollection. Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 12:46

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