How to replace the root site for SharePoint Online

A business may want to replace the root site for your SharePoint site; it could be that your current site isn’t holding up, and you want to modernize or swap to another root site. The process to swap the site is straightforward, but you will need to take note of certain information.

This guide will cover how to replace the root site of your business’s SharePoint. The process can be achieved using a browser; hence, Mac and Windows users can complete it via the SharePoint admin centre. You will also need to remove a home site if there is one; follow this guide to find how to do this.


  • Go to, then go to Admin
  • Click “Show all,” then SharePoint admin centre
  • Click “Active Sites”
  • Select “All sites.
  • Click the “URL” tab to view in “A to Z.”
  • Find the current root site.
  • Press “Replace site.”
  • Enter the new URL
  • Press “Save”

Content list

What is a root site?

A root site is a top-level site created when a business uses Microsoft SharePoint; it is the site above all of the other sites that the business has. Until 2019, Microsoft used to create the site in the form of a classic team site; instead, it will now create the site as a communication site, and this will be created as the root site for the business. It is also where the site collection settings like “Site collection admins” or “Site collection features” can be changed. If you created this site before 2019, you could do a couple of methods to update your site.

Method #1I will cover this in more detail further on, but if you are using a root site but you find or create a new site that you want to use instead of the older one, you can replace the root site with the newer one.
Method #2Keep the classic site but make a new homepage and updated features, for example, full-size pages that can be navigated horizontally.
Method #3Keep using the classic site but modernize the page and the site page library.

There are a few things that you need to take note of before you follow the method to replace the root site.

  • First, make notes on any essential links on your Site page; they will need to be added once you have replaced the site.
  • Also, take notes of the external sharing settings, policies, and permissions to make the new site have the same.
  • Finally, you have to make sure that all users will be aware of any site changes to prepare the users and avoid confusion. This will allows users to make sure to organise any files so they aren’t lost in the recycling bin.

When you do this, it will create a site redirect. This will redirect any traffic the source site would get and send it to the root site. Another thing is if you have the audit log search option turned off, you can record these events.

The eventWhat it means
“Scheduled site-swap”This means that a site replacement/swap has been scheduled at the time of recording.
“Swapped Site”This means that the replacement/swap of a site has been successful at the time of recording.
“Failed Site Swap”This means that the site replacement/swap has failed at the time of recording. This also won’t be tried again.