How I Archive a Team Site

How I Archive a Team Site image archief kastHow I Archive a Team SiteAs you may know from earlier posts, I am always struggling with the amount of storage space in my site collections. So whenever I find a site that appears not to have been used for a long time, I ask the Site Owner if the site can be deleted or archived. I have a dedicated site collection for archiving, so moving a site there allows me space in the original location.

Archiving a site involves some actions to make it clear that this site is in “no-change” mode.

In my opinion, an archived site:

1. contains the word “Archived” (or a similar text) in title, URL and/or description.

I also try to add an archiving date and the contact person. I would also like to add a retention period, but my experience is that this is generally “forever”. :-)

2. Is “read-only” for a limited audience.

Someone may need to add a new reader or delete a person no longer with the company, but that’s it. You don’t want content to be added, deleted or modified. You also don’t want that all employees can see this content.

3. Is not recorded/displayed in the search results.

That keeps the search results fresh and saves time indexing. Besides, old and outdated information can be a cause for incorrect assumptions. Even for a limited audience, you do not want to run that risk.

You can exclude a site or library from Search as follows.

Library settings > Advanced Settings > Allow items….set to “No”

How I Archive a Team Site image archive removelibraryfromsearchHow I Archive a Team Site
Site Settings > Search and Offline visibility > Allow this site to …set to “No

How I Archive a Team Site image archive removesitefromsearchHow I Archive a Team Site

4. Does not contain any versions of documents.

Once the content is final, versions are rarely needed anymore. If I move a site to an archive location, I always move the latest version only. The tool I use to move content has that functionality,

Please note: If you do not move the content, you can remove versioning, but all versions of a document are retained until you edit the document. You could use a workflow to “ shave off” versions, but this may create orphaned versions that are hard to remove.

5. Has no active workflows.

After all, nothing more happens with the content, so a workflow is no longer needed.
Sometimes I make an export of the history before removing the workflows.

Of course there are exceptions. Now and then we have a site that needs to keep versions or workflow history, because it is subject to audit. But usually these 5 measures can be applied to all regular team sites.

Hmmm, now that I read this I think I need to check if all my archived sites meet my own requirements :-) .

Do you have a certain way of archiving sites or content? Or do your users always clean up their outdated content themselves? If you have a good method to share, please do so!

File Cabinet image courtesy of ddpavumba at

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