How to Rename your SharePoint Site Update August 28, 2019.
Since this article was written, much has been done by Microsoft on making it easier to rename your SharePoint site. It was announced May 21st, 2019 at the SharePoint Conference that by the end of 2019, there will be GA (general availability), for everyone to be able to rename their SharePoint site urls. While renaming a URL, they will automatically provide redirection for the old url so existing links will not break. This means that if you have shared documents with the old URL, it’ll be redirected to the new URL behind the scenes and nothing will break.
Here’s a quote from Redmond Channel Partner website that rephrases the above:
“The SharePoint Admin Center “soon” will let IT pros rename the URLs used for SharePoint sites, and end users won’t have to refresh their links, Microsoft promised. In addition, the portal will let IT pros swap site links. It’ll be done using “a new Windows PowerShell cmdlet (invoke-spositeswap) that allows you to replace the root site within a tenant” with an existing site.”
I also heard in a podcast that some Office 365 tenants will be able to get this feature earlier, perhaps even now. Try setting your tenant to Targeted Release which means you could get the new things earlier than everyone else!
End of SharePoint Renaming Update
There are times you may change your mind on what you want your SharePoint site to be called. There’s a right way to do it and this article will walk you through how to rename your SharePoint site.
SharePoint Renaming Steps – Start On-line
You will need to have administrator rights to make a name change.
After you’re logged in, click on the site that you want to change to bring it up. Then look over to the right for the gear icon.
Click it and then select under Look and Feel, ‘title, description and logo’. When you click on this, another page will open and this is where you’ll make your change.
Look for the title bar (image below), and you’ll see an area where you can put your cursor and change the name. This is the place to change it!
My screen shot is large, because I wanted to show most of the page and show you the section you do NOT want to change. It’s the URL bar near the bottom. The text in this bar is fixed and can not change. It was fixed the first time you made the site and that is hard-coded into SharePoint. If you change it, it will break the site!
After you make your change in the top box, then click save down at the bottom. Depending on your system and how large your site is, it may or may not change right away on-line. Wait a few minutes and then refresh the page.
SharePoint Renaming Steps – Next Go To The Desktop
Now we need to handle getting Office 365 on your desktop ready for the change. To do this, we need to stop syncing the site with the name change. Right-click on your blue cloud, go to ‘Settings’ and then the box will open that shows all the sites you’re syncing. Click the ‘stop sync’ on the site you want to rename and it’ll give you the warning that the files will remain on your computer.
Next, delete that folder – don’t worry, the files are still in the cloud, but if it makes you nervous, just move it out of your SharePoint area. If you leave it in there when you do the next step, sometimes you’ll get the message, “this content is already being synced”. Things will go better if you take it out.
Start Syncing the New SharePoint Site
Go back to Office 365 on-line and open the new site, click on the ‘Documents’ and it will open it further (change this), then click sync and you should see the regular series of messages about syncing and then the sync process starts. You’ll see the new folder on your desktop with the new name and with the same contents as the old site.
You must be an administrator to make this change. If you have other tenants (Office 365 accounts), in your company, the change on-line will be reflected automatically to other people in your organization. However, the stop sync and removing the old folder and starting a new sync process will need to be done on each work station.