Clean up orphaned SharePoint sites and teams

By removing or reassigning SharePoint sites which do not have an active owner anymore, you can free up storage on your tenant and make it easier for people find the content they're looking for.

Your problem: SharePoint sites and teams become orphaned

Over time, people leave, restructuring takes place, and governance policies lag behind requirements. This can result in workspaces ending up in a state where they do not have group (if Microsoft 365 group-connected) or site owners.

Orphaned content is at risk because:

  • Without clear ownership, the most appropriate security might not be applied and data leaks become a real risk.
  • Ownerless content can easily be mistakenly deleted.
  • Without ownership and accountability, unnecessary duplicate content can easily be generated.

The solution: Assign or delete orphaned sites

Step 1 - Identify orphaned sites

SProbot's orphaned workspace cleanup tool provides a report of all sites and teams which do not have sufficient ownership.

Group-connected modern sites and Teams

Workspaces are classified as orphaned if the Microsoft 365 group does not have owners, and the SharePoint Site Owners group either does or does not contain users.

The Site Owners criteria is applied because even though the group-based approach is the modern best practice in Microsoft 365, some organizations continue to use SharePoint permissions to manage access instead of M365 groups. This reporting gives you the opportunity to identify these sites and either continue to manage them that way, or switch to group-based management.

SharePoint sites (modern and classic) without groups

Sites are classified as orphaned if the Site Owners group does not contain any users or groups.

Step 2 - Assign or delete orphans

Once you've reviewed the workspaces classified orphaned and identified new owners, it's as easy as actioning assignment, or deleting the workspace if you've determined that it's obsolete.

Looking for an out-of-the-box solution?

If you're not quite ready to commit to a third-party tool yet, have a look at cleaning up orphans using various freely available options.

Why you need Teams and SharePoint governance

Because Microsoft 365 makes it so easy to create a SharePoint site or a team, people tend to create new workspaces without considering whether a suitable container already exists, what template to use if not, or what the appropriate security settings should be.

This often results in uncontrolled content sprawl.

Gain control of your tenant by using SProbot's AI-powered cleanup tools to get rid of unwanted SharePoint sites and teams, and then put in place controlled new workspace provisioning, driven by centrally managed templates and clearly defined governance rules.

Reduce content sprawl

Audit your existing tenant content with a set of clean-up tools which target the most common unwanted, obsolete and unmanaged workspace types.

Prevent duplicate and other unnecessary workspaces from being created with clearly defined governance policies.

Save time

Enable your users to find SharePoint sites and teams through search which is powered by descriptions and tags which are automatically created by AI.

Create and easily update templates to include standard navigation, libraries, pages and permissions so your users can hit the ground running.

Empower your users

Give your users the tools to create their own workspaces without giving up governance control.

Enable a simplified SharePoint and Teams creation process with request forms which clearly explain the purpose and settings of each template type.

See how SProbot can help you keep your M365 tenant tidy

We'll show you how to tame content sprawl and make it easier for your users to find what they need

Get a demo