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Archiving your Unused SharePoint Components

There may come a time when your SharePoint site structure balloons to an unmanageable size. Your site’s navigation may grow to a size that makes navigating between subsites and libraries excessively difficult for your users.  It may be time to consider archiving some of the more unused sites and libraries, reducing the screen clutter and potentially saving storage space if you can delete files within these archived sites down the road. Time to plan for archiving your unused SharePoint components…

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a robust document repository that’s been around for years. Specifically, SharePoint Online is hosted in the cloud and can easily be accessed from anywhere (great for remote workers). Within SharePoint, users not only have a document repository, but it includes many other features such as Change Tracking, Advanced Searching, Workflows, Role-Based Security, Retaining version history when moving files and much more!

What do we mean by archiving?

Archiving does not refer to any particular process or setting in SharePoint.  In this case, archiving means looking for unused sites, subsites, lists, libraries, and documents and removing access to them by some method.  Give it some time to confirm that these items are truly not used once access is removed.  If users notice something missing from their work stream, they can identify items and access can be restored.  At this point, you may decide to delete items that have stayed archived for a period of time.

Archiving Sites, Subsites, Lists and Libraries

The main reason to consider archiving these SharePoint components is because they are adding clutter to your site’s navigation.  Users may be inundated with links to pages that just aren’t used anymore.  If you have not created any custom coded site navigation, archiving these may be as easy as removing all access to the component.  SharePoint generally won’t display these items if the user does not have permissions to them.

Archiving Files

Archiving files can be done a number of ways.  It’s important to be consistent across all libraries in your archival strategy.  This way, there are no question where files may have gone if they are reported missing.

One easy strategy for file archiving is to add a new Boolean “Archive Flag” column to your libraries.  Make sure the column name you give it is unique and isn’t used in any of your libraries to stay consistent.  Configure your library’s views to not show items flagged as being archived.  Restoring the file’s access is as easy as adjusting the Archive Flag.

Another strategy is to create an “Archive Library” for your site.  You can move your SharePoint files deemed ready to be archived into this new library.  Workflows can also be set up to move files to the library if they have not been modified in the last X days, making this process relatively quick to set up. Need help archiving your unused SharePoint components?  Contact us today!

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and TrainingUnified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.