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Remove orphaned redirect sites

Author: Albert-Jan Schot

Changing the URL of a site results in a new site type: a Redirect Site. However this redirect site does not get removed if you delete the newly renamed site. This could result in orphaned redirect site collections that redirect to nothing. This script provides you with an overview of all orphaned redirect sites and allows you to quickly delete them.

$sites = m365 spo site list --webTemplate "REDIRECTSITE#0" | ConvertFrom-Json

$sites | ForEach-Object {
  Write-Host -f Green "Processing redirect site: " $_.Url
  $siteUrl = $_.Url

  $redirectSite = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $_.Url -MaximumRedirection 0 -SkipHttpErrorCheck
  $body = $null
  $siteUrl = $_.Url

  if($redirectSite.StatusCode -eq 308) {
    Try {
      [string]$newUrl = $redirectSite.Headers.Location;
      Write-Host -f Green " Redirects to: " $newUrl
      $body = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $newUrl -SkipHttpErrorCheck
    Write-Host $_.Exception
    Finally {
      If($body.StatusCode -eq "200"){
      Write-host -f Yellow "  Target location still exists"
      If($body.StatusCode -eq "404"){
        Write-Host -f Red "  Target location no longer exists, should be removed"
        m365 spo site remove --url $siteUrl

# requires jq:
while read site; do
siteUrl=$(echo ${site} | jq -r '.Url')
echo "Checking old URL for redirect" $siteUrl
redirectsite=$(curl -I -L --max-redirs 0 --silent --user-agent "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:58.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/58.0" $siteUrl | sed -En 's/^location: (.*)/\1/p')

echo "Redirects to" $redirectsite
redirect_status=$(curl --write-out %{http_code} --silent --output /dev/null --user-agent "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:58.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/58.0" ${redirectsite%$'\r'})

if [[ "$redirect_status" -ne 404 ]] ; then
  echo "URL exists: $redirectsite"
  echo "URL does not exist: $redirectsite"

done < <(m365 spo site list --webTemplate "REDIRECTSITE#0" -o json | jq -c '.[]')

if [ ${#sitestoremove[@]} = 0 ]; then
  exit 1

printf '%s\n' "${sitestoremove[@]}"s
echo "Press Enter to start deleting (CTRL + C to exit)"
read foo

for site in "${sitestoremove[@]}"; do
  siteUrl=$(echo ${site} | jq -r '.Url')
  echo "Deleting site..."
  echo $siteUrl
  m365 spo site remove --url $siteUrl


  • SharePoint Online
  • Redirect sites