Using SharePoint Search To Find Sites You Have Access To

Did you ever wonder if there's more to SharePoint? Sites you may have permissions to, but no one ever told you about? Sites like the rumored jokes site and the "free stuff" site? You can use search to find these sites!
ContentClass is a SharePoint 2013 Managed Property that is used to find many SharePoint things by their "type". Two ContentClass values of interest when searching for sites are "STS_Site" and "STS_Web".
Tip: For more on what you can do with ContentClass see SharePoint Power Searching Using ContentClass and also here: http://techtrainingnotes.blogspot.com/2015/02/sharepoint-2013-list-and-library.html


The STS_Site property is used to find site collections, or actually just find the top level sites of site collections. To list all of the top level sites that you have permissions to see, search for "ContentClass:STS_Site". (See warning below!)
My test user Sam found 8 site collections and my administrator account found 38.


The STS_Web property is used to find subsites. To list all of the subsites that you have permissions to see, search for "ContentClass:STS_Site". (See warning below!)
Sam found 9 subsites while my administrator account found 158.

Find all sites you have access to…

Just combine both searches with an "OR" to show all of the sites you have access to. (Remember that Boolean operators like AND, OR and NOT must be in UPPER case.)

Adding Keywords

A little tip: If you add keyword to your STS_Web and STS_Site queries you will not be searching content in the site. You instead will be searching for that keyword as a property of the home page or content that might be displayed on the home page. The following search will only return results when "plane" in somewhere on the home page of the site:

Warn'n matey, here be dragons, or at least duplicates…

SharePoint 2013 search hides duplicates by default and treats many of the things returned by STS_Site and STS_Web as duplicates. Over half of my subsites are missing using an out of the box search! Administrators can fix this little issue by following the "Option 2" steps here: http://techtrainingnotes.blogspot.com/2015/04/sharepoint-2013-search-weirdness-part-1.html.

STS_Site <> SPSite

A note to developers and administrators: SPS_Site is not the same as SPSite. It's actually finding SPWebs, but only finding those that are top level webs.



Elaina Cherry said...

This page just solved a problem I was having and probably saved hours of experimenting or googling. Thank you!

Kevin said...

Thanks, just what I needed.


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