Root Site Collection Features Missing in SharePoint Online

When working with SharePoint online, you may think that the features and the way SharePoint is administered is similar to the way it’s administered on-premises, but there are some cases that may be tricky. One of these cases is once you create get your SharePoint online site up and running, you open the root site collection at the Url: http://DomainName.sharepoint.com and you do some work, then you’d like to save your team site as a template.. but the option is not there.

You may even face this problem when trying to:

  • Change themes.
  • Add content editor web part,
  • Deploy Sandbox solutions
  • Use SharePoint designer to style that site collection!

These are some major functionalities that you would want to use in your Office 365, but you can’t, and then you’ll start being frustrated about how SharePoint Online is limiting you from doing the work you’re supposed to do and you’ll start to embrace the on-premises way again!

But, it’s not a problem with Office 365, it’s actually a security feature in Office 365 for custom scripts, which means that it helps the global administrator for Office 365 to secure his sites from scripts being used here and there.

The scripting functionality is disabled in the root site collection by default, that’s why when you create another site collection under a managed path, scripting will be enabled and you’ll be able to use SharePoint Designer and other functionalities with no differences from the on-premises part, while the scripting is disabled, you’ll get this message when opening SharePoint Designer for the root site collection:

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Then..

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To enable scripting in Office 365, you should go to SharePoint administration center > Settings > Custom Script, as shown below:

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To enable scripting for the root site collection, you should enable it for self-service created sites.

Hope this helps someone out there!