Checking for broken links in SharePoint
Written By: Knox Cameron -- 12/14/2010 --
(186) comments --
Categories: MOSS 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Designer 2007, SharePoint Foundation 2010, WSS3
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Broken links annoy users by wasting their time. Links can break because of
errors when they were entered, or because the page or file they pointed to gets
If you want to attract and retain visitors with a quality experience, you need to make sure that your site does not have any broken links,
not only when it is first published but at regular intervals. But
there is no function in SharePoint to check a site for broken links.
That wonderful tool, SharePoint Designer, has just what you need.
Just as with any web site, it is important to make sure that you don't have
broken links in a SharePoint site. It is very frustrating for a user to click on
a link, wait around while the browser tries to find something, then end up with
a (usually unhelpful) error page.
SharePoint does provide some assistance compared to a normal web site. For
example, if you rename a file, SharePoint will often fix up links within the
site collection automatically. However, it may not fix all links, and it will
not help with links outside the site collection.
You may have noticed in Central Administration in MOSS that there is an
option called Site Directory Links Scan. This will scan views of a site
directory for broken links, and even update the title and description of sites
in the directory if they have been changed in the site. However, this function
is unfortunately not available for general use outside of a site directory.
(Note also that the site directory function in MOSS has been deprecated in
Fortunately, SharePoint Designer has inherited some very nice link
management functionality from its predecessor product FrontPage. And you
certainly can't complain about the price: SharePoint Designer is available as a
free download - see
Download details: SharePoint Designer 2007.
Checking links in MOSS 2007
Using SharePoint Designer 2007, you can view the incoming and outgoing links for any page
in a diagram. At the bottom of the Web Site pane in the middle, select the
Hyperlinks option. You will then be prompted to select a page from the Folder
List on the left.
You can also view reports on all the links in the site. At the bottom of the Web
Site pane, select Reports.
There are options to view all hyperlinks, unverified links, broken links,
external links and internal links.
If you select one of the links reports, SPD will offer to check the links for you.
Be aware that this can take a while in a large site, particularly if there are a
large number of external links.
If you right click anywhere in the report, you have the option Copy Report. You
can then paste a copy of the report as a table into an Excel spreadsheet or Word
So what about SharePoint 2010?
Unfortunately, in SharePoint Designer 2010 much of the reporting
functionality inherited from FrontPage has been deprecated (see
Discontinued features in SharePoint Designer 2010 - SharePoint Designer -
Microsoft Office). This is part of the general move to eliminate
non-SharePoint-specific features (see
2010 Limitations). And no, you can't use SharePoint Designer 2007
with SharePoint 2010 sites.
SharePoint 2010 has lost the hyperlinks diagram and the various hyperlinks
reports; at least, I can't find them - if you can, please leave a comment!
Fortunately though, the basic link check and fix functionality
in the page editor has been retained, and this can still be used to check links
across a complete site.
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