How to enable advanced search in a new site collection

When you create an additional site collection under a managed path, the standard search settings do not show and advanced search link. Providing that your root site collection contains a search centre this can be fixed. I have created my root site collection based on the Publishing / Collaboration portal template.

I have created a site collection based on the team template. This is what the standard search drop down looks like.


Go to Site Actions, Site Settings. Then select Seach Settings from the Site Collection Administration group. Below is the default settings. Note how it defaults to do not custom scopes.

default site collection search settings

Now change the setting to use custom scopes, and enter the following relative URL /SearchCenter/Pages (as per the example on the page). See below.

modified site collection search settings

Once you OK this a browse to the team site collection home you will now see the additional scopes on the drop down of ‘All sites’ and ‘People’ plus a link to advanced search.


Posted in howto, sharepoint
20 comments on “How to enable advanced search in a new site collection
  1. B2bDeveloper says:

    Hi Gavin,
    Thanks for this article, it really was useful. However, when I clicked on the “Advanced” link on the page, it takes me to a page “Advanced.aspx” that does not exist on the SharePoint server, thus I get a 404 error. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong or what else I need to do?



  2. Gavin Adams says:

    thanks for your comments. They are greatly appreciated. I’ve only been blogging for about a month and its nice to know that people are reading my site and finding the content helpful.

    I’ve haven’t encounted this error before but just wanted to check a few things.

    1) you are using MOSS2007 and not WSS v3?
    2) your root site collection does contain a search centre subsite?
    3) advanced search does work from your root site collection?


  3. Daan says:

    Hi Gavin,

    I’m using this function to. Do you know of a way to set this for like 1000 sites at once? And what if I want this for all new sites. Should I change it in the site templates?


  4. Daan says:

    found the solution myself:

    in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\OSearchEnhancedFeature\ create a new SearchArea.xml file and add the following lines:


    Now you have the dropdown box on all your sites. I’f you wan’t to change the results page then when you search you have to change the following to:

    in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\\osssearchresults.aspx

    search for:

    and change in:

  5. Daan says:

    found the solution,
    you have to change the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\OSearchEnhancedFeature\SearchArea.xml


  6. Daan says:

    who… that comment looks weird…

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12

    DropDownMode = ShowDD
    UseSiteDefaults = false

  7. Rebecca Smith says:

    Thanks for this! This is one of those really helpful pieces of work that actually work first time – you made my day because it was so easy 🙂

  8. Rebecca Smith says:

    Hmm that’s what I get for being so hasty…it works, but my Sharepoint site is set up as below: http://servername/sharepoint/clientname, as opposed to just plain http://servername

    How do I set up an Advanced search page that can be access as follows:

    Sorry if it’s a bit of a n00b question.. I’m still trying to straighten out all of the kinks I discover whilst tweaking!

  9. Andries says:

    I have a problem using a customized searcharea.xml in a multilanguage environment. If I have an English rootsite and mixed subsites (English and Dutch), only the English sites display the customized search control. Is this a bug? Any ideas on this?

    Best regards,


  10. Gavin Adams says:

    Hi Rebecca,
    thanks for your lovely comments.

    Just trying to understand your sharepoint setup.
    Is ‘sharepoint’ a subsite, site collection or managed path?

    If you are creating a site collection at ./clientname/ then try using the Collaboration portal on publishing tab. It includes a ‘search centre with tabs’ subsite. You also add the ‘search centre with tabs’ later on as a subsite.

    My structure is a little different. I have create the root site collection using the ‘collaboration portal’ site template. Then I have a managed path called ‘projects’. I then create a site collection based on the default ‘team site’ template for each project.

    Hope this helps.

  11. Gavin Adams says:

    I have an additional language pack installed but I haven’t done any testing with it yet.

    Also I haven’t customized the searcharea.xml file.
    (or any customisation of xml files)

    Sorry mate but I’m not going to be of much help on your issue.

  12. Peter Molnar says:

    Hi Gavin!

    It looks great, but I can not find the setting in WSS 3.0. Is it working only with MOSS2007?

  13. Gavin Adams says:

    Hi Peter,
    I haven’t run up a WSS box only MOSS, so it might just be the limiting factor of WSS.

    I did read that it had a more limited search functionality compared with MOSS.

  14. Pim Verver says:

    I am trying to define a subsite under de root site with the search center with tabs template, however that option is not available. Under the Site settings – Page Layouts and Site templates in the root collection, I can see this template and about 30 other site templates. However when I define the subsite I can see only 14 site templates, one of those is the search center, but i want to select the search center with tabs!!!!

    Please help me

    Installation is MOSS 2007 standard

    Thanks in advance.

  15. swaroop says:

    Hi Gavin,
    Thanks for this article, it really was useful. However, when I clicked on the “Advanced” link on the page, it takes me to a page “Advanced.aspx” that does not exist on the SharePoint server, thus I get a 404 error. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong or what else I need to do?

  16. P says:

    Check the spelling i had problem with typing “SearchCenter” while the real page was going at “SearchCentre”. The difference of American English and British English.

  17. alok says:

    Hi Gavin,
    We are facing a technical challenge with the search feature in MOSS 2007 and wanted to check with you for pointers.
    We’ve hosted our portal in MOSS 2007 but the search feature won’t work. Is there anything I’m missing?


  18. Meena says:

    Do you how to see the status of the crawl in WSS 3.0?

  19. Beyeler Marcel says:

    Your blog and the answers helped me a lot to configure my sharepoint solution in the right direction. Here especially, I created a new “Search Center with Tabs” Site, after activating “Office Sharepoint Server Publishing” and a few more features. So now it works fine at the first look.

    Although, I’m not so happy with the advanced search because of the results and the properties, but it’s a start.

    Have you an idea how to search for documents from a specified author or creator? We use AD-Users and Groups. Both “Name Lastname” (combined) and “UserID” doesn’t give expected results. In fact it gives no results at all. ???


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