Category Archives: SharePoint 2013

How to tips for SharePoint 2010 or Sharepoint 2013

This is more of a “Note to Self” entry with four quick tips I found myself looking for quite often in the last couple of weeks.

If you happen to have stumbled on this post, you probably are looking for the same thing, so Enjoy!

  • How to retrieve a list of master pages for all sites in a web application
  • How to retrieve the SharePoint connection sting, which will also list the name of the configuration database associated with your farm. Extremely helpful if you have more than one configuration database setting in the same SharePoint environment, which happens not to be yours!
  • How to reset the SharePoint passphrase for SharePoint, since you can’t retrieve it in PowerShell [to my knowledge]
  • How to grant site collection administrator right to all site collections

So here we go:

How to retrieve a list of master pages for all sites in a web application

Run this PowerShell command on the SharePoint application server

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

#Get All site collections

$SiteCollections = Get-SPWebApplication | Get-SPSite -Limit All

#Loop through all site collections

foreach($Site in $SiteCollections)


#Loop throuh all Sub Sites

foreach($Web in $Site.AllWebs)


$MasterPage = $Web.GetFile($Web.MasterUrl);

$MasterPage.Name  +” : ” +$Web.Url



How to retrieve the SharePoint connection string, which will also list the name of the configuration database associated with your farm

From the SharePoint application server

  • Open regedit [Start > Run > “regedit”]
  • Navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\14.0\Secure\ConfigDB]
  • Open the [dsn] key.
  • It should look something like this.
  • Data Source=sp2010srv;Initial Catalog=SharePoint_Config;Integrated Security=True;Enlist=False;Connect Timeout

How to reset the SharePoint passphrase for SharePoint, since you can’t retrieve it in PowerShell

Run the following PowerShell from the SharePoint application server

  • Enter the following prompt: $passphrase = ConvertTo-SecureString -asPlainText –Force
  • Input the new passphrase and hit enter
  • Enter this at the PowerShell prompt: Set-SPPassPhrase -PassPhrase $passphrase -Confirm
  • You will be asked to confirm the passphrase by re-entering it
  • Re-enter the passphrase and hit enter
  • You will be asked if you are sure that you want to perform this action. Type Y for yes and hit enter
  • Your farm passphrase is now reset

How to grant site collection administrator right to all site collections

Run the following PowerShell from the SharePoint application server

$scadmin = “domain\user”

$Sites = Get-SPsite

foreach ($site in $Sites) {

Set-SPSite -Identity $site -SecondaryOwnerAlias $scadmin


Sync a SharePoint 2013 Library to Your Computer

Hey folks,

Did you know you can sync SharePoint document libraries to your computer? This feature comes in handy if you are accustomed to working on your windows file shares or if you want users to work directly on file shares and then have the content sync back into SharePoint.

This feature is made available using the Sky Drive Pro Sync Client which is part of Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus, Pro Plus, or Standard Editions. Click here to download the free client

Once the content is synced to your computer, you can work directly on it from your computer and as long as you are online, they updates will be synced back into SharePoint.

If you are syncing a My Site document library (Sky Drive Pro,) you will be able to sync up to 20,000 items. If you are syncing a regular document library from your Team Sites, you will be able to sync up to 5,000 items. For any library, you can download files up to 2 GB.

To sync a library to your computer:

  1. Launch the Sky Drive Sync Client
  2. Input the URL for the document library you want to sync
  3. When the sync completes, you will be prompted with the address of the synced documents on your computer
  4. To Sync another document library, from your windows notification area, right click the Sky Drive Sync client icon and choose to sync another library.

Here is a short video (3:25 min) that walks through the process:

Configuring Incoming Email on a SharePoint 2013 Document Library

This video was shared with the European SharePoint Community. I thought I add it to my blog posts since it did receive lots of interest when shared in the past with SharePoint 2010 support.

This video walks through the process of enabling a document library to receive incoming email. The video shows how to activate the SMTP feature in Windows Server, how to configure Incoming email settings in SharePoint Central Administration and how to enable a document library to receive emails.

To Enable a SharePoint 2013 document library to receive emails, follow the following steps:

  1. Ensure the SMTP feature is activated on the SharePoint Server
  2. Configure Incoming email settings
  3. Configure a SharePoint Document Library for incoming email

Activate the SMTP Feature in Windows Server:

  • Make sure you are logged on as a local server administrator and open the Server Manager
  • Click on Features, Add Features, and browse and select the SMTP Server option. The “Add role services and features required for SMTP Server” message appears. Click Add Required Role Services, and then click Next three times.
  • On the Confirm Installation Selections form, verify that it lists SMPT server, and click Install
  • Make sure your Installation Results page appears with a successful message

Configure Incoming email settings:

  • Launch SharePoint Central Administration, select System Settings, click Configure Incoming E-mail
  • Note: If you get a message that the SMTP service is not started, follow the instructions in step 1 above on Activate SMTP Feature on SharePoint Server
  • Next to Enable Sites in This Server to Accept E-mail, select Yes.
  • Next to Settings Mode choose Automatic if you want to use Windows Server’s SMTP feature. if you want to use another email application on this server, then select Advanced and define the email drop folder where SharePoint will look for incoming email.
  • Next to use the SharePoint Directory Management Service to Create Distribution Groups and Contacts, if you choose No: Mail-enabled lists will not be listed in Active Directory as mail-enabled contacts. You can still send email to that list if you know its mail address. if you choose Yes, a corresponding mail-enabled contact in Active Directory will be created. If you choose Use Remote, this means that you have configured a remote SharePoint Directory Management Web Service and you would need to enter its URL.
  • Next to Email Server Display Address, either keep the default or enter the mail domain address for all of SharePoint’s mail-enabled lists.
  • Click Ok to save your settings

Configure a Document Library for Incoming email:

  • Switch to your document library’s settings and click incoming email settings
  • Set the option Allow This Document Library to Receive Email to Yes
  • Set the email address (Example: DocLib) to complete the email address.
  • Set the option Save Original Email to Yes. This will ensure that the mail message is stored in this library, but only the text body in the email.
  • Accept remaining default settings and click OK
  • Start your local mail client and compose a new email to the document library email address, you can include a subject, body, and attachments to see how they appear on the library. Note: the email may take a few seconds to load up on the document library.

Video length: 5:23

Importing Term Sets from .CSV in SharePoint 2013

Hey Folks,

The other day I recorded a video to share with our friends over at SharePoint Europe. The video walks through the process of importing Term Sets from a comma delimited value file (.CSV) in SharePoint 2013. I thought I’d share this on my blog as well!

To import Term Sets using CSV file follow the following steps:

Create a new Term Set Group

  • In Manage Service Applications, click the Managed Metadata Service Application, and on the ribbon, click Manage
  • In the Term Store Management Tool, in the left pane, under Taxonomy Term Store, right click Managed Metadata Service and then click New Group
  • Name the new set group. (Ex: Organization) and Save

To import a Term Set File:

  • Ensure you have a .csv file with the following schema/content saved somewhere on the network
  • In the left pane, right-click on the term set Group (Ex: Organization) and click Import Term Set
  • Browse to your file, select it and click open, then click OK to save
  • Review your imported Term Set file


Video : 1:50 minutes

Where To Find Web Part Pages In SharePoint 2013

This is take-2 with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013. Take-1 was not able to log in as a different user, too painful when you have to log in as someone else to see what their experience is. I had blogged about how to work around that on a previous post.

This time around, it is a little less serious, but still big enough in my world. When I build SharePoint sites, I use web part pages to design my page layouts and add web parts and such and the flexibility of being able to lay such content on different zones and connect web parts together hits home for me. In SharePoint 2007 and 2010 when you click Add More to create a new list, you see web part pages as an option along with just regular pages.

Well, to my surprise, with SharePoint 2013 you can only add a wiki page from either the site settings icon drop down menu or if you click on add an app. The web part page “app” isn’t surfaced on the interface? Why, not too sure. But the good news is that it is still there. Yes!

To add a web part page simply go to your site pages library and hover your mouse over Add document to see the web part page option. Too sneaky, or silly, but I personally can’t live without it.

Hope you found this helpful

Here is a video on how to get to the web part pages in SharePoint 2013.

Engaging in Social Newsfeeds with SharePoint 2013

Hey Folks,

Social networking has made it into SharePoint!!

As imprudent as this may sound to certain individuals who use main stream social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, it is exciting news for us users of SharePoint. Of course, with SharePoint, the goal for most organizations is to facilitate internal communication.

This post covers newsfeeds in specific.

Social Newsfeeds in SharePoint allow you to write short messages into your Newsfeed stream whereby others can view, reply to, and like. With newsfeeds, you will be able to also track people, documents, sites, tags, and changes.

This post message is best comprehended if you watch the video. The video walks through how to post a message, reply to a message, like a message, show people, site and document following. The video also shows mentions and hash tag feeds as well as the location of where to setup your newsfeeds settings.

Video Length: 7:13

Using Following To Stay Updated in SharePoint 2013

Hey Folks,

SharePoint 2013 introduced a number of social features to help users proactively become informed of the matters that concerns them irrespective of content whereabouts, author, or department.

Of course an initial line of setup is required for such proactive collaboration to take effect. The initial line of configuration is typically performed from the SharePoint Newsfeed tool.

Among the features of the Newsfeed tool is the following tool. This post will focus on using following to stay update on things that are important to you. There are four main objects you can follow: people, documents, sites, and tags.

The below are some of the ways you can follow the different objects. In general, to un-follow an object, go to the newsfeed section, click on the number you are following and you’ll see the stop following link

Following a Document/File

To get newsfeed updates on when a document was modified and shared with others, follow the document by selecting the document/file & clicking the “…” column next to it and then click follow

Following a Site

To get newsfeed updates on a site, follow it by navigating to the site and then clicking on Follow

Following a Person

To get newsfeed update on when a colleague tags content, changes their work status, accomplishes a task, etc., follow the person by clicking on Newsfeed and then adding them to the number of people you follow or from the person’s name in a list or library

Following a Tag

To get newsfeed on tag, On a post that includes the tag, click follow #tag, or from the newsfeed click the number of tags you are following to add more tags

Here is a 7 minute video that covers the above: