How to scan and find broken links in SharePoint
Finding and reporting on SharePoint websites and pages for dead broken links can be very tedious and time consuming. There are few tools available to do this. Even more difficult I have found is a tool or way to fix links inside of files and embedded in web parts. The need to check for broken links in SharePoint List Item metadata, links inside of PDF and MS Word files, within site navigation, web pages and web parts, is a real one.
SharePoint Broken Link Management Tool
Luckily, if you have this need, we have a tool that can do this for you, it is called SharePoint Broken Link Manager (by Cognillo) and is part of the SharePoint Essentials Toolkit. It works with SharePoint 2010/2013/2016/2019 (on-premises) as well as with Office 365/SharePoint Online.
Report & Fix Broken Links in SharePoint
It will provide a report that identifies the type of error (status code), such as 401 unauthorized or 404 file not found. It also has rules you can set to do fixing of links! Such as update everywhere that has http://oldurl to https://newurl, as well as substrings (like change /sites/ to /newpath/).
Being able to locate and fix broken links is vital to improving adoption of your SharePoint Portal. No one likes clicking on a link, expecting to find information they need, and ending up with an error. This is a common occurrence after 1 or more migrations.
Dead Links are Annoying
Dead hyperlinks on websites are not just annoying – their existence may cause some real damage to your business as well as to your reputation!
Because of that, your SharePoint environment may:
- Lose some of the existing customer base/SharePoint adoption efforts depleting! (current users sooner or later will get frustrated enough to never come back or become more reluctant to use the system)
- Get problems with getting new customers (because of the dead links people simply won’t be finding things/pages they are looking for).
- Damage your reputation (most users will consider stale hyperlinks as demonstration of an obsolete system that cannot be trusted)
Links in SharePoint are Difficult to Manage
With the growth of website content/web-based Content Management Systems/intranets (such as Office 365 and SharePoint on-premise) it’s getting harder and harder to manage relations between individual webpages and keep track of hyperlinks within a site.
Unfortunately, there are no perfect web-site integrity tools or services that can enforce proper relationship between pages, keep track of moving content, webpage renames etc, and update corresponding URLs automatically. There have been some efforts with the Document ID service and Durable Links in SharePoint 2016, however these do not cover all link problems, read here for more info on those features.
With time this causes some hyperlinks become obsolete, stale, dangling, and simply dead because they don’t lead to valid pages anymore, and web users are going to get 404 response codes (infamous Page Not Found errors) or other unsuccessful HTTP responses each time when they try to access the web-pages.
Don’t wait, try it now!
SharePoint Broken Link Manager
I think you need to try this tool and see how powerful it is. There is also a review by a SharePoint MVP of this tool here.
- What is SharePoint? A Beginner’s Guide to MS SharePoint Software - October 8, 2018
- Beginner’s Guide: Windows PowerShell – How to Use Tutorial for Dummies - October 8, 2018
- Remote PowerShell to Manage SharePoint on-premises - August 14, 2018