SharePoint 2013 Search – Scopes are gone, but don’t fret

Shout out to Jarrod for putting this together for me.

What are you talking about?

In SharePoint 2010, we had “scopes” to filter through our search results. For example, if you search for “Jarrod Ferguson”, you will have numerous results at every mention of my name- so you use the “People” scope.

This will result in only showing users with the name “Jarrod Ferguson”, instead of returning content. Very helpful, and likely something that you have used in SharePoint… but now the time has come to upgrade to SharePoint 2013. You’ve set up your search application and you’re getting ready to transfer your scopes. Only one problem- you can’t. Scopes do not exist in SharePoint 2013.

What can I do?

While searching for answers, you may have ended up with the same answers I found:

  • We now have “Result Sources” instead of scopes
  • Result Sources do not really accomplish the same thing
  • There are no longer drop down menus to use
  • Replicating the same function as scopes or 2010 in 2013 is nearly impossible
  • Oh no, panic!

But wait- don’t panic! I knew there was no way recreating a “scope” was as impossible as it seemed, so I continued to brainstorm and try new ideas. After many failures, I realized I was overcomplicating this big time.

How did you fix it?

For my specific problem, I needed a scope to only search through a different content location. What do I mean by that? itgroove is in the middle of migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, and we need the ability to distinguish what we are searching. We crawl our new (2013) portal and our old (2010) portal daily, so that we have access to all of our content- but we want to have the ability to search through all of it, or just the new/migrated stuff. If you are looking to do the same thing, ensure you are successfully crawling your content (in your Search Service Application settings in Central Admin).

Here’s the end result of what:

  1. First, we need to create a new search results page. Browse to your “Pages” library, and add a new “Search Results” page. Open/Edit the new results page, and edit the “Search Results” web part.
  2. Click “Change Query” and edit the query to match your scope. For example, we added a “Path” variable to only search through our new portal (
  3. This new page will be your new drop down menu selection. Make sure for every result page (and as such, drop down item) you create, your query is correct and works. The above image shows a search that will only return items that match what is typed in the Search Box +* in their URL. To add the new search result page(s) to the drop down, go to your search service application home page.
  4. Edit the page, and edit your search box web part.
  5. Select “Turn on drop-down” and “Use this site’s Search Settings” in the web part menu, and hit apply.
  6. Next, click on “Search Settings” to edit your sites search settings. Note: This can also be done by going to Site Settings à Search à Search Settings.
  7. Ensure the drop-down and use parent settings are applied, and then add a new link.
  8. Fill out the title and URL (the URL is the link to your new Search Result page), and click OK.
  9. Save your new Search Settings, and test out Search 2013 with the familiar drop-down menu with a mock scope.

Here is how it works. First, I tested searching our new portal (using our new Search Result page) for the word “Christmas” with no luck. Then I changed back to the original Search Result Page (searching “Everything”), which searches itgroove’s old content as well as the new content, as there are no Search Queries on that page besides matching text with Search Box. The result looks like…

And searching Everything…

Hey look at all those results!

Hope this helps you out with your Search 2013 problems, cheers!

14 responses to “SharePoint 2013 Search – Scopes are gone, but don’t fret

  1. Hello,

    I want to have a searchable Wiki, but I was lost at the first step. Where is this “Pages” library?
    I tried to Edit the existing SearchResults.aspx page. It is opened in Sharepoint Designer and it shows me the raw ASP, not the nice UI in the picture. I cannot find something like a “Design” view in Sharepoint Designer, I only have the Code view.

    Got any hints on how to get there?

    1. Hi Raoel,
      I’m a little confused by your question as I didn’t suggest going into any design view. In SharePoint 2013, the design view and capabilities (WYSIWYG) was removed from SharePoint Designer (2013). As for the Pages library, it would exist if your Search Center was an “enterprise” search center as it enables the publishing features of SharePoint to provide the Pages library. I’m guessing your Search Center is the basic one (less customizable). I’d suggest recreating your search center using the Enterprise Search Center template.

      1. Hello Sean,

        How I ended up in Sharepoint Designer: when you have no clue what to look for, and you know you have to edit a page, then you click “Edit Page” somewhere and see what happens. And that’s how you open Sharepoint Designer.

        Thank you for your reply. It got me a lot further. I did not have a Search Center at all. I created one now (Enteprise, as you suggested).
        On Site Contents I found the “Pages” library, added a new Page (which is automatically converted to a Seach Results-page) (note: could also be done through “Settings” -> “add a Page”).
        But I have no clue how to edit it. “Settings” -> “Edit page” while on the page does not seem to do the trick I get exactly the same page.

  2. Hi,

    I want provide search scope option in the default search box that comes up in the top right corner. I don’t want to use the Search center. So by default it will shows “Everything” “This site” “Conversation”. I want to display only “this site” and “My Library”. how do I do this?

  3. Hi,

    I’m creating a search page and want the result to be searched only on a specific library. Is that possible?


    1. Yes absolutely. Configure the results web part to only search the URL (path to library).

  4. THank you. You saved my life.
    On step 7 I chose “Send queries to custom result page” and then paste my SearchResult page’s URL there.
    Then from now on this search will return only results from my current site

  5. nice post Sean, we will probably need this to migrate our search scopes… why the heck did they get rid of the scopes… new architecture I guess

    1. Yep, it took an adjustment period initially to get over scopes. But the functionality now with display templates and content search queries is so powerful, I don’t want to go back. ?

  6. Hey Sean nice post, do you have any idea if there is any option to set search scope across tenant site collections. I know it’s possible by search navigation for each site collection, but is there any global option to set the same or any API exposed by Microsoft which can do the same?


    1. For sure there is and it is built in. Out of the box, and depending on what version of SharePoint you have, the way you do it is different. Can you not see a search box inline with your libraries? Perhaps it has been disabled by an administrator (settings can be overridden).

  7. I have the same question like San. I want search only “this site”. It connect to OOSSearch but not Search Center. other scope like “everything” or “people” connect to search Center. How can I connect search “this site” also to search Center and search result will be limited just the Content from the teamsite where I start the search?

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