Introducing Restricted SharePoint Search: A New Feature for Microsoft Copilot

What is Restricted SharePoint Search? 

Restricted SharePoint Search (RSS) is a new feature that will be available soon for Microsoft Copilot users. RSS is a setting that will allow Global/Tenant and SharePoint Admins to disable organization-wide search and select a set of curated SharePoint sites. These selected sites, along with the users’ OneDrive files and content, will then become accessible in search and in the Copilot experiences. 

Why use Restricted SharePoint Search? 

Some organizations may have sensitive or confidential information stored in SharePoint sites that they do not want to surface through Copilot. For example, a legal department may have a SharePoint site that contains privileged documents that only authorized personnel can access. With RSS, admins can exclude such sites from the search results and the Copilot suggestions, ensuring that only the relevant and appropriate information is displayed to the users. 

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How does Restricted SharePoint Search work? 

When RSS is enabled, Copilot will only show results from the users’ OneDrive files and the SharePoint sites that the admins have selected. This means that whether you have Enterprise Search or Restricted SharePoint Search enabled, users in your organization will still be able to interact with their OneDrive information in Copilot. For example, users can still use Copilot to: 

  • Create and edit documents in OneDrive 
  • Share files and folders with others 
  • Access recent and relevant files 
  • Search for files and content in OneDrive 

In addition, users can also search for files and content in the curated SharePoint sites that the admins have chosen. For example, users can use Copilot to: 

  • Find and open documents in SharePoint sites 
  • See the site name and URL of the SharePoint files 
  • View the file properties and metadata 

How to enable Restricted SharePoint Search? 

RSS will be available as an option in the Microsoft 365 admin center. While the exact instructions to control RSS haven’t been released yet, we should have more information in April 2024 when the feature begins to roll out.

What’s next? 

I’m excited to bring you this new feature and hope that it will help you customize your organization’s search settings and enhance your Copilot experience. If you want to see the official roadmap item, click here.

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Copilot, News, SharePoint