The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

How to Move Collections in ConfigMgr

One of the little aspects of working in the ConfigMgr console that I don’t like is the number of builtin collections that are all at the top level of the collections node (“All Systems”, etc). I don’t like that they take up so much room at the top of the list (since they all start with the word “all”) and causes me to need to scroll/search in order to find the collections that I have created. I would prefer to have them in a folder (which doesn’t exist in the Collections area because of the way security works in collections). You will also note when right-clicking a collection, that there is not a “move” option. So…how do you do it?

While you can’t create a true folder, you can use subcollections. Start off by creating a new empty collection named “Z_All Builtin Collections” at the root of the Collections node. After it is created, right click this “Z_All…” collection and choose New, then “Link to collection”. In the dialog that pops up (screen shot below), choose the topmost “All” collection which is probably “All Active Directory Security Groups”, then click OK. image Repeat this process for all of the builtin collections. Make sure you don’t skip any of them. Once you do that, you will have the original collection at the root level and a link to that collection underneath the “Z_All Builtin Collections” collection. This link is an identical replica of the original…even down to the Collection ID.

Now…go back to the original ones, right click it and choose “Delete”. This will bring up the “Delete Collection Wizard”. Click next, then note that this is a dialog for deleting an “instance” of the collection. You can delete the original instance while leaving the one that you created in the “Z_All…” collection intact. Repeat for all of the original ones.


After doing this, you will have a Collection node that looks something like this:

image Now that you have done this, be sure to update all of these collections…you could run into problems if you don’t. More on that in my next post.


March 20, 2009 - Posted by | ConfigMgr, Microsoft


  1. Will it keep the original ID’s of the collections?

    Comment by Rikard | March 23, 2009

  2. Yes, it is an identical replica…including the Collection ID.

    Comment by Jarvis | March 23, 2009

  3. […] usage article on SCCM Posted on March 23, 2009 by poseidon2600 My friend Jarvis wrote an excellent article about how to manage the default collections to make them easier to use. This is one of those great […]

    Pingback by Excellent usage article on SCCM « Tim’s Whiteboard | March 23, 2009

  4. One of the things I did to reduce the Built In collections was to set them up to cascade. I put all of the Mobile collections under All Windows Mobile Devices, all of the Server collections under All Windows Server Systems, and all of the workstation collections under All Windows Workstation or Professional Systems. If you wanted to, then you could put the Server Systems and Workstation Systems collections under All Desktops and Servers.

    Comment by John Williamson | March 24, 2009

  5. Exactly what I needed. Thanks for posting this solution!

    Comment by Fabian Schilder | April 29, 2009

  6. This is a very useful change that I implimented several months ago. But today I wanted to move a collection from one parent collection to another and have a bit of a problem.

    I was going from memory and mixed up the method above, so I clicked on the collection I wanted to move, chose New Link to Collection, and then pointed it to the new parent collection I wanted to move it into (which is also parent of many other sub-collections.) Instead of creating a new link inside that new parent, it created a link from my original collection to the new parent, and subsequently to all sub-collections.

    Now an advertisement intended for only the first collection is applying to all the sub-collections in the new parent. However, when I look under advertisements the advertisement still only applies to the original small collection. Does anyone know where links reside so I can remove it or back out of this somehow?

    Comment by Mike | September 30, 2009

  7. I think I figured it out. I looked again at the original collection I intended to move and clicked the “+” mark next to it. Under that I found the new parent and sub-collections that I was trying to move it to. Since it was a duplicate, I simply deleted the parent and the wizard (pictured above) informed me that it was indeed a dup. It’s good-to-go.

    Comment by Mike | September 30, 2009

  8. I was looking for a solution like this. First I wanted to make a folder to put them all into but I saw it wasn’t possible untill I stumbled onto this post.


    Comment by Karl | December 24, 2009

  9. I am wondering if this has any negative effects when doing upgrades. Such as causing the upgrades to fail or causing sccm to recreate the default collections.

    Comment by chelsea stevenson | June 3, 2010

  10. Not as far as I know. The original IDs are maintained…so “All Systems” is still SMS00001. I seem to recall doing an upgrade (SP2 or R2) after moving the collections a long time back without incident. Your mileage may vary.

    Comment by Jarvis | June 3, 2010

  11. Jarvis – you rock! I really used this technique to full advantage. I have many specialized collections and Sherry Kissinger (an SCCM MVP) pointed me in your direction as a solution to my “collection clutter”.

    Comment by Bill Hobson | July 9, 2010

  12. Glad it helped. cleaning up the collection clutter makes it so much easier to navigate! Sherry rocks. I haven’t been able to talk with her since MMS, but she is always a fount of good advice. the other guys at Wells Fargo (where she works) can’t say enough good things about her.

    Comment by Jarvis | July 9, 2010

  13. We has a Center Site server and a child primary site server. I create a collection on the Child site and then create sub-collection by link to the collection on the center site. Now I want remove this linked collection on the child site server. How to do it without delete the original collection on the Center site?

    Comment by Steven Zhang | August 18, 2010

  14. I haven’t dealt with that exact situation before, but my guess would be to simply delete the link that you don’t want.

    Comment by Jarvis | August 18, 2010

  15. Hey, If you want to automate this, you can find a script for it here:

    Ping back :-D

    Comment by Richard | October 27, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: