How to change Central Admin Host in SharePoint 2010

I recently provisioned a SharePoint Server 2010 farm and, due to changing requirements, needed to move the Central Administration (CA) site. By default it is hosted on the first server provisioned in the farm but in my case this was redefined as one of the web front-end servers. Microsoft strongly recommend against hosting CA on your front-end servers but instead host it on one or more servers in the farm that are not generally accessible. If the farm is servicing an internet/extranet presence the the CA server(s) should not be externally addressable.

Anyway, the process to move the CA site was fairly simple in the end.

1. On the server currently hosting the CA site login and run the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard (Start –> All Programs –> Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products)

2. Click Yes to restart the services and you will be presented with the following screen.

3. Ensure that ‘Do not disconnect from this server farm is selected’ and click Next


4. This is the screen that will allow you to control which server hosts the CA site. On the server currently hosting the CA site select ‘Yes, I want to remove the web site from this machine’ and click Next and continue the process until the wizard is finished.

5. Now on the server which you want to move the CA site to, run through the same process as above but at step 4 you will be presented with the following screen instead.

6. Click on Advanced Settings and the following screen will be displayed.

7. Select ‘Use this machine to host the web site’ and click OK to set up the current server as the CA host.

After the wizard finished I did notice that it took a while for things to catch up and was directed to the old location a few times before the change seems to propagate.

I have also noticed that the Start Menu link to Central Administration on the various servers in the farm seems to continue to point at the old location for the CA site. I’ll update this post when I work out how to update the menu item.

23/06/2010 – I worked it out. It looks like rerunning the wizard as described in the process above moves the CA site but doesn’t update the Alternate Access Mapping for the CA site on the original server. Instead an additional entry is added for the new location based on the old location. Simply update the details of the original entry to reflect the new entry and problem fixed.



Filed under SharePoint 2010

13 responses to “How to change Central Admin Host in SharePoint 2010

  1. Michael T

    I mistakenly uninstalled sharepoint from the CA server. How do i get it back?

    • I’m assuming you have more than one server in the farm? I’ve never hit this problem myself but I would attempt to reinstall SharePoint on the CA. When you run the Config wizard you should reconnect to the existing farm. I’m thinking that this approach should recognise that the server was hosting CA and provide the option shown in the blog entry about where you want CA hosted. At this point you could push it to another server temporarily and then bring it back of keep the option ‘Do not disconnect from this server farm‘ selected and see it if gets it going again.

  2. Tammy G

    A google search led me to this post. We’re considering reinstalling our WFE server which is one of 3 servers in our farm (SQL and app server as well). Although not recommended as best practice, we did put CA on our WFE so your post would be a step in the process. Is this something that could even be done – i.e. moving CA, services, etc to the Application/Index server while the WFE is reinstalled?

    • Hi Tammy. I can’t see any reason why you couldn’t move all your services to the app server and then go thru the process of moving CA to it as well. Once you’ve successfully done this the WFE isn’t really playing a part in the farm so you can take it out, rebuild it, bring it back into the farm and move CA plus the relevant services back to it. That said, I’ve never had to do it myself so I not sure if there are any gotchas I’m not aware of 🙂

  3. Matt

    Hi Kirk,
    Thanks for the post!

    Quick question…What if you have 2 Sharepoint servers in the farm, and the server hosting the CA blows up, can you perform those same steps, run the configuration wizard on the server that’s ok and configure it to now host the CA site?


    • Hi Matt,
      I can’t say I’ve tried doing it that way but given that your CA server has blown up I don’t see you have a lot of option if you want to access CA before you get the othe server back up and running. I’d give it a go, remember that a lot of SharePoint config is stored in the DB so when you finally rebuild the dead server you will probably be working from fresh install that you will then simply connect back to the DB server. Post some feedback herewhen you have some results of how you go. Thanks.

  4. Brett

    Harbar has details of how to amend the start menu link.
    Modifying the CentralAdministrationURL Registry key.

  5. rhhbmrd

    Excellent post!

  6. dzikoo77

    My CA died and will not be brought back up from the backup. Any advice here?

  7. Sahil Verma

    Hi Kirk,

    Hope, you are good!
    I have one 1 WFE, 1 App Server and 1 DB in my farm. CA, Search Service and User Pofile service are host on WFE. I need to move 3 of them to App Server.

    Could you suggest how should i start?
    Shall i move Search and USer Profile first ? (If yes, how?)

    Looking forward for your reply.

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