Posted by Joe Lewis, CorasWorks Professional Services Consultant
Building and moving SharePoint solution templates can sometimes be a painful process. One thing we encounter quite often is an error you might see when trying to deactivate a solution template. This error reads “Unable to access web scoped feature (Id: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx) because it references a non-existent or broken web (Id: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx) on site ‘/xxxxxx.’” The problem is that SharePoint will not allow you to deactivate that solution template, and that can be a huge problem when you want to save the new template with the same name. While the error seems bad the fix is actually very easy.
First, let me explain why this happens so you can potentially avoid it in the future. It happens when you’ve built a site from the solution template you are trying to deactivate, and then deleted that site. For example, let’s say I’m trying to deactivate “Template A.” Previously, I built a site using Template A, then deleted that site. Now, when I go back and try to deactivate Template A, I get the error message above.
So, here’s the easy fix. Simply go to the recycle bin and delete the site. (If you don’t see it there, just proceed to the next step.) Next, go to the Site Collection Recycle Bin (at the root of the site collection) and delete the site from there, also. Once this is done you’ll be able to deactivate the template.