Nick Hadlee's Blog on SharePoint and Other Occasional Rants…

The Content Type Is In Use – SharePoint 2010 Error Redux
May 24, 2010, 12:30 pm
Filed under: 2010, Errors, Tips & Tricks

This is a common error if you try to delete a content type in SharePoint. SharePoint is quite rightly trying to stop you from breaking anything by removing a content type if:

  • the content type is being used by a list or library somewhere in your site; or
  • another content type inherits from the content type you are trying to delete

SharePoint provides the SPContentTypeUsages class which allows you to track where the content type is being used and there are some good posts about other things to look for when tracking down the offending content type. In SharePoint 2010 there is an extra place you need to look…the recycle bin.

It seems SharePoint 2010 throws this error if you have assigned the content type to a list or library and it has been deleted to the recycle bin. I’m not sure why, and in this circumstance SPContentTypeUsages is no good to you – it won’t have any references about lists in the recycle bin.

Just remember next time you get this error to check the recycle bin and delete any lists or libraries that reference the content type.

Side Note – SharePoint Manager

A really easy way to get access to the information provided by SPContentTypeUsages is via SharePoint Manager.

SPM 2010

This is what you will see if a list referencing the content type is in the recycle bin…nothing!

Content Type In Use

20 Comments so far
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[…] via Powershell to find where the content type was being used. As I pursued this option I found this article on Nick Hadlee’s blog which other than giving a good overview of the issue and pointing out […]

Pingback by b r e n d a n n e w e l l . c o m » Error deleting content type in SharePoint 2010 – “Content type is in use”

Thanks Nick, Great Blog.

Comment by Paul Grimley

Thanks for leaving the comment Paul it is much appreciated!

Comment by nickhadlee

[…] The Content Type Is In Use – SharePoint 2010 Error Redux « Nick Hadlee's Blog on SharePoint … (tags: sp2010) LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

Pingback by links for 2010-12-16 « Jet Grrl

great blog Nick good to know!

kind regards,

Paul Keijzers

Comment by kbworks

Nice post. I have no usages for my content type but still cannot delete it because SharePoint thinks its in use.

Comment by Clem

Make sure your check the recycle bins for any lists or list items (including documents) that might be using the content type. These don’t show up in the usages!

There is the site recycle bin AND site collection recycle bin. Within the site collection recycle bin there are two recycle bin views to select from “End user Recycle Bin items” and “Deleted from end user Recycle Bin”, your content could be hiding in any one of those places…

Comment by nickhadlee

Thanks, that little tip of site collection recycle bin helped me out!

Comment by Aaron

Thanks!!! I came over all the issues descirbed in lots of posts (including this one) and the only your comment about recycle bin views made me finish the task!

Comment by tvv

this blog is g8..

Comment by saibasi

Thank you… would have saved me a copious amount of time, had this post been at the top of google. Damn j00 recycling bin!

Comment by Tyler

Worked for me too after I emptied the end user and admin recycle bins. Thanks.

Comment by rc

[…] Answer to no 2 from here […]

Pingback by Managing Content Types across many Site Collections « Jimblog


Comment by POOJA

You saved me, thanks for this!

Comment by Jennifer Hickok (@jenniferhickok)

Thanks, you just saved my morning

Comment by Corey

Thank you very much! That clue about the recycle bin view did the trick.

Comment by BGM

The SP Manager works a treat! Thanks

Comment by Kelly

Thanks, That 0/0 was driving me nuts, looked in recycle bin and found it finally, now I can now go back and do my job of creating more mayhem!

Comment by skean

Ditto, thanks for the tip to look in the site collection recycle bin, both views.

Comment by JohnG

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