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SharePoint Designer Soap Server Error

The other day in SharePoint Designer and when I tried to open up a page I was faced with a menacing error:

soap:ServerServer was unable to process request. —> A Web Part or Web Form Control on this Web Part Page cannot be displayed or imported because it is not registered as safe on this site. You may not be able to open this page in an HTML editor that is compatible with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer. To fix this page, contact the site administrator to have the Web Part or Web Form Control configured as safe. You can also remove the Web Part or Web Form Control from the page by using the Web Parts Maintenance Page. If you have the necessary permissions, you can use this page to disable Web Parts temporarily or remove personal settings. For more information, contact your site administrator.

It looked like this:


I did a little browsing is it turns out the problem was with a web part that had error-ed out.  When the error occurred I closed the web part, never to be seen again.  Closing the web part is what led to this problem.

Notice in SharePoint you close web parts – meaning that they are technically still on the page, just in a closed state.  What I wanted to do is “delete” the web part instance from the page.

Turns out there is a simple mode you can put pages into to do just that!  Simple append you URL with a variable named contents and its value equal to 1.  IE:


This will put the page into the Maintenance mode mentioned in the error.  From this page you can completely remove web parts from their pages.


Its a good idea to check this every once and a while, because closed, unused web parts can still consume resources and slow down page loads.

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7 thoughts on “SharePoint Designer Soap Server Error

  1. really useful, thanks thanks thanks! but i dont know how did you know this trick!

  2. Ameeta on said:

    Awesome! Such a simple tip, and so much easier than shrinking the config database as one blog had suggested. Thanks

  3. Really useful, thanks a lot !

  4. see some more errors on webparts here:

    Errors while modifying the web parts

  5. Thanks! This saved a lot of headache. I knew something like this existed, just didn’t know HOW to access it!

  6. awesome. thank you!!

  7. mike on said:

    THANK YOU! I have been looking and looking for this solution.

    I really appreciate your expertise.

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