SharePoint doesn't work as intended

Opening a web part page in maintenance mode

This post was most recently updated on December 7th, 2022.

2 min read.

Can’t access a web part page because of a broken web part? Yeah, that’s a classic issue – and it’s nicely ported into the Modern world, too! In these cases, web part page maintenance mode comes in handy!

There’s a query parameter available for accessing it. For whatever reason, it’s different for Classic and Modern mode, though. Why make things easy if you can make them difficult, right? :)

Instructions for Modern Mode

Modern SharePoint is a whole new user experience. It’s more than a fresh look, it’s designed from the ground up to work on mobile devices, and it addresses dozens of nagging usability issues. So far, modern SharePoint exists only in SharePoint Online. (See more)

Even though I’m going to claim that it’s less likely to encounter complete and total meltdowns as its more Classic cousin, you can still break a page completely by messing up with ADAL authentication, for example.

So, looking a the URLs, this is the parameter you’ll need to add to the URL: ?maintenancemode=true

Just like shown below:

See the source here.

At the very least Microsoft has made the maintenance mode a lot better in the Modern experience – compare the screenshots and see the difference!

Maintenance Mode for a web part page in Modern SharePoint
Maintenance Mode for a web part page in Modern SharePoint

Instructions for Classic Mode

Classic is a term for the publishing-based SharePoint user experience and infrastructure, that existed before the Modern experience. And well, while it continues to exist for the foreseeable future, it’s slowly turning into an old-school solution. Still required for a lot of different workloads and use cases, and relevant for a long time – but compared with Modern, it often acts, looks and feels old.

To access the web part maintenance page in Classic SharePoint, you’ll need to add “Contents=1” to the URL. See below:

See the source here.

The maintenance page for classic SharePoint publishing pages is useful but not as polished as with Modern. See the screenshot below.

Maintenance Mode for a web part page in Classic SharePoint
Maintenance Mode for a web part page in Classic SharePoint

And that’s it! Good luck fixing the issue that required you to google this solution in the first place! ;)

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