Note October 2018: This only applies to SharePoint Classic Pages.
At least once a month someone emails or calls me in a panic.
A web part has suddenly disappeared from the page and they have no clue what has happened or how to add it back to the page.
I usually tell them this first:
And then we start investigating by going to “Edit Page”.
The following things could have happened:
This is the most common scenario. Someone started to edit the web part and hit Close instead of Modify/Edit Web part.
It appears as if Close is no longer an option in Office365, at least not in my site. A mixed blessing, because I am afraid that it will lead to more “Delete”.
The good news is that the Closed web part is still around, with the same configuration it had when you closed it. Just go to the Closed Web Part Gallery and add it back to the page. It has been nicely recorded here:
Tip: Keep the Closed Web Parts Gallery clean. If you have many web parts it can be quite hard to find the correct one, especially if they are all called Content Editor Web Part 🙂 Besides, having many closed web parts can influence the load time of your page.
Someone must have hit “Delete” and not seen the warning message. The only solution is to re-add and re-configure the web part. Fortunately, this does not happen too often.
This will not happen by accident, but if you have multiple site owners, it can occur.
If you edit your page, you will see all hidden web parts with the text (Hidden) in front of the title, regardless whether you used the title bar or not.
Go to “Layouts” in the web part menu and uncheck the checkbox.
4. Targeted to an audience that does not include you
Now this is a foul trick to play on a site owner. The site owner should always see everything in their site, and be aware if web parts are targeted. (Remember when we removed the site owner from a library?)
On the Edit page look for a web part that is not visible on your page and does not have “hidden” in front of the title. Open the web part menu and under “Advanced” look if there is a person or a group mentioned under “Target Audiences” at the very bottom. Change the target audience or add yourself to it.
Tip: Add a * behind the title of any web part that you target, to make sure you remember. (It may also help your co-site owners)
5. Content Query or Content Editor Web Part with no content and no Chrome
This can happen if you have been linking to content that no longer exists, and you removed the Chrome (title bar).
Check your data sources and determine what has to be done.
6. Minimized web part with no Chrome
This is possible if you are just displaying the web part content and you (or someone else) hit “minimize” by accident.
In Edit Page mode, restore your web part content and think about your Chrome.
Please note that libraries or lists will always return a message if there is no content in the library/list or filter, even if you have no Chrome and no toolbar.
All this in a flowchart!
I have recently discovered the joy of creating flowcharts. 🙂
And as always, if you have discovered another scenario that leads to a “disappearing web part”, please let me know so I can add it to the list and the flowchart!
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net