Deactivating Site Pages in SharePoint 2010

If site pages are getting you down in SharePoint 2010, you can easily deactivate them and revert to the 2007 way of doing things with web parts in the left and right zone.

There are two ways of doing this.

Click on Pages on the ribbon and View All Pages.  Or Site Pages in the Quick Launch.

Site pages are based on wiki functionality.  For those if you used to wikis in 2007, you will recognise the library view here.  Wikis are made up of a Home page, default How To, and your own defined embedded pages.  If you delete the Home page, you will reset the landing page to the 2007 view.

Once it’s deleted, go back to the landing page.  The default 2007 view is restored.

However!  Because the Home page is now in the Recycle Bin, after 30 days it will be deleted, then go to the 2nd Recycle Bin for another 30 days; and thereafter you need IT to retrieve it.  So if you’re just deciding between the 2 views, and forget to restore it in time, you will need IT to get it back for you.

A better way to do it, would be to deactivate the feature instead.  This can be done on a per site basis.  Click on Site Actions – Site Settings and Manage Site Features.

Click on Deactivate at the Wiki Home Page feature.

You will be warned accordingly, click Deactivate again.

And the feature will be turned off.

Go back to the landing page to work on the 2007 view again.

If you want the site pages back, simply reactivate the feature.  All the changes you might have made to the site pages before you deactivated the feature will be restored.  Using this method will store your site page indefinitely, so it’s safer way to revert to 2007, or switch between the two.

Pros and Cons

The cons of going back to the 2007 view, is that you won’t have the editing of the zones options available like there are in site pages. You need SharePoint Designer to change the default 2 column, left and right zones. There is also no instant editing so you would need to insert the Content Editor Web Part and make the site pretty from there.  The pros of this is that you won’t have to deal with the niggly and irritating formatting in site pages.

The pros of staying with 2010 site pages is that it is MUCH easier to add and change images, edit text, and MUCH easier to change the layout of the page.  The cons of this, is as said above.  Formatting text and tables in site pages can become a nightmare!

Use what works for you, you have options.

Site Pages / Wiki Governance – 2010 and 2007

It is good governance to always delete the ‘How To Use This Library’ page as it affects your search results.  If you ever search for ‘how to edit site pages’ for example, your first 20 hits will be how to use this library because people use wikis extensively and seldom delete this page.  If you have any training material on your platform, chances are good that they will have a ‘How To’ section.  People could also search for ‘how to create a client record’ and have the same problem. You don’t need this page, get rid of it.


  1. If you choose to make another page your homepage, then you want to change it back- how??


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