Environment: SharePoint Online (Office 365 hosted, SharePoint 2013) I have experience with older versions of SharePoint, but am new to SP2013 and Office 365.

I am a site owner and Site Collections Administrator with full control. I just added a "Media and Content > Content Editor" web part to my page, added content, and saved it. The content was visible on the page. I then went back in and changed the audience to an Active Directory group that I am not a part of, and after saving it again, it completely disappeared. I would expect the web part not to be visible when simply viewing the page, but I thought it would be visible when I was in "Edit" mode.

As an admin, how do I work with web parts when I am not a member of the audience? By the time our site is fully built, I expect there to be hundreds or more web parts for which I am not part of the audience, but which I will need to edit and maintain.

EDIT: This is reproducible and not limited to the Content Editor web part.

TL;DR - Web Part with audience targeting is not visible to admin even in Edit mode. How to view/edit?

6 Answers 6


I'm not sure how you can edit it, but you can always append ?contents=1 to the page URL to go to the web part maintenance page.

From here, you can delete the web part. Afterwards, you can just add the web part again. This probably isn't what you're looking for, but I thought it might help.

  • Thank you for the useful information. At least I can delete it if needed.
    – Rick
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 15:07

Rick, Can you add yourself to the AD group that you gave access to, change the permission settings on the WP, then remove yourself from the AD group?

  • This would allow me to get back in, but it doesn't really solve the problem. Imagine if files and folders were hidden from a domain admin unless they explicitly added the domain admin group to each file (which they couldn't even see).
    – Rick
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 19:14
  • 1
    Rick, I now get what you're saying. Correct me if I am wrong, but would adding yourself as a site collection administrator allow full visibility to the web part? Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 19:42
  • I am a site collection administrator.
    – Rick
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 20:03
  • I have nothing then, sorry :( Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 20:29

When you edit an app or web part all invisible apps or web parts will appear.

  • I know this is an old post... As Brittany said above adding another app and editing will show any other apps only viewable by the audience. Thanks heaps Brit!! Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 21:33

Your only option is to assign the admin account in all audiences. If not, you won't see the web part. It's how SharePoint works.


The Target Audience feature does not take into account that you are a site collection administration. If you are not in the group that you set in the target audience, you will not see it. Silly, but that is the way it works.


appending "?contents=1" to the page URL will allow you to "close the part" and have it not appear on the page. which also means you can't edit it. You can delete and then recreate, but that's a terrible practice.

Editing another web part part on the page will show the hidden web parts. Works great unless the hidden web part contains a location.href script to another page. If that is the case, it processes and jumps to the next page preventing it from being edited.



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