The setup: - Custom Summary Link web part - Custom SummaryLinkMain.xsl - Custom ItemStyle.xsl - JavaScript file that the SummaryLinkMain calls from a separate site collection (an internal CDN) and uses in the ItemStyle.

From what I've seen, it seems like adding a web part to a page makes a copy of that web part on the page, including its *.webpart definition. This is causing issues because we have a bug where we have to change a custom Summary Link web part definition (.webpart) to point to a new SummaryLinkMain.xsl stylesheet so it can load the above JS file properly.

However, just updating our custom .webpart file DOESN'T seem to update the EXISTING custom web parts we've already put onto our pages. It looks like we'd have to go through dozens of pages and reinsert the web parts in order for them to get the updated web part definition.

(A): Does SharePoint make a copy, or is it possible for a change to the web part definition to filter down to all existing web parts that were spawned from that definition?

(B): If A doesn't happen, is there a way to force refresh of all the web parts somehow? Obviously we're trying to avoid a lot of work in rebuilding them all.


1 Answer 1


A) Yes, it's a copy. Well not an actual copy of the .webpart file, but of the definition contained inside. From then on, the webpart definition for that page lives in that page, along with its view settings, etc.

B) No, there is no direct way to do a global refresh. You could programmatically loop through each instance and update them, but that assumes you've kept track of where they are. If not, you'll need to loop through potentially each page in your site.

If I understand correctly you want to make the webparts point to a different SummaryLinkMain.xsl? Then you'll need to edit each webpart :(. If they should point to an updated version of SummaryLinkMain.xsl at the same location, that should be transparent after you update the xsl file.

  • Thanks for your answer, Louis. An unfortunate one, but useful nonetheless! This confirms my suspicions and helps for later work. Mar 30, 2015 at 21:19

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