I'm trying to delete a custom content type that I've created, but I'm getting an error when I try to do so:

The content type is in use. at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPContentTypeCollection.DeleteFromWeb(SPContentTypeId id, String strName) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPContentTypeCollection.Delete(SPContentTypeId id) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPContentType.Delete() at Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages.ManageContentTypePage.DeleteContentType() at Microsoft.SharePoint.ApplicationPages.ManageContentTypePage.System.Web.UI.IPostBackEventHandler.RaisePostBackEvent(String eventArgument) at System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(IPostBackEventHandler sourceControl, String eventArgument) at System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(NameValueCollection postData) at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint)

I have gone so far as to delete all the document libraries on this site that have even used this content type in the past after deleting items that were using it but to no avail. There's nothing left on this site that could be using this content type, so I'm not sure why it won't let me delete it. Is there a way to remind Sharepoint that this content type is no longer in use or some way to get rid of this content type? I'm trying to test dynamic creation and usage of this content type.

Thanks very much in advance


Use SPContentTypeUsages to find out where the content type is in use.


Check the Recyclebin and if possible delete the lib/list ( as there could be some in draft )

Hope it helps

  • Thanks - I have deleted all document libraries that were using this content type and emptied the recycle bins but the error persists.
    – Music Magi
    Jun 3 '11 at 18:24
  • 1
    I assume you have done this..but just incase..clean recyclebin both @ site level and site collection level.
    – Vamsi
    Jun 3 '11 at 19:32
  • I had the same issue in SP2010. Emptying the Recycle Bin did solve the issue. Thanks!
    – Regmi
    Nov 2 '11 at 17:10

Here is code you can use to delete the content type or report an error stating where it is being used.

Another place to look is workflows. Did you create a workflow for this content type?

And as Vamsi said, after deleting and removing from the recyle bin, check the site collection recycle bin _layouts/AdminRecycleBin.aspx as well.

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