Cannot activate SharePoint Server Publishing for a subsite under Site Settings > Site Actions > Manage Site Features or Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Site Collection Features.

I just get an error, or the infamous The feature being activated is a Site scoped feature which has a dependency on a Site Collection scoped feature which has not been activated. Please activate the following feature before trying again: SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure.

The parent site has it activated no problem.

Why can't SharePoint automatically activate necessary features as required if it won't let me manually enable them without getting errors. Extremely annoying, it simply will not activate on the subsite.

Has anyone ran into this scenario? Suggestions?

2 Answers 2


Just to be clear... if your site is named subsite1:

The parent site is http://server/sites/topsite
and the child site is http://server/sites/topsite/subsite1


The parent site is http://server/
and the child site is http://server/subsite1

Why can't SharePoint automatically activate necessary features as required

Some subsite features, like "SharePoint Server Publishing", require a Site Collection level feature like "SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure" that when enabled impacts every site in the Site Collection, possibly in a negative way that breaks other subsites.


From the error message, it indicates that the Site Collection scoped feature "SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure" has not been activated.

Please double check that the "SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure" site collection feature has been activated.

Navigate to the subsite->Site settings->Go to top level site settings->Site collection features->activate "SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure" feature.

If the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure has been activated, deactivate it and active it again.

  • I got it working on a modern site and immediately regretted activating this feature, seems they’re still working the bugs out. I get artifacts over my site logo (filename of last file accessed) and editing the nav menu doesn’t function properly anymore.
    – BDC604
    Jun 5, 2018 at 2:54

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