In SP2013, I have a custom list with folders and the folders have items. When I manually push it for sync to the other site, the list comes and all the items on the root level come. But I noticed empty folders come too, but folders (that have child items) don't come through. However on the "view site content" I can see the item count is missing the folder (didn't include it)...

Somehow SP knows the data exists, but I don't see the folders in the site itself when I see the list items.

I also noticed that the variation created list has the "make new folder command available" is disabled by default.

Does anyone know how to debug this?


I did further tests, so before the list is first synced, I made an item, an empty folder, and a folder with an item. When the list is propagated to other site, the item and empty folder comes through.

The folder that had an item in it, did not come through (both the folder and it's item).

After it synced, I made a new folder and put an item in it, and pushed it to sync again. The new folder did not come through.

Basically my conclusion is that, a folder will only get created on the other site, when the folder is empty. After it is created by variations on the other site, you can put items in the folder, and then they will propagate over.

Also my CU patch is around January of this year.

Also was also looking at logs, and for that 2nd folder I made (list is called test, and folder is called test) with an item, that the folder did not come to other site, it mentioned this in the logs:

The list test is not part of the page library so page specific link fixes are skipped for source item Lists/test/test/16_.000. e9b6199f-7e45-b018-8184-c2d1beae0ede

The source page Lists/test/test does not need to be exported to the target. e9b6199f-7e45-b018-8184-c2d1beae0ede

  • How are you "syncing" the two lists? Nov 20, 2019 at 19:16
  • When you are on the source site list view page, the ribbon has a variation tab. Then you click "update other sites", or click variation settings button, and then select the other site label checkbox, and click the sync button.
    – omega
    Nov 20, 2019 at 19:31

1 Answer 1


I can reproduce this scenario in my environment, which is on the latest patch.

All list items and the empty folder got synced successfully, but the folder carrying items did not. Moreover, the empty folder passed content approval automatically.

I have checked Variation Logs and there doesn’t seem to be any error during the sync.

It seems to be the default behavior of variation sync to identify empty folders as items, so I would suggest you do the sync without folders.

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