I would like to change the look of personal website and possibly use the master page I have used in the rest of my sites.

So, I tryed to activate "SharePoint Server Publishing" as I did for other subsites.

But I got this error: "The feature failed to activate because a list at 'Documents' already exists in this site. Delete or rename the list and try activating the feature again. "

Then, I tried to delete that Documents even if it strikes me as strange as I should do that for each personal site.

Anyway as I don't have any delete options for the Documetns library so I have tried with Powershell. But I have got problems even there.

PS C:\temp> $web = Get-SPWeb http://myintranet:8005/sites/Members
PS C:\temp> $list = $web.Lists["Documents"]
PS C:\temp> $list.AllowDeletion = $True
Property 'AllowDeletion' cannot be found on this object; make sure it exists
and is settable.
At line:1 char:1
+ $list.AllowDeletion = $True
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (:) [], RuntimeException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : PropertyNotFound

I have tried to point directly to the list like below but with no luck as the library is not found.

PS C:\temp> $web = Get-SPWeb http://myintranet/personal/myuser

Maybe could you suggest something I could do? Thanks

2 Answers 2


I found some steps here:


To reiterate:

  • Try activating the publishing feature at the site collection level. If it’s successful then forthcoming issues will also gets resolved and you can successfully activates the feature at the subsite level too.

  • If the error message stated that the list is already exist then open the site (on which you are facing problems) in SPD (SharePoint Designer). You will see the same list that was reflected in the error message. Either delete it or rename it and then try to activate the feature. It will be successful.

  • If you are facing problems by means of GUI then try to activate the same by means of stsadm command.

  • Check the ULS logs for detail error messages

  • Check event logs for any specific event IDs

Did you try the approach of renaming the list?


you should not delete the documents document library, its a built in document library and hence why you dont get the delete option to delete it!

you should look at this, its similar if not the same:

Can't activate Server Publishing

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