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SharePoint: Can’t Activate Site Collection Feature When Creating New Site From a Custom Web Template

By , 4 Dec 2013
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The onet.xml file is basically divided into two parts, first is the “SiteFeatures” element and the second element is called “WebFeatures”. The “SiteFeatures” section that holds the site features starts activating all the features only when creating a site collection. The “WebFeatures” section that holds the web features starts activating all the web scoped features only when creating a site.

Scenario: You created a custom web template, deployed the solution and when trying to create a site from your custom web template, you got the following error “the site template requires that the feature {GUID} be activated in the site collection”. Of course, you can always activate the site collection scoped feature manually, but let's be serious, you need that all the needed features be automatically activated.

Solution: When creating a site, you need to trigger the site collection scoped feature using a web scoped feature.

The steps are:

A) Create an empty web scoped feature and in the “FeatureActivated” Event Receiver, add the following code:

public override void FeatureActivated(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties)
                //Ensure that scope is correctly set
                if (properties.Feature.Parent is SPWeb)
                    SPWeb web = (SPWeb)properties.Feature.Parent;
                    foreach (SPFeatureProperty property in properties.Feature.Properties)
                        Guid featureGuid = new Guid(property.Value);
                        //Verify feature status
                        SPFeature feature = web.Site.Features[featureGuid];
                        if (feature == null)
                            //Activate site collection scoped feature, 
                            //if requested and not currently activated
            catch (Exception ex)

B) In the onet.xml file in the “WebFeature” element, add the following XML:

      <!-- Custom Site collection scoped feature activation -->
       <Feature ID="YourEmptyFeatureGuid">
         <Properties xmlns="">
           <Property Key="SiteScopedGUID" 
  • In the Feature ID element, add your empty feature’s ID.
  • In the Property Key=”SiteScopedGUID” element, add the site collection feature id that you want to activate.

Hope you’ll find this post helpful.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Alex Choroshin
Software Developer (Senior) E4D
Israel Israel
Over 3 years of development experience with the SharePoint platform encompassing all the aspects of SharePoint development.
Also a vast experience developing client side solutions and applications using
JavaScript, AngularJS, JQuery etc.
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