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Garbage on a SharePoint Site’s Main Page

Occasionally I get a call from clients that their main page for a site has been “corrupted.”  Upon further review I can see that it’s actually a copy of a Word document.  It appears that they’ve accidentally saved a Word document as default.aspx.  Unfortunately the clients rarely have SharePoint Designer – it’s a right click to fix this within SPD (Revert to Site Definition.)

Fortunately, however, there’s a way to fix this without SharePoint designer.  There is a page in layouts called reghost.aspx that allows you to reghost – or uncustomize – a page.  So you can append _layouts/reghost.aspx to the url to get this page.  Let’s say that you have a site at the url http://wss/foobarred you would type in http://wss/foobarred/_layouts/reghost.aspx.  On the page that appears you can reghost (or uncustomize or revert) a single page – or all the pages in the site.  Enter the URL of the bad page or ask for all of the pages and hit the Reset button and the page will return to the format on the file system.

Help Your SharePoint User

It’s a nice way to work around the cursing that happens when a page is accidentally overwritten.  (Both what appears on the screen and what happens behind the keyboard.)


  1. On my SharePoint site the default.aspx page does not have the toolbar at the top for Home Documents & Lists Create Site Settings Help. Because of this i am not able to add users to the site or do any user maintenance. I attempted to run this solution goiing to but all I get is File Not Found. My old Default.aspx file got trashed and I found a copy of it on my laptop. I imported that copy and published it using FrontPage. I have been sufficiently admonished by my peers and have now downloaded SharePoint Designer but I have no clue. Can you offer any assistance?

    Thank you,

    Bill Foster
    [email protected]

  2. Sorry to hear of your troubles. Are you sure that you’re running WSS v3? This page is a WSS v3 page only.

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