Remove items of type null

11-10-2021 11:26 PM
Occasional Contributor III

Unable to remove the orphan items with type null.


Any advice on this will be highly appreciated. Thank you.


  • Portal for ArcGIS 10.9
Tags (4)
0 Kudos
8 Replies
Esri Regular Contributor

What is the index status under /portaladmin?  If the values are balanced, I would still run a full reindex and see if that helps clear out the orphaned items.

0 Kudos
Occasional Contributor III

Tried full reindex already. Restarted Portal windows service couple of times, yet issue persist.

0 Kudos
New Contributor II

I have the same issue , any solution ?

0 Kudos
New Contributor III

I have the same issue, any resolution?

0 Kudos
New Contributor II

I had a similar issue when first hired at my org to do some administrative work on their enterprise. A previous user had one orphaned item that didn't appear in Portal. ESRI Support gave the following steps:

    • Navigate to Portal Sharing rest: https://portalURL/webadaptor/sharing/REST
      • Replace portalURL with your org's URL and webadaptor with the name of your webadaptor
    • Login as admin
    • Click on Community > Users
    • In the User Search box, type in the username. Click Search User
    • Click on the user account
    • Search for User Content option at the very bottom of the page. Click on it

From here I had to copy down the itemID for any orphaned items. At the bottom of the page listing those items there was an option to delete items. You click on that item and you can put in the copied itemID's (one at a time I think) and delete them. I can't say for sure but there may also have been an option to move those items (potentially to another user??) but if they are orphaned then I have no clue what that would even really do.

Anyway, this may not be useful to anyone but just in case it is, I figured I would post it.


Casey Carpenter
New Contributor

Excellent. Thanks, Casey!

Adding to your workflow, I was still unable to delete my orphaned null item. I fixed it by standing up a new dummy layer and copying the guts of it from my Portal machine and pasting it into the missing directory for the broken item. Here's how I fixed it:

  • In Portal, create a new item that was similar to the broken item. Mine was a test Feature Layer that used Esri's AEDs pre-built template, so I know the structure would have been identical
  • Use Casey's method to navigate through portal/sharing/rest to see the user's content
    • Grab the 32-ish digit item ID of the old orphaned item and the new item
  • Point a File Explorer window to where Portal for ArcGIS is installed and navigate to Portal's content items directory, e.g.
    C:\arcgisportal\content\items (from the Portal machine itself)
  • Copy the contents of ...\arcgisportal\content\items\[new item ID]
  • Back out to ...\arcgisportal\content\items and search for a directory of the old item ID
    • I didn't have a directory for my old folder ID, so I had to create a new folder and I named it the old broken item ID
  • Paste the contents of the new item into the old item directory. It was one folder named esriinfo and it contained a thumbnail, item stuff, xml, etc. Other items may have more files in addition to that esriinfo folder
  • Back in Portal AND portal/sharing/rest I was able to refresh and successfully see access to the old null/broken item
  • I went ahead and deleted both items via the Delete Items operation from the portal/sharing/rest interface, but I'm sure it could have been deleted through Portal as well

I'm planning another reindex operation for good measure, but things are back to normal here

New Contributor II

Hi Justin,

Thank you for adding that workflow/info. I actually didn't realize I could view my portal content through the file browser.

Casey Carpenter
New Contributor III

Maybe a bit late... but the workflow is still valid in Enterprise 10.x and 11.1:

1) Create folder in the content directory with the item id

2) Paste any content from any other item

3) Then delete it either from REST API or from portal user interface

Hope it helps in the future!

0 Kudos