Home > SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2010 Maintenance > Fixing: Cannot Activate SharePoint 2010 Publishing Infrastructure Feature – Column Limit Exceeded

Fixing: Cannot Activate SharePoint 2010 Publishing Infrastructure Feature – Column Limit Exceeded

I ran into this problem: 

Column Limit Exceeded.

There are too many columns of the specified data type. Please delete some other columns first. Note that some column types like numbers and currency use the same data type.

This happened after migrating from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010 using the database attach (upgrade) approach and trying to activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature.

There is a hidden list in SharePoint 2010 called Quick Deploy Items which is created when you activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature.  You can access it through this URL:  http://portalsite/quick%20deploy%20items  If this list already exists prior to you trying to Activate this feature it will throw the error above.  For some strange reason there are 3 columns in this list that have been duplicated about 4 different times (JobId, ItemUrl, and ItemType) which causes the list to exceed its column limit.

To fix the problem you will have to delete the duplicate columns.  You could write a powershell script to iterate through the list columns and delete them or you can go into each column separately and delete them.  That is what I did.  

After deleting the extra columns go back to try and activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature again.  This time you should be successful.

If you get another error try to active the feature using stsadm command with Farm Admin privilages (stsadm -o activatefeature -name PublishingSite -url http://portalsite)

I tried to active the feature using STSADM and I still recieved an error, but a different one this time.  This time the error was:

Provising did not succeed.  Details:  Failed to provision role definitions.  OrginalException:  Value does not fall within the expected range

To overcome this error just simply run the same STSADM command again, but his time with the –force switch.

Hopefully this helps thoughs that have been having problems.


  1. February 25, 2013 at 12:35 am

    That did it for me. Especially the “-force” switch.


  2. Amit
    February 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

    This is exactly same error we got and thank you so much for this fix and it works. Nobody can think of this in their dream about this kind of error!

  3. unixrules!
    August 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Thank you very much. My site collection was one that was part of a SP 2007 attach upgrade.
    We have no quick deploy paths configured, so I was really puzzled. Then I went to the list as you described it, and there were about 2 duplicate sets of 3 columns with the exact same name. I deleted a few sets, tried again, and got the same error – so I suspect the error in this case isn’t really that there are too many columns quantitatively, but too many columns with the same name. Once I removed all duplicates, and then tried to turn on the feature, the activation worked fine.

    • unixrules!
      August 11, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Hmm- I thought I typed “20” but “2” is all that shows up in that reply. And I am certain that reads odd. I looked for a way to edit, but couldn’t find one.

  4. June 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    The command to activate PublishingSIte was very helpful! However, our issue with restarting the feature wasn’t the Quick Deploy Items list, it was because of an issue with duplicate site content types. It kept spitting out an error, saying that “Resource” already existed. I simply renamed a content type to “Resource1.” This was located at Site Settings -> Site Content Types under the Group Work Content Types. I then activated the feature and it worked!

  1. January 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: