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SharePoint Errors And Where To Find Them


When errors occur in SharePoint, it does return a general message saying “Sorry, something went wrong” or “An unexpected error has occurred.”

For users, this would be something that they will just have the admins take care of. For admins though, we have the Correlation ID on the same error message to look into. Every request that SharePoint server receives, a GUID (globally unique identifier) is automatically generated. This GUID is what the Correlation ID is at the time the error occurred.

Correlation ID is not an error ID. This is a globally unique identofoer generated for a request on the SharePoint server. – Office Support

Finding this Correlation ID in checking the ULS logs is an efficient way to trace the error. ULS (Unified Logging Service) log files include information that could help in troubleshooting issues with SharePoint. ULS logs collect data based on the logging settings.

On SharePoint on-premise, you can have the diagnostic logging configured by going to Central Administration, and then selecting Monitoring. In the Reporting Section, select Configure diagnostic logging. The levels here defines and limits the amount of information written to each log. This settings page is where you will also be able to see where the logs are stored.

Open the one that is close to the time the error has occurred. Do a find (Ctrl + F) on the file and enter the Correlation ID to search for that specific error. This will show more description of the error. It might be that the error description is so direct to the point that you can quickly go and apply the fix or it is something that might require you to check further. Either way, this is an excellent place to start, instead of doing a lot of trial and errors just to identify what has been causing the issue.

There might also be cases where you can not find the Correlation ID. For these instances, you might need to set logging levels of specific event categories to a higher level, Verbose, specifically, to be able to get the messages. After upping these logging levels, you can then try and replicate the steps to recreate the error. See if you can now find the Correlation ID with more details on the error.

Please note that setting logging levels to Verbose will potentially fill up your drive space, so use Verbose with caution. It is recommended to restore to normal logging levels after you recreated the error and got more details. You can also use tools like ULSViewer in parsing the logs and helping you find the target Correlation ID.

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