Problem: Unable to delete orphaned items in Portal for ArcGIS


When attempting to delete orphaned items from Portal for ArcGIS the following error message is returned:

Unable to delete item.
<URL> may no longer be accessible.


This issue can occur if the URLs of the items hosted on Portal for ArcGIS are no longer valid when changes are made to the configuration settings of Portal for ArcGIS, along with un-federating and re-federating the Portal environment. The hosted items may still exist in My Content, but it may no longer be accessible by Portal web maps.

Solution or Workaround

In the event the orphaned items cannot be deleted, or if the error occurs, the following workaround allows for manual deletion of these items:

  1. Log in to Portal for ArcGIS > My Content.
  2. Open the Item Details page for the items to be deleted
  3. Note the Item ID from the URL for the orphaned item(s).
The Item ID appears as a long alphanumeric code.
  1. Stop the Portal for ArcGIS service.
  2. Navigate to the portal content directory and find the item folder containing the orphaned item using the Item ID noted in Step 3.
The portal content directory is commonly found at:
<Portal for ArcGIS installation directory>/arcgis/portal/usr/arcgisportal/content
  1. Delete the folder containing the orphaned items.
  2. Restart the Portal for ArcGIS service.
  3. Log in to Portal for ArcGIS to confirm the deletion of the orphaned item(s).

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