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  • Jonathan Tareke 1 post 22 karma points
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 19:32
    Jonathan Tareke

    Root element is missing.


    Hi guys, i'm new with Umbraco. I'm having the following error when i edit web.config and restarts the site and disappears when refreshing the site with F5. Any guide... Please, help!!!

    Root element is missing.


    [XmlException: Root element is missing.]
       System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Throw(Exception e) +69
       System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.ParseDocumentContent() +5579228
       System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Read() +215
       System.Xml.XmlLoader.Load(XmlDocument doc, XmlReader reader, Boolean preserveWhitespace) +145
       System.Xml.XmlDocument.Load(XmlReader reader) +107
       System.Xml.XmlDocument.Load(String filename) +122
       umbraco.cms.businesslogic.web.Access.get_AccessXml() +316
       umbraco.cms.businesslogic.web.Access.getPage(Int32 documentId) +14
       umbraco.cms.businesslogic.web.Access.IsProtected(Int32 DocumentId, String Path) +152
       umbraco.requestHandler..ctor(XmlDocument umbracoContent, String url) +4015
       umbraco.UmbracoDefault.Page_PreInit(Object sender, EventArgs e) +1084
       System.Web.Util.CalliEventHandlerDelegateProxy.Callback(Object sender, EventArgs e) +51
       System.EventHandler.Invoke(Object sender, EventArgs e) +0
       System.Web.UI.Page.OnPreInit(EventArgs e) +9645490
       System.Web.UI.Page.PerformPreInit() +31
       System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +335




  • Jan Skovgaard 11264 posts 23594 karma points MVP 9x admin c-trib
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 21:16
    Jan Skovgaard

    Hi Jonathan, welcome to our :)

    What version of Umbraco have you installed?


  • colin gray 16 posts 56 karma points
    Apr 02, 2014 @ 16:07
    colin gray

    I had a site umbraco 4.somthing , unable to login to the backend Root element is missing. System.Xml.XmlTextReaderImpl.Throw(Exception e)+69

    I found that config / trees.config was empty . I repopulated the contents from a backup of the file. And the site worked again.


  • Joel Hansen 38 posts 96 karma points
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 15:46
    Joel Hansen

    I had the same error, but in my case the /config/application.config had been wiped clean. After re-inserting the default content, the site came back up.

    Umbraco 7.1.4


  • ChristophC 21 posts 60 karma points
    Jan 19, 2022 @ 20:46

    Same Error - Joel's answer helped!

  • Cathy Pank 21 posts 41 karma points
    Dec 02, 2014 @ 13:37
    Cathy Pank

    I also just had the same error appear in a site which had not been touched. Joel's answer fixed my issue, (the application.config was empty) I would like to know how it could happen.

    Umbraco version 7.1.5 assembly: 1.0.5346.24358 - SQL CE



  • Jon Dunfee 199 posts 468 karma points
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 20:29
    Jon Dunfee

    Just had this happen a minute ago with the trees.config.  I simply logged into the backoffice to grab a copy of a XSLT. As soon as I clicked on the XSLT file I got the error page to the right - site went down. Umbraco version 7.1.8 assembly: 1.0.5394.16131

  • Jan Skovgaard 11264 posts 23594 karma points MVP 9x admin c-trib
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 20:30
    Jan Skovgaard

    Hi Jon

    Is the site by any chance running on Azure? What changes have been made up to the error happened?


  • Mayank 14 posts 44 karma points
    Jan 20, 2016 @ 05:15


    Got the error on Umbraco 7.1.8 hosted on azure.

    In my case the content application.config went missing.

    I had to Restore the backup of config file.

    My concern is why does this happen and what are chance of happening again, as i am facing issue on live site.

    Help appreciated !


  • Jon Dunfee 199 posts 468 karma points
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 20:35
    Jon Dunfee

    No, Server 2012.  At first I thought it was a permissions issue with a file I may have edited directly instead of through the back office, but no clue how that could nuke a config file trying to open a file in the backoffice IF it had wrong permissions.  Can't confirm that was the issue, just thinking back on what I did when it happened.

  • Jan Skovgaard 11264 posts 23594 karma points MVP 9x admin c-trib
    Dec 12, 2014 @ 20:45
    Jan Skovgaard

    Hi Jon

    Hmm, ok...

    What happens if you try to go to the /App_Data/ folder and delete the umbraco.config file? Does that help?

    Also...have you checked the disk and database server is not running out of space?


  • Robert Lundberg 14 posts 60 karma points
    Jan 26, 2015 @ 09:14
    Robert Lundberg


    For me the application.config and trees.config got wiped after the disk space on the server was eaten by a greedy backup job. (7.1.4 and 7.1.8 sites)


  • keilo 566 posts 1021 karma points
    Feb 23, 2015 @ 07:45

    I encounter this error out of blue on a 7.1.6 install where the tree.config was 0bytes.

    Suspect it might be chkdsk as there was no other likely event that can 0 the tree.config file (?)

    Thanks Robert for the insight!

  • Vladimir Knobel 95 posts 171 karma points
    Mar 11, 2016 @ 19:20
    Vladimir Knobel

    I experienced this after transferring some content with Courier and having uSync enabled. uSync was somehow not very happy about something and spitting some errors like these:

       2016-03-11 18:30:04,865 [121] INFO  jumps.umbraco.usync.uSync - [Thread 1] Processed Languages (8ms)
       2016-03-11 18:30:04,880 [121] ERROR Umbraco.Core.UmbracoApplicationBase - [Thread 1] An unhandled exception occurred
    System.Xml.XmlException: Root element is missing.
       at jumps.umbraco.usync.uSync.RunSync()
       at jumps.umbraco.usync.uSync.DoOnStart()
       at Umbraco.Core.EnumerableExtensions.ForEach[TItem](IEnumerable`1 items, Action`1 action)
       at Umbraco.Core.CoreBootManager.Complete(Action`1 afterComplete)
       at Umbraco.Web.WebBootManager.Complete(Action`1 afterComplete)
       at Umbraco.Core.UmbracoApplicationBase.StartApplication(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    2016-03-11 18:30:15,083 [121] INFO  umbraco.BusinessLogic.Log - [Thread 110] Log scrubbed.  Removed all items older than 2016-01-11 18:30:14
    2016-03-11 18:30:15,098 [121] INFO  Umbraco.Core.UmbracoApplicationBase - [Thread 110] Application shutdown. Reason: InitializationError

    I solved it by moving temporarily the uSync dlls outside the bin directory.

  • Bart 2 posts 22 karma points
    Sep 07, 2017 @ 07:38

    We had the same issue in our project. We found out that for some reason the application.config was empty. Replacing the content from development fixes the issue for now.

    There is a bug reported: And upgrading to 7.1.9+ should fix the problem. Havent tested this yet AND not sure how to reproduce the issue.

  • keilo 566 posts 1021 karma points
    Jan 17, 2018 @ 17:28

    I just faced this issue passed midnight where website front (and backend) was throwing Root Element is missing, on a 7.1.8 install.

    Apparently this time it was applications.config being 0 bytes, contents wiped out.

    This never occurred in the course of last 3 years, last being Feb 23 2015.

    I dont know what is causing this issue, is this a security matter where someone exploits a bug?

    I have replaced application.config from a backup and site is back online, but cant find what caused this in the first place...

  • RyanW 31 posts 146 karma points
    Oct 21, 2021 @ 10:52

    Facing this issue on a 7.3.8 site.

    Unlike you guys, it seems to happen fairly frequently for us but to my knowledge, it doesn't... do anything? The site continues to operate before and after as per usual. Just a curious little log we notice and track.

    For us, it seemed to start happening after we A)Disabled overlapped recycling on IIS B)Changed time given to end from 1 second to 10 seconds.

    We have frequent app pool recycling so it must be tied to this somehow.

    Not too bothered by this because as mentioned doesn't impact the site's ability to restart. I'm guessing it's an access issue, first time it fails, logs, then second time it's fine so site boots all the same. Just thought i'd share.

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