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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 11258 posts 23498 karma points MVP 7x 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


  • 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 11258 posts 23498 karma points MVP 7x 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 11258 posts 23498 karma points MVP 7x 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 563 posts 1018 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 170 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 563 posts 1018 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...

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