When trying to delete an unused component template (if I click 'Where used', the only items returned are ones that refer to the component template with 'Only old versions'), I am getting an error as follows:

"Unable to delete item. The item is published."

I've obviously tried to unpublish the component template from the website publication, but it still won't let me delete it. Any ideas?

  • 5
    Have you checked the "Published to" tab of the Where Used window? It's possible that this template is published to a target that is no longer in use, or another similar situation. Jun 30, 2016 at 13:53
  • Thanks, that helps. It is published to a target that is no longer in use. However, we can't unpublish from that target as it is no longer valid. I found this: tridion.stackexchange.com/questions/584/…. However, we have around 30000 pages (some with 4 link levels), so I'd rather not go through the process of unpublishing everything in the main website publication, as that will fill up the publishing queue for a very long time (and probably also fail - we've previously seen items stuck at Ready for Transport if sending too many in one go). Jun 30, 2016 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


I'll suggest an approach, hopefully it will work.

  1. Create the target again with the exact same name. Since the target is no longer there, you can recreate the target with dummy values for deployer.
  2. Use the decommission publication target method using CoreService OR there is a direct powershell command to decommission a publication target. Decommissioning a publication target also removes the publish association for the items.

Here is the link to documentation from SDL on using decommission method SDLDoc

Voila! Hopefully this should be able to remove the association from CME since it does not unpublishes actually but just removes associations from the items.

You can also refer to this How to decomission a publishing target with PowerShell?


You need to verify where is item published and with what template. It might be that your template is published to target that is no longer valid, or it is published with template that is no longer valid. Later situation can happen if you changed allowed schemas on template so resolver can not unpublish it with defined template. For all details about where item is published you can check in CM database if you have access to it.

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