Show SharePoint exception instead of Unknown errors message

To see the actual exception details follow the steps below.
Go to the location where your SharePoint application is present in the file system. It is usually at the location inetpub/wss/virtual directories/[port number].
Find the web.config file.
Take a backup of it.
Open the file in some nice editor like Visual studio and find the tag <SafeMode
This is the first child tag under
You can see the tag syntax something similar to this.
One of the attributes for Set this value to true in-order to view the actual exception details on screen[browser].
Set the CustomErrors section to Off to view complete details as shown below.

IISRESET is not compulsory. If you do then that will be good.

Yet not done… 🙂

The earlier versions of Sharepoint showed the errors when we turned the Custom Error mode to “On”. CallStack=”True” and debug=”true”. But now the case has changed for Sharepoint 2010. Sharepoint 2010 has 3 web.config stored in 3 different locations:-


  1. Stored at inetpub\wwwroot\wss\Virtual directories folder\[Central Admin PortNo]\web.config
  2. Stored at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\ADMIN\web.config
  3. Stored at C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\Layouts\web.config


They have 2 terms in common :- This has to be changed in all the 3 files.

Then do an IISRESET.

This will show the actual Error.

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