Removing the Default Document Content Type from the Allowed Content Types for a Document Set

2 minute read

I’ve been searching on and off for days on this one. When you create a Content Type based on the Document Set Content Type, it’s fairly common to want to restrict the Content Types which are allowed to be added to the Document Set.

Here’s an example. Say you have a Document Set Content Type called “Analyst Report”. You’d like to only allow documents to be added with the Document-based Content Types “Analyst Report Document” and “Analyst Report Critique”.

SharePoint actually gives you a nice dialog for this in the Document Set Settings. To get to it:

  • Go to Site Settings in the site where you created the Document Set Content Type
  • Click on Site content types
  • Choose the Document Set Content Type you want to work with
  • Click on Document Set settings

Allowing other Content Types is easy: you simply highlight them on the left and click the Add > button. Note that the order in which you do this matters, as the Content Types will be listed under the New Document button in the ribbon in the order in which you add them.

The problem is that you can’t remove the Document Content Type after you add the other Content Types you’d like to allow. When you try to do so, you’ll get this pop up alert:

Given that you’ve just created the Document Set Content Type and you haven’t even made it available in a list anywhere, how can this be? I tried everything I could think of – even blowing away a bunch of content I really didn’t want to blow away – to try to get rid of the darn thing.

I finally found the answer embedded deep in the comments on a post called Document Sets – SharePoint 2010 – Part 1 by Slava Gorbunov, who seems to be based on Sydney, Australia. It’s a good post, in that it gives a nice overview of how Document Sets work. The money was in this comment, though:

Good old Anonymous. I tell you, I’ve learned more from that guy…

Right below the Allowed Content Types section, you’ll see a section headed Default Content.

This provides another cool feature of Document Sets, allowing you to pre-populate them with documents. It’s really useful. The problem is that the way it starts out causes the problem. It looks like there is nothing set, but in fact, the Document Content Type is selected, and there is one “item” listed there.

What you need to do is to click on the Delete button to remove the default item which is displayed.

Then you will see no item listed…

…and you will be able to remove the Document Content Type from the Allowed Content Types.

Thanks again, Anonymous!



  1. Hello… I am having an issue where inside a document set there are content types and when a user clicks on the dropdown on new they can only create documents with these content types, which is perfect.. but when the click upload and choose their document.. it selects the document content type by default.. how do i remove this document from being selected as default in the document set…

    • Juan:

      In the definition of the Document Set Content Type, you can specify the default Content Type in the Document Set settings.

      Generally, you’ll want to remove the Document Content Type from the allowable Content Types for the Document Set.


  2. Hello Marc

    I did exactly what the blog said before reading it. Found the blog while searching for a resolution to my problem.

    Everything is done as indicated in the blog. But yet after uploading a document you get presented with the details of he document(to fill in content type metadata) but the default content type selected is document

    • Hi, I’ve just stumbled on the exact same problem you were having. Did you ever get a solution. I found that it is selecting the first available document content type available for the library. Changing the order in the library content types changes which content type is selected by sharepoint, but of course that doesn’t help when I have 5 different Document Set content types! SharePoint… 99% there as always.

      • @Kurt:

        This post gives the solution to the problem I was having, but you seem to be asking about something else. Each Document Library has a default Content Type, which is – well – the default.


  3. And by the way, you don’t need to delete it from the Default Content, you can simply select another content type from the list and it will allow you to remove the content type.


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