How to open a closed Web Part in SharePoint

When you click on the edit dropdown on a Web Part you are presented with a few options including Close and Delete. It seems that most users are scared by what would happen if they delete the web part, so they close it.  It doesn’t show on the page so it must be gone!

But have you ever wondered what the difference is between closing a Web Part and deleting it? When you close a Web Part although it doesn’t show up, it is still on the page and does whatever it is supposed to do.  For example, if you had a Content Query Web Part and closed it – everytime the page was opened it wouldn’t display but it would still run its query.
It is a small hit, but I’ve seen on more than one occasion users who close Web Parts instead of deleting them and end up with 10+ closed Web Parts on the page.
 
The million dollar question is, how do you open Web Part once it has been closed?  You can try appending ?contents=1 and get to the Web Part Maintenance screen, but that doesn’t help. 
 
To open a closed Web Part:
  1. Place the page into edit mode
  2. Click Add a Web Part at the top of a Web Part Zone
  3. In the lower right hand corner of Add Web Parts window, click on Advanced Web Part Gallery and options.
  4. In the top section of the Advanced Web Part Gallery, there is a link called Closed Web Parts. Click on this to display all of your closed Web Parts.
  5. To add them back to the page simply drag them back onto the page in your favorite Web Part Zone.

I can’t really think of many good situations where it is a good idea to close Web Parts on the page. If you want to save them, it is better to export them and save them off. They can always be added back later if needed.  The best plan is that if you don’t want a Web Part to show on the page – delete it! If it is a pain to set up and you want to make sure you don’t have to go through a bunch of trouble next time then export it and save it off.

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