So I woke up this morning finding one of our SharePoint 2013 sites in read-only mode. When I browsed the site I got the following message: “We apologize for any inconvenience, but we’ve made the site read only while we’re making some improvements.”

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On further investigation I noticed that the nightly backup of this specific site collection did not complete successfully”. When you backup a Site, SharePoint places the site in read-only mode. But since my backup hanged the site never got out the read-only mode.

When you check the site in the Site Collection Quota and Locks Screen you’ll find all options greyed out:

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I checked the SPSite.MaintenanceMode setting and it was set to true.

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So I first turned to PowerShelll trying to set the lockstate to unlocked. And although I did not get an error, the site was still locked. So I tried good old STSADM. Operation completed successfully but still LOCKED.

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Luckily since the April 2013 CU update for SharePoint 2013 we now have the SpsiteAdministration.ClearMaintenanceMode method. So we can clear the flag with the flowing two lines:

$site = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPSiteAdministration(‘http://intranet.demo.local’)
$site.ClearMaintenanceMode()

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and your site is out of maintance mode again!

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