Site Settings Error: 'There was an error retrieving your content. Please check your internet connection'


  • This article shares multiple resolutions to fix this issue when the internet is working fine, but the Site Setting menu throws the following error:

    There was an error retrieving your content. Please check your internet connection.

  • Important Note: If you are unsure about securely performing the steps mentioned in this article, always make a backup before making any changes or reach out to support for more help.



DNN 9.x



Host access or DB Access to check and correct the affected tables.


Resolution 1

  • Root Cause:
    • In DNN 9.0 when deleting a Portal Alias, any reference to the same PortalAliasID should also be removed from the TabUrls table.
    • When a reference to a non-existing PortalAliasId, is left in the TabUrls table, the Page Setting page will not load correctly.
  • Process:
    • This issue is resolved in DNN 9.2.
    • Deleting or updating the reference to the non-existing PortalAliasID from the TabUrls table will resolve this issue. Follow these steps:

      1. Access PB > Settings > SQL Console or DB access via SSMS.
      2. From the affected page settings tab, identify the TabId. This can also be done from the DB with the following query:
        SELECT *
        FROM tabs
        WHERE tabname LIKE '%name_of_affected_page%';
      3. Once the TabId has been identified, search for the tab aliases defined for that page and compare with the PortalAliasId available for the site with these two queries:
        SELECT *
        FROM taburls
        WHERE TabId=<TabId>;


        SELECT *
        FROM PortalAlias;
      4. Cross-reference the PortalAliasId field from both queries. Any PortalAliasId from TabUrls table should also exist in the PortalAlias table.

      5. In case of an invalid entry in the TabUrls table, the invalid PortalAliasId can either be set to Null or updated to an existing PortalAliasId.

Resolution 2

  • Root Cause:
    • In addition to the error noted above, the following general exception is logged in the stack trace:
      AbsoluteURL /API/PersonaBar/EvoqPages/GetPageDetails DefaultDataProvider D
      DefaultDataProvider:DotNetNuke.Data.SqlDataProvider, DotNetNuke


      Message: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

    • PortalAliasId column in TabUrls table consists of value "1", by default this should be NULL instead.
  • Process:
    • Please follow the steps below:
      1. Find the problematic entry in the TabUrls table by executing the SQL query below:
        SELECT * FROM TabUrls WHERE PortalAliasId IS NOT NULL
      2. Take note of the TabId and SeqNum of the problematic row that needs to be modified.
      3. Execute the following SQL query to fix the problematic entry.
      UPDATE TabUrls SET PortalAliasId = NULL Where TabId = <Enter TabId from Step 2> AND SeqNum = <Enter SeqNum from Step 2> 
    • Refresh the Cache, restart the application pool and restart DNN.

Resolution 3

  • Root Cause:
    • A number of Aliases added to the site URLs because the customer has the Auto-Add Site Alias option enabled.
    • The older aliases are coming from site migration, or from URLs which are no longer active or have been removed.
  • Process:
    • Log into your DNN Site and follow the steps below:
      1. Go to Persona Bar > Site Settings > Site Behavior tab.
      2. Click on Site Aliases Tab.
      3. Verify all site aliases are added correctly.
        • Each alias should correspond to an URL that is actively used to navigate to this site.
        • Remove any alias that is no longer in use.
      4. If enabled, please disable the Auto-Add Site Alias option on the same page.



    • For versions prior to DNN 9.x follow these steps:

      1. Once logged in, from the Control Bar, go to Admin > Common Settings > Site Settings.
      2. Click on the Advanced Settings tab > expand Site Aliases node.
      3. Verify all the site aliases are added correctly.
        • Each alias should correspond to a URL that is actively used to navigate to this site.
        • Remove any alias you are no longer using, if any.
      4. If enabled, please disable the Auto-Add Site Alias option on the same page.


Resolution 4

  • Root Cause:
    • Reviewing logs and the user finds an additional error:
      No sub-file with id _2h9o.fdt found
    • This file should be located under SiteDirectory\App_Data\Search.
  • Process:
    • Follow these steps below to resolve this issue:

      1. Force run the three crawlers below:
        • Search: File Crawler
        • Search: Site Crawler
        • Search: Url Crawler
      2. Back up the entire "Search" folder, then delete it trying to force all three crawlers one more time.
        • This is an alternative way to force-reindexing contents since we cannot access it through the Basic Settings tab.
      3. Restart the application.


  1. After executing this change, go to Settings > Servers > Clear Cache in order to load the new settings from the database.
  2. Try to load the settings page again.



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