SharePoint: Error occurred during deployment step activate features

Quick (annoying) thing. Whilst deploying a solution, you may see this error:

Error occurred in deployment step ‘Activate Features’: Key cannot be null. Parameter name: Key

This is unhelpfully connected to your Content Type definitions where you have FieldRefs and you’re closing them with the long tag, as opposed to the short tag, i.e.,

<FieldRef ID=”…”></FieldRef>

replace it with this to fix:

<FieldRef ID=”…” />

Thanks to Dhiraj.


  1. Thanx ,
    strange but it fixed my problem .
    I was also facing the same problem, and your trick worked.

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