"The web being updated was changed by an external process" error message when you change the display language for a SharePoint Online site

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Article ID: 2876502 - View products that this article applies to.

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Consider the following scenario.
  • You have a Microsoft SharePoint Online website on which the site theme is configured as something other than Default (no theme).
  • The SharePoint Online site is using the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 experience version.
  • When you try to apply a new language setting in Language settings on the Site Settings page, you receive the following error message:
    Error: The web being updated was changed by an external process.
    Note In this message, "web" is used to indicate "website."


To work around this issue, select the Default (no theme) theme, change the language, and then reapply your original theme. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. As an administrator of the site, click Site Actions, and then click Site Settings.
  2. In the Site Settings menu, click Site theme in the Look and Feel section.
  3. In the Select a Theme section, select Default (no theme), and then click Apply.
  4. On the Site Settings page, click Language settings, and then make any necessary language changes.
  5. On the Site Settings page, click Site theme again, select your original theme in the Select a Theme section, and then click Apply.


This issue occurs after you received the most recent service update to SharePoint Online.

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.


Article ID: 2876502 - Last Review: January 15, 2014 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Office 365 for enterprises (pre-upgrade)
  • Microsoft Office 365 for small businesses  (pre-upgrade)
  • Microsoft Office 365 for education  (pre-upgrade)
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online
o365 o365e o365p o365a o365m o365062011 o365022013 pre-upgrade after upgrade kbbug KB2876502

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