How to enable item level language fallback


This article is specific to Sitecore XP 8.1 or later, and describes how to enable Item level language fallback for your item or template.
Please refer to this article if you are looking for information on Field level language fallback feature.

Item level language fallback enables an 'empty' item version in a given language to completely fall back to another language version, including all fields. In this way, you can launch a new language version of your entire website without creating a single item in the new language in the content database.

Item level language fallback is disabled by default so you must enable it on each relevant website in Sitecore configuration and on each individual item or item template.

Please consult Language Fallback documentation on to learn more about this feature.


Follow these steps to enable the feature on your Sitecore XP instance:

  1. Enable Item level language fallback on the desired sites[1] in Sitecore configuration[2].
    This change can be done within /App_Config/Include/Sitecore.LanguageFallback.config or any other custom config include file.
      <site name="shell">
        <patch:attribute name="enableItemLanguageFallback">true</patch:attribute>
      <site name="website">
        <patch:attribute name="enableItemLanguageFallback">true</patch:attribute>
  2. Specify the fallback language rules.
    The fallback language specified on a language definition item in content tree under the /sitecore/system/Languages item.
    For each language that has to be enabled for fallback, make sure the Fallback Language field on that language definition item points to the desired target language.
  3. Finally, you need to enable Item level language fallback for those items and/or templates where you would like to see the feature enabled. The checkbox field that enables this feature is called Enable Item Fallback and is placed under the Advanced section. If you do not see the Advanced section, in the ribbon, on the View tab, enable the Standard fields checkbox.
    The value of this field gets inherited as any other field. This also means you can override this setting on items if needed.

Success criteria:

When the feature is enabled, Content Editor's UI will indicate Fallback version in all version selection screens, as well as the main content area will show a read-only fallback version with appropriate warning message if the feature is enabled correctly.