How to: Resolve the error “The webparts manifests list is empty” when packaging SPFx solutions

Oh man, some errors are so sudden and out of the blue that they give you a real scare; when in reality they’re really nothing to worry about. Like this error dump here:

A snapshot of the console, displaying a list of scary looking errors thrown after running gulp package-solution --ship

A scary looking benevolent error dump while packaging an SPFx solution

What was the issue

I’ve been following the SPFx tutorial for a few days now and, ┬áthe steps I’ve done more than a few times, I’m quite confident to do them on my own. So, I did “gulp build”. I did “gulp build –ship”. I did “gulp package-solution –ship” and… tadah! Wow, these looked scary.

What did I try

That error message was a bit misleading. It clearly says:

Error: The webparts manifests list is empty. Please ensure you have done a build and that your config file is pointed at the correct folder

So, what did I try? I tried to build again. And, then I tried again. Had I forgotten the –ship flag. Nope. What was the problem then? I’ve been doing this all week. What’s wrong with this specific webpart?

What was the solution

Nope. I somehow got into a losing argument without even noticing. The issue was not that I had to “gulp build –ship”. The problem was that I had forgotten to “gulp bundle –ship”. The correct sequence is

gulp bundle --ship
gulp package-solution --ship


  1. SPFx gulp package-solution fails.
  2. SPFx – Resolved Error – “the WebParts Manifests List Is Empty”.
MGR: the Intelogist

About MGR: the Intelogist

SharePoint Server developer, turned Sitefinity developer, turned Angular developer, turned SharePoint Online consultant, turned Unily consultant, turned O365 consultant... Never a dull moment!

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