Looking for more information on why a custom step cannot be deleted

Trying to delete a custom step template and hitting the error in the screenshot.

I am looking for where this object is used to delete the referencing process/release but there is no information listed. Usually this dialog contains the reference.


Are there additional logs I could look at to determine what is blocking the delete?


Thanks for getting in touch.

Firstly, could you have a look at the Usages section of the step template to see if any usages show up there?

If that doesn’t show any usages, then my best guess is that there are snapshotted deployment processes that are referencing this step template. When Octopus creates a release, it takes a snapshot of the current deployment process to ensure that releases continue to deploy in a consistent way, even if you change the deployment process of the project.

I think that if the snapshotted deployment process for a release is based on a step template, then you might be unable to delete the step template. If my assumption here is true, then I will raise an internal issue to address this problem.

Are you using retention policies for your releases? These can be configured on your lifecycles. You might have very old releases (and therefore deployment processes) that reference this step template. If possible could you enable release retention policies to remove old releases? After this has happened, you could try to delete the step template to see if the operation succeeds.

Let me know how you go.


Usage is clear – “This template has not been used by any projects yet.”

We do use a retention policy and I am familiar with the message when the object is in use with a snapshotted release. I am presently in a holding pattern with deleting a variable set until April/May when all the releases linked will purge out of the trailing end of the retention policies for about 8 projects.

Usually that has an error message that points directly to the release/snapshot

I have also been looking for “keep forever” releases in my projects as this particular step template is something that should have already purged out of the retention policy. No luck there so far.


I suspect you might have encountered this bug, which we have since fixed.

What version of Octopus are you using? If you are on a version of Octopus before 2018.10.0, could you try upgrading and see if that fixes your problem?

Let me know how you go,



Certainly looks like the issue. My ability to update our Octopus server is limited as I have to coordinate with a number of teams.

Feel free to close this support ticket. I have the next action to take.

If the problem still persists after we upgrade, I’ll reach out again.



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