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I had created a custom design for a site, and my manager wanted to setup a test site that mirrored production. The main SharePoint person setup the test site, and gave me full permissions (I'm a web developer, and not a SharePoint person). I exported the design package from the live site and imported into the test site. Now I get a 401 Unauthorized error.

I used my test site and imported the design package. It worked, though my coworker could not view it. That seemed to indicate to me that it was a permissions problem. I went to my custom theme and started publishing the individual files which is a pain. I found the following post which pointed me to use the sitemanager page.

And I found another page talking about the design packages:

Based on this, I published all the files that I thought were related to my design package (Master Page Gallery, Themes Gallery, Style Library, Site Assets Library) on the test site in question.

I still cannot go to the root of the site, however, I can view different pages. For instance, I can view Site Contents and Documents, but cannot view Site Pages. I can navigate directly to the Home page (SitePages/Home.aspx), but if I from the Home link on the Quicklaunch bar, I get the unauthorized error (_layouts/15/start.aspx#/SitePages/Home.aspx).

I figure that there is still something out there that I need to publish, but I just don't know what. Most of the sites that our SharePoint person deals with are SharePoint 2010. These are our first sites in 2013.

4/28/2014: I found this link,, that talked about disabling the "Minimum Download Strategy" feature. This seemed to alleviate the issue of access, though I need to test with an account with less permissions than mine. I don't consider this a fix.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Based on research and testing, the issue does appear to be the site feature: Minimal Download Strategy. From August, 2013:

To Disable the feature:

  • Click on Tools icon (the cog at the top right).
  • Click Site Settings from the context menu.
  • Locate the section "Site Actions" on the Site Settings page.
  • Click "Manage site features" link.
  • Locate the feature, Minimal Download Strategy.
  • Click "Deactivate"
  • You will be taken to a confirmation page, asking if you are certain. Click "Deactivate this feature" link.

I'm not thrilled with this answer, but the site is working with a test account of lesser privileges. Ideally, I'd like to track down the root cause, but I do not have time right now. Hopefully, this might help others with similar issues.

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