Under site collection A I have created a Master file and need to move the file to site collection B. After I downloaded the Master file, in site collection B > site settings > Master pages and page layout, I uploaded the file, publish it and approved it. Then I apply the Master to site collection B.

Everything looks fine. However when I open site collection B with SP Designer 2013, click "Master Pages", I cannot see my new Master file. I can find the file via All Files > _catalogs > masterpage.

I am not comfortable with it. Did I miss some configuration or it is a software bug?

P.S. I need to write a deployment guide to IT supports which do not have Sharepoint experience. Hence I want to make sure I am working in the "best practice" way. Thank you.


3 Answers 3


When you upload a Master page, you need to choose "Publishing Master Page" content type. By doing so SharePoint Designer would able to list it out in "Master".

Step to upload:

  1. Site settings -> Master pages and page layouts
  2. Upload your master page, a property window will pop up. Pick "Publishing Master Page" as content type.

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under which permission you are trying to access the site in the designer, I think you need administrator permission in order to view it.

Also from Central admin, make sure that SharePoint designer settings are enabled.

SharePoint Designer settings are controlled on a per-web application basis. There are these options

• If SharePoint Designer is enabled/disabled on a web application

• If Site Collection Administrators can detach pages from the site template

• If Site Collection Administrators can customize master pages and layout pages

• If Site Collection Administrators can see the URL of their web site

But i think /_catalogs/masterpage is correct location to get the master page.

also check this link


  • I am login with Farm admin and checked the 4 designer options are checked. I wonder there is some cache prevent designer show up new file.
    – Mark L
    May 23, 2014 at 4:14

In case this helps anyone, I needed to make a minor change to the seattle master page and I don't have SharePoint Designer yet, so I mapped a network drive to the master page gallery, made a copy of seattle.html, called it seattle_custom.html, then edited it using Notepad++ and saved my changes. When I went back to the Design Manager, it showed the html file had been successfully converted to a master page, but it wouldn't show up as a choice under Site Master Page Settings until I published a major version of seattle_custom.html in the master page gallery in SharePoint.

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