We have a SharePoint 2010 publishing site (migrated from 2007 via db-attach), and we have a custom master page for the site. But whenever I access files under _layouts/ (eg ManageFeatures.aspx, settings.aspx), the custom master page is used. How can I make it use the v4.master for the files under _layouts, but keep our custom master page for the actual sites? Is it even possible in 2010?

In 2007, some of the _layouts (eg ManageFeatures, settings.aspx) do not seem to use the custom master page.

3 Answers 3


The OOB application pages have the DynamicMasterPageFile attribute, so you should check the values of your MasterUrl and CustomMasterUrl properties.




Thanks for the tips, I just found one way for this, without having to use DynamicMasterPageFile.

$site = get-spsite("http://site")
$webs = $site.allwebs
$w = $site.web[desired_web_index]
$w.MasterUrl = "/_catalogs/masterpage/v4.master"
$w.CustomMasterUrl = <whatever custom master page>

The MasterUrl is the System Master Page which is responsible for the system page styles living under _layouts//xxxx.aspx

Site Pages, if they are publishing pages will use the CustomMasterUrl. The layout pages use the MasterUrl which is v4.master.


Migrated SharePoint sites, and therefore branding artifacts (master page, page laoyouts, etc) are not automatically updated. If you already chose the "Visual Upgrade" you should be forced to v4.master.

Your master page needs to be updated to support the actual SP 2010 requirements, ribbon, etc. See here for a list of requirements http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee539981.aspx

Changing it to be used, is another issue, on Collaboration Sites you either use powerShell or SPD 2010 to change it. You should probably consider and WebProvisioned stappler to automatically re-apply your master page if you do not use Publishing sites with inheritance forced.

Hope it helps, C:\Marius

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