I want to edit the seatle.master master page for my enterprise wiki site collection. So I did the following:-

  1. I copy the seatle.html inside the SP designer.

  2. Paste it.

  3. It automatically creates two new file seatle_copy(1).html & seatle_cop(1).master.

  4. So I click on the seatle_copy(1).master.

  5. But I receive the following error:-

enter image description here

Also if I try uploading a new file inside the master page gallery I will get this error:-

enter image description here Please advise ?

5 Answers 5


You can't change the .master file when it's bound like this, you can only edit the .html file. It will re-generate the .master when you save the .html.

This is due to the Design Manager packet in SP2013. Here's the MSDN article on this feature set: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj822363(v=office.15).aspx

  • but in the paste i copied the seatle.master and i rename it Custom.master, and i did my modification there. so is this approach considered not valid ? As i was able to change the layout by directly modifying the .master page.
    – John John
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 21:49
  • That is correct - you do not modify the .masterpage if it has an associated .html file. It is intended that you modify the .html file instead when using this model. If you do not wish to use this model, do not copy & paste one of the OOTB masterpage files in 2013, and use a minimal master template from somewhere like Randy Drisgill's blog.
    – James Love
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 7:36
  • 1
    but is there a way to generate .html file based on the current .master file. so in this case i will have .html and .master files that are consistent...
    – John John
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 15:03

The issue is that you should copy seattle.html which will auto create a .master page for you, and there is a link between the files.

To resolve the issue,

  • create a copy of seattle.html
  • Now you have both a seattle_copy(1).html and seattle_copy(1).master.
  • Next rename seattle_copy(1).html to for example test.html. A pop-up appears asking you to update pages that have hyperlinks to the page.
  • Click “yes”.

After the rename a file named test.master appears as well. - After the rename a file named test.master appears as well. enter image description here - You can now select seattle_copy(1).master and delete it. If you want to delete your new custom master page, select the .html version and delete it. This will also delete the .master file.

Source: http://techmikael.blogspot.com/2013/02/issue-with-creating-copy-of.html

  • this what i did but when i tried to modify the new .master file i got the error i mentioned..
    – John John
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 21:50
  • did you rename it first?
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 21:51
  • yes i rename it
    – John John
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 0:23

Nothing worked for me except this solution here:

How to: resolve ‘Server Error: This file may not be moved, deleted … ‘ when working with SharePoint master page

In case link is broken, below is the answer:

SharePoint 2013 has an *.HTML file associated with each *.master and you’re really supposed to edit the *.HTML file and not touch the *.master.

But if you created the *.master file by other means and try to rename, delete, or edit it’s properties, SharePoint will try to access the associated *.html file and there isn’t one and being SharePoint, you will get an error.

Solution (from the link above):**

To solve this and get rid of the error, do this:

  • Copy the existing *.html file in the gallery

  • Rename the copied *.html file to the name you wish to give (or have already given) to your custom master page

  • To delete the masterpage, delete respective *.html file instead, etc


I had the same problem and here is what eventually worked for me:

First a little background, I copied oslo.master into a subfolder /_catalogs/masterpage/test for editing (I know, I know, only edit the HTML files, not the .MASTER files. I've learned my lesson.) I was not able to rename, edit, or delete the file using SP or SP Designer. The error was "Server error: This file may not be moved, deleted, renamed, or otherwise edited."

I was able to delete it by downloading the file (oslo.master) to my computer, rename it to oslo.html then use Master Page Gallery in SP to upload it. Be sure you change the Content Type to HTML MASTER PAGE and save. I was then able to use SP Designer to delete oslo.master and oslo.html


Had same error but with Page Layouts. .aspx files stayed in directory and there were no way to drop them.

My solution: open html file properties in "Master Page Gallery" in browser, and double check that type is "HTML Page Layout" (in my case it was "Page Layout"). Change this, save, then I was able to go to "Design Manager" -> "Page Layouts" (/_layouts/15/DesignPageLayouts.aspx), and remove page from there.

enter image description here

In my case there were only aspx files, so I copy-pasted html with same name, and then changed "HTML Layout" property..

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