I am new to working with SharePoint master pages. I know that master page is stored in the _catalog\masterpages.

  1. I would like to know at what level is master page stored and applied. Is it at the subsite (web) level, site (site collection) level or web application level?

Example: site collection has root web and more webs.. So at which level does masterpage get applied? Also, where is it stored _catalog\masterpages of the subweb, rootweb or site collection?

  1. At which level is the masterpage feature: web, site, webapplication or farm level?

1 Answer 1


The master pages and page layouts are stored at site collection level and in master page gallery _catalogs/masterpage.

But you can always have liberty to select different master page for each sub site or also inherit the master page from its parent which is a site collection.

Webapplication won't have any master page for itself without a root site collection.

Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Does this mean if you have a custom master page, you have to apply that custom master page to all site collections separately?
    – Submits
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 14:38
  • Technically correct. Anyhow you have to activate the feature that deploys your custom master page on each site collection manually. So you can write feature activated event receiver to apply the master page while activating the feature. According to your requirement you can opt for feature stapling as well
    – Naveen
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 14:48

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