We are upgrading SharePoint 2010 to 2013. SharePoint 2010 had some custom work done to the look and feel as well as navigation.

I am only being tasked with making new SharePoint 2013 look like the old 2010. I do not need to migrate the data (upgrade the databases).

First, is it even possible to migrate the UI customizations without upgrading the databases and be able to see it in the browser?

If so, here is what I have done so far:

  1. Installed SP 2013 and Office Developer Tools
  2. Upgraded SP 2010 solution/code on SP 2013 box (dlls, etc) using VS 2015
  3. Changed all references to /15/ hive
  4. Deployed solution / wsp
  5. Add-SPSolution successfully but Install-SPSolution -Identity "path.wsp" -GACDeployment produces warnings like "This solution contains resources scoped for a Web application and must be deployed to one or more Web applications".

The above steps didn't help as SP 2013 still has the default look and feel.

I am not a Sharepoint expert and volunteered to help with an upgrade due to lack of SP resources. If you can help me discover any mistakes in above or suggest other things to try.

2 Answers 2


As far as deploying the custom solutions, you will need to perform additional actions, as appropriate.

  1. Please ensure you activate the appropriate features, on a site and site collection level, which may have correlated to the specific branding. For example, you may have features, which would add a master page and branding (via CSS style sheets, etc.).

  2. If the branding (CSS, Master Page), were not associated with a site deployed feature, please ensure the contents are available, which you could check, via SharePoint Designer. If they do not exist, and are not part of a deployed feature, you could manually copy over the master page, and remediate any issues that may arise.

  3. In terms of your warning, per number 5, you can do this from "central administration". This would exist, against a particular address, and you can designate which web application you would want to enable this web application scoped feature.

  • technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn178510.aspx When you upgrade your site collection to SharePoint 2013, these types of customizations will not work as is because the default CSS styles, themes, and master pages have changed. Instead, you must create your custom branding again. This requires you to use the new styles, themes, or master pages available in SharePoint 2013, and then apply the newly re-created design to the upgraded site collection. May 31, 2017 at 13:41

You need Sharepoint Designer 2013, and edit the master page MasterPage

  • Sharepoint Designer helped me activate old master page and see how bad it looks. Per technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn178510.aspx, I need to re-create the branding from scratch. May 31, 2017 at 13:56
  • It's necessary to edit everything again from the beginning, since the page sections change along with their styles.
    – Galabird
    Feb 7, 2018 at 19:55
  • You can edit the seattle or oslo master page when you chose the aspect in configuration. There is also functionality in the site features that allows you to edit the front end and the system page separately
    – Galabird
    Feb 7, 2018 at 20:04

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