I have converted my HTML to masterpage and published a major version of it. When applying master page using design master page, I change the site master page to my newly converted masterpage and the system master page to seattle.

However the master page does not get applied to site. When changing the system mp to custom mp the mp gets applied. This also changes the layout of the admin pages(like site settings, contents,etc).

I do not want to apply my master page to site admin pages. Kindly help!

  • Hi @user67615, welcome to SharePoint StackExchange :) , Could you please take a quick tour at sharepoint.stackexchange.com/tour to get informed badge! Thank you for your contribution :) Regarding your issue, you said In case you set site and system master page to custom it's worked! , could u try now to switch back the system master page to oslo and check if it's worked or not? Jun 3, 2017 at 15:16
  • on changing system to oslo/seattle, the whole site layout changes to that. Jun 3, 2017 at 15:25
  • please add some of the screenshot to can help you faster :) Jun 3, 2017 at 15:29
  • screenshots of what?... site mp: custom system mp : oslo result: the entire site inculding pages, lists,lib,admin pages all become oslo. site mp:custom system mp :custom Jun 3, 2017 at 15:32
  • okay, it's clear now, it's the root site, right ? Jun 3, 2017 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


The distinction between the system master page (aka "default master page" in SharePoint Designer, aka MasterUrl in the C# API) and the site master page (aka "custom master page" in SharePoint Designer, aka CustomMasterUrl in the C# API) only appears for publishing sites.

In a team site, only the system master page is taken into account for both the site pages (i.e. the wiki pages relying in the SitePages doc lib) and the "admin" pages (the ones in the _layouts virtual folder).

In a publishing site, publishing pages (the ones from the Pages library) do use the site master page. All other pages (wiki pages, if any, and _layouts pages) still use the system MP.

  • Thank you for your answer. So that means mine is a team site. I created a publishing subsite, and applied mp there. Works perfect there. How do i change my root site to publishing site? Jun 4, 2017 at 7:14
  • 1
    To turn a Team Site to a Publishing site, you simply need to activate 2 features: the Publishing Infrastructure at the site collection level + the Publishing feature at the site (may be the root) level + at any other sub-site level you want. See e.g. sharepointmaven.com/activate-publishing-features-in-sharepoint for more info. Nota that, after that, only new (publishing) pages will use the site master page; existing wiki pages created previously are still "team site pages" and thus still use the system MP only. Also note that I don't recommend reverting back to a simple team site...
    – Evariste
    Jun 4, 2017 at 8:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.