I'm trying to use SharePoint Designer 2013 to create a custom form for a list in SharePoint Online. No matter what I try, when I try to create the form, I get the message:

Could not save list changes to server

Things I have tried:

  • I have created a new site with no content at all and then added a new list through SharePoint Designer. There are therefore no duplicate columns, no lookup fields or any other data-related problems on the site. It is brand new.
  • I have set both "Allow users to run custom scripts" settings in the SharePoint admin centre.
  • I have emptied the recycle bin and deleted everything from the Website cache. I have re-opened the site and refreshed it.
  • As far as I can tell, side-loading custom apps is not enabled on the site, though since this is SharePoint Online all the recommendations to look through enabled features using the SharePoint Management Shell are not possible.

I a something of a SharePoint noob so, having spent about three hours googling and trying things out, I'm reaching my wits end. How do I get SharePoint designer to work with SharePoint Online?

1 Answer 1


Go to site settings->site permissions->check permission, check if the “Add and customize pages” permission is denied for the relevant user.

If so, make sure you have configured the “Allow users to run custom scripts” settings more than 24 hours to take effect this setting.

Make sure the user has “Add and customize pages”, if not, create a new permission level and grant this permission level with the user.

It may also be necessary to specifically allow the "Add and customize pages" permission on each site in your SharePoint Online collection. To do so, run the following in SharePoint Online Management Shell:

Set-SPOSite -Identity https://<domain>.sharepoint.com/sites/<sitename> -DenyAddAndCustomizePages $false

Connect-SPOService will ask for a URL and your username and password; the URL is not the same as the -Identity URL in the command above but is https://<domain>-admin.sharepoint.com. Make sure the username and password you enter are for a site collection administrator.

  • Thanks for your answer. The user in question is a member of the Site Owner group and I've also created a new group, added the user to it and given that group 'Design' access, which includes "Add and customize pages." However, when I check permissions for this user, they have Full Control, Edit and Design access through their group memberships but there is another section at the bottom of the check that says, "The following factors also affect the level of access..." and it shows the user is denied "Add and customize pages." But it doesn't say why they are denied or where this is set.
    – Tom
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 14:24
  • I've edited the answer to add some more detail I needed to do - it won't appear until it's been reviewed.
    – Tom
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 17:28

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