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We have a new SP 2019 server farm set up and I was investigating the Communication site template. By default, a new communication site starts with the Topic template assigned. Looking at https://support.office.com/client/results?ns=WSSENDUSER&version=19&helpId=WSSEndUser_CommSiteNewsEmptyStateTile_WhatIsACommunicationSite&shownav=true&web=1 I should be able to change to either the Showcase or Blank template, but I can't find the actual control for that anywhere. First issue is the instruction to select "Settings" then "Site templates". Of course there isn't anything labeled Settings on the page and the "gear" menu only has Add a page; Add an app; Site contents; Site information; Site permissions; and Change the look. If I go to Site information, then View all site settings, there isn't anything in the site settings page for changing the template either. I've even tried looking at SPO to get the URL there for changing the template and seeing if I could hack the URL on SP 2019 to get there, but that page doesn't exist in the on-prem install.

So either I'm just missing where it is in the on-prem install or it doesn't exist in the on-prem install (in spite of all the documentation I've seen). If anyone can give me some insight, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.

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  • I think it is permission issue. If you're site collection admin you should see "site settings" under gear icon
    – Mark L
    Oct 8, 2021 at 1:47
  • I'm both a site collection and farm admin, so permissions aren't the issue. I can find site settings just fine, but there is no control in on-prem to switch between different flavors of communications site template like online has (in SPO it's right in the settings/gear menu named "Apply a site template."
    – Todd
    Oct 13, 2021 at 19:50

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In SharePoint 2019, there is no available OOTB option to change the template. But you could use PowerShell to replace you site with another site template

For More detials: Change The Existing Sharepoint Site Template To Modern/Communication Site Using Powershell Cmdlet

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  • First, thank you for making me aware of that command. Didn't know about it before. Second, unfortunately that doesn't help me with on-prem SharePoint since the SPO Powershell can't connect to on-prem (afaik). Also, I'm not trying to change the overall site template, just choose which version of Communication site template to use. In SPO, you can go to Settings>Apply a site template to choose different 'flavors' of communication sites. My on-prem seems to only have Showcase and lacks anywhere (at creation or later) to choose different versions of comms templates.
    – Todd
    Oct 13, 2021 at 19:21

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