user1 has no access to Site Collection sc1. under SC1 there is a web site ws1 with broken inheritance (unique permissions). user1 has Administrator permission on ws1. but when he browse to ws1 he gets Access Denied.

You have created your own master page mymaster.master and used a module (VS module template) and a Site scoped feature (which contains the module) to deploy your master page. Can It be the reason? and how I can solve this problem thanks. here is the element.xml of the module:

<Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
  <Module Name="MasterpageModule" Url="_catalogs/masterpage">
     <File Path="MasterPageModule\mymaster.master" Url="mymaster.master" Type="GhostableInLibrary" />

2 Answers 2


The most common issues:

  • Your master page hasn't been approved (in feature receiver) so it's left in Draft mode
  • Your master page includes some code which access something the uses don't have access to
  • Your master page includes references to files (images/stylesheets/...) that the user don't have access to
  • Yes it was the second issue. my master page contained some code which access something the user dont have access.
    – Medes
    Sep 26, 2012 at 10:33

Does your subsite inherits the master page from site collection. Generally master page gallery resides in the site collection level. So may be user1 doesn't have access to that library. And it is causing the access denied error.

  • Thank you, When I update MasterUrl of my sub site (as following) to use v4.master of the root web then I dont get Access denied and everything works. $web.MasterUrl = "/sites/mySC/_catalogs/masterpage/v4.master" $web.Update(). So I thing the user has permissions to the library /Sites/mySC/_catalogs.
    – Medes
    Sep 24, 2012 at 12:15

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