I am working on a trial version of sharepoint 2013 creating a custom master page. Going well so far, apart from the fact that when I go to view the published site, I only see my background for a second before it gets replaced by the background from one of the sharepoint themes I selected before I created the custom master page.


How do I un-select that theme? Or is there another way to stop this background appearing?


  • Think I have just managed to solve this myself... Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 15:19
  • How did you manage it?
    – Stu Pegg
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 16:01
  • You can unselect a theme by using PowerShell. Added an aswer how you can do this by code.
    – Remko
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 16:08

4 Answers 4


However, be aware of changing initial look on My Site host site collection. Selecting Office composed look will not get it back!

In order to restore the initial look of My Site host I had to recreate it. No wonder why the "Change the Look" link is hidden there..

  • Please look at this.. for answer
    – users1100
    Commented Sep 30, 2013 at 5:16

From the UI there is no way to unselect a theme. However you can use PowerShell for this and call the ThmxTheme.RemoveThemeFromWeb method so you don't need to recreate a site.

$url = "<put here yo
$web= Get-SPWeb $url

This will restore the theme to default which is no theme

Link to MSDN


As far as I can tell there is no such state as no composed look (or theme) in SharePoint 2013. To reset a composed look back to normal, choose the Office composed look and leave all the settings set to the default. This is the out of the box look and feel.


@Randy, that is what I know also. When you choose a composed look SharePoint seems to just change the masterpage, set the background and change the colors. -no information about the old values seems to be saved.

Regarding the My Site host site collection I "accidently" changed to another composed look because I wanted different colors/background. I also found out it wasn't that easy, but you can set the default masterpage from SharePoint Designer to mysite15.master again.

I found out, though, that I could add this masterpage to a new composed look and get my old masterpage back - and still choose new colors. I blogged about this in the SharePoint Community (http://sharepoint-community.net/profiles/blogs/changing-the-colors-of-your-sharepoint-2013-or-office-365-my-site?xg_source=msg_appr_blogpost)

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