I wish to edit a master page using SharePoint Designer 2013 however once i have made my changes and go to save i get the error "Server Error: This file may not be moved, deleted, renamed or otherwise edited."

I have tried previous questions and guides however i still cannot combat this issue. Any help would be very much appreciated.


  • So what do you do when a copy of the master throws this error?
    – user35194
    Nov 14, 2014 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


You cannot edit and should NEVER try to edit the standard master page file, what you wanna do is to make a copy of the standard masterpage and do your edits there.

  • I have created a copy of the master page and made the necessary changes and i still get the same error upon saving, i have also made a copy and renamed it as one guide told me to but still the same error.
    – Shwabster
    Nov 21, 2013 at 12:46
  • Did you try to edit the .master file or the .html file? Please see this blogpost issue-with-creating-copy-of.html Nov 21, 2013 at 12:52

Though this is too old discussion, I think it may help if someone comes across this question.

The issue is that you are trying modify a master page which was generated by corresponding html design file and hence SharePoint does not let you modify even the copy of the master.

The resolution is download a copy of master page on your computer and upload it after renaming. Once you have done that you can either modify the file in SPD. You could even make desired changes in the downloaded master page using any text editor and then upload a renamed copy it would still work.

I hope this helps someone in future. Thanks, Hiren

  • It did indeed help someone!
    – Sean Gough
    Apr 12, 2016 at 16:58

The seattle.master file is associated with the seattle.html and so we need to disassociate them and then save the changes and reassociate them.

  1. Go to -> Site Setting -> Web Designer Galleries (Master pages and page layouts) -> look for seattle.master and seattle.html.
  2. Check out the seattle.html file. You will see both seattle.master and seattle.html have checked out.
  3. Right-click and Edit Properties of seattle.html and uncheck the "Associated" properties.
  4. Goto the SharePoint designer and edit and save for seattle.master.
  5. Check-out the changes for seattle.html (this will reassociate them) and check-in the changes for seattle.master.

And this goes with all the HTML and JS files of the master page.

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