Master Page Error: “The site master page setting currently applied to this site is invalid. Please select a new master page and apply it.” 2

Ran across this one recently and was surprised by SharePoint’s behaviour. If you create your own custom master page and apply it to a parent Publishing site and have all your subsites set to inherit the custom master page, all will seem fine. Then if you create a new Team based subsite off of your Publishing parent site, you will notice that it does NOT inherit your custom master page and instead uses default.master. If you then go to the master page setting screen for the subsite you will see this message:


“The site master page setting currently applied to this site is invalid. Please select a new master page and apply
it.”

This is beyond frustrating if you have a site that needs many subsites with the same branding. Luckily you can manually correct the problem by creating all your subsites and THEN going back to the master page settings screen and set all the subsites to inherit the custom master page and click OK. This will set them all to your custom master.

There is a KB on this topic located here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936908/en-us

Essentially this has to do with the Team sites not having publishing enabled, which is frustrating because you will run into this even if you aren’t using any publishing specific items in your master page. The only way they list for automatically correcting is by using Feature Stapling.

2 thoughts on “Master Page Error: “The site master page setting currently applied to this site is invalid. Please select a new master page and apply it.”

  1. Reply Josh Jan 14,2009 5:44 pm

    I just read your book and its great. I do have a question about this problem though. My company has thousands of pages content on its intranet that is going to be migrated into SharePoint. We have dozens of Departments managing these pages. It my job to make the Corporate Intranet site not look so SharePointy and I have done so and now I have been asked to brand each departmental portal with a similiar but unique design. So I thought your books Internet facing masterpage would make for a good place to start from as a departmental portal page and that your Intranet masterpage would work great as a department facing site template. So I set up a sample site and placed the Internet facing master page as the top of the HR Portal and then again as the Communications Portal as a subsite to that. These both worked great. Then I attempted to make a Communications Team site using the blank team site template. I figured I could set the masterpage to the Intranet facing masterpage after the site was created. That didn’t work. What approach should I take to implement a solution similiar to what I’m trying to do?

  2. Reply The Mossman Jan 14,2009 6:15 pm

    The Team templates can be a bit of a bear to work with. If you create your top level site collection as one of the publishing templates, you can then create sub sites that are team sites while still gaining all of the niceness of publishing sites (for instance you can switch the master page on the top level publishing site and have the change apply to all the non publishing sub team sites below it). If you start out with just a team site, you do not have the ability to switch the master page easily. So you have to resort to switching it manually from SharePoint Designer or with code. There are some other options too but this is probably the easiest. From there, I believe the Intranet Masterpage would work for you.

    Shoot me a comment from the Contact Me section of this site if you still have issues.

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