How to apply custom master page and theme to all SharePoint 2010 sub sites?

Before you do this, please see this post if you get any error message.

How to apply custom master page and theme to all sub sites in SharePoint 2010?


1. Go to Site Actions | Site Settings

2. Click on Manage Site Features


3. Activate SharePoint Server Publishing


4. Go to Site Actions | Site Settings again and under Look and Feel click on Master Page


5. In Site Master Page click on the drop down and select your custom master page. If your not sure how to create custom master page, please see :

Selecting Custom Master Pages in SharePoint 2010

6.  Put a check in Reset all subsites to inherit this site master page setting and click OK in the bottom of the page


This will apply custom master page to all sub sites in SharePoint 2010

Published by Aryan Nava

Founder of "BlockchainMind", CTO for two Blockchain startup during 2018, Cloud/DevOps Consultant and Blockchain Trainer

12 thoughts on “How to apply custom master page and theme to all SharePoint 2010 sub sites?

  1. Thanks for the post! It worked for me as Site Admin – however when my co-workers login, they don’t see the changes that I’ve made…. Any ideas what I’m missing? Thanks!

      1. I have the same issue as T George — My coworkers do not see the custom template, but my pages are showing as published. They see the default templates. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Unfortunately, I’m still having the same problem. Haven’t figured it out yet… I did activate SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure. When I go to Galleries -> Master Page and Layouts, everything is greyed out so I can’t select anything to ‘publish’. perhaps this is my issue. I’m trying to figure out why it’s greyed out.

  3. In Sharepoint Foundation 2010 I have to edit the master page for every sub site to apply the settings…

  4. sir ,
    In step:Activate SharePoint Server Publishing

    when i clicked the activate button it throws error,”The feature being activated is a Site scoped feature which has a dependency on a Site Collection scoped feature which has not been activated. Please activate the following feature before trying again: SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure f6924d36-2fa8-4f0b-b16d-06b7250180fa”

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