Fun SharePoint Quirks: Deleting Master Pages

Posted: November 7, 2007 in MOSS 2007

     This was a little annoying thing I came across recently. I had a custom master page that I pushed in with a feature. I needed to update it and of course rolling the feature back, retracting and deleting the solution did not delete the master page. So I grudgingly went in to delete it manually. Imagine my surprise when I got an error telling me it was being referenced by something and could not be deleted. I went in and checked the file associations through Site Settings –> Manage Content and Structure.
    Navigate to the master pages folder, then check click the "Show related resources" button. You will find the master page is referencing itself. Thus you can NOT delete it…ever. Well not directly. turns out there is a way to remove it.
    First make sure that this is the ONLY thing referencing it, then create a new folder in the master pages folder, move the master page into that folder. You can delete the folder which kills the master page.

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