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SharePoint 2016 Central Admin – General Application Settings – Configure SharePoint Designer settings

When you click on the Configure SharePoint Designer settings Link, you will be landed on SharePoint Designer settings page. This page will let you configure the SharePoint Designer settings for the web applications.

SharePoint Designer Settings page’s direct link: /_admin/SharePointDesignerAdmin.aspx

SharePoint Designer is key tool for the power users to customize the SharePoint sites, create custom workflows, customizing the Master pages, creating the external content types and much more thing.

But we should be careful while enabling this option in our SharePoint environment, because it is easy to corrupt the site collection if not properly used it. As per my experience, I have noticed that companies allowed the SharePoint designer in their farm facing too much site corruption issue.

Same thing realized by the product group and they give us the option to control the SharePoint designer usage at web application level or Site collection. If you disable the SharePoint designer at web application, then no site collection can use it but if you enable it at web application level then Site collection administrator have option to disable at their own site collection.

Note: It is official that SharePoint Designer 2013 will be last version and there will be no new version of SharePoint Designer. But SharePoint designer 2013 will be fully supported with SharePoint Server 2016.

There are 4 major options, you can configure at Web Application level.

  1. Enable SharePoint Designer: This option will enable / disable (depending upon settings) the SharePoint designer for entire web application (All site collections in the web application will impacted).  Even if you disable this option then end user still see the Edit in SharePoint Designer link but when you click on it, it will show the not allowed message.
  2. Enable Detaching Pages from the Site Definition: This option will allow / disallow users to detach the pages from site definition. You should not allow this option if you want keep your sites branding intact. Another thing, if you detach the pages from site definition then page stored in the content database. So instead of calling the page from the hard drive( hive folder) which will put more pressure on the SharePoint and can cause the performance issue.
  3. Enable Customizing Master Pages and Layout Pages: You can preserver Master pages and page layouts from the user then you have to uncheck this option, it will hide the Master Page and Page layout from the users.
  4. Enable Managing of the Web Site URL Structure: If you want to hide the all files options from the user then you should uncheck this option.

Configure the Settings

In order to configure the settings, please follow the below steps.

  • Login on central admin with an account who is part of farm administrator group.
  • On Configure SharePoint Designer settings page please Select the web application you want to configure these settings.
    • Click on Drop-down next to Web Application and click change web application.
    • Select the web application (Click on the Name of the web Application)
  • Now configure the following settings.
    • Make Sure correct web application is selected.
    • Enable SharePoint Designer: Enable or Disable the SharePoint designer use
    • Enable Detaching Pages from the Site Definition: Allowing or Disallowing Site collection administrator to detach pages from Site templates.
    • Enable Customizing Master Pages and Layout Pages: Enabling or disabling the customization of the Master pages.
    • Enable Managing of the Web Site URL Structure: Allowing or disallowing the administrators to see all files in SharePoint designer.
    • Click Ok.

If you want to change the settings for another web application, then you have to repeat the same steps for other web application.

Even we allowed the SharePoint Designer at Web application level, still site collection administrator can maintain it their individual site collection level.

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