Hide Links in Site Settings Page with HideCustomAction

Problem: People make SharePoint branding inconsistent by creating and applying random themes and breaks corporate branding. So need to stop users from creating & uploading new themes and applying them.

Hide Themes and Site Themes links with “HideCustomAction” from Site Settings!

Hide Site Settings Links using HideCustomAction

Some time back, I created a feature to Hide “Delete this site” link from Site settings. Lets re-use the same trick to build a feature to hide “Themes” link from site settings page from everyone. Lets gets started.

1. Create New “Empty SharePoint Project” in Visual Studio 2010. Give it a name. Say: Crescent.TeamSite.HideThemes. Make it a Farm Solution.
1 create project
2. Add a Feature to the project by right-clicking the “Features” node in the Solution Explorer, Add Feature

3. Add a new Module to the Project, by Right-clicking the project Crescent.TeamSite.HideThemes from solution explorer and choose “Add >> New Item”, give it a name. Say: HideThemes
add new item
Now the project structure should look like:
hidethemes project structure
4. Update the Elements.xml file inside module we created:

 <HideCustomAction 
  GroupId = "Customization"
  HideActionId = "Theme"
  Location = "Microsoft.SharePoint.SiteSettings"> 
  </HideCustomAction>
  
  <HideCustomAction
GroupId = "Galleries"
HideActionId = "Themes"
Location = "Microsoft.SharePoint.SiteSettings">
  </HideCustomAction>

Element.xml file should look like:

elements.xml

5. Go to the Feature Designer: Right Click “HideThemes” under Features node, choose “View Designer”

6. Provide a name to the feature, as: “Hide Themes in Site Settings”, set the scope as Site, and include the Module we created “Hide Themes Module”

hide themes feature designer

7. Build and deploy the Project

8. Activate the Feature: Go to Site actions >> Site Settings >> Site Collection Features >> Click on Activate next to “Hide Themes in Site Settings”
activate feature

And the Result: See that the “Themes” link is hidden under Galleries!
 site settings with out themes link
Finally, We made the feature hidden, activated for required site collections, and we are done!

Refer MSDN to get Default Custom Action Locations and IDs

Additional Tip: Use IE Developer Toolbox or Firefox FireBug to Get the GroupID and HideActionID values.
get customactionid using IE Developer toolbar, Firebug

Disable Themes for All Sites in a Web Application

To stop users from applying themes at web application level, We can simply disable the web application user permissions “Apply Themes and Borders  –  Apply a theme or borders to the entire Web site.” by going to: Central Administration >> Application Management >>Manage Web Applications >> Select the desired web app >> Click on “User Permissions” from Ribbon

web application user permissions

However, this will disable all users including farm administrators from applying themes and give an error message “Attempted to perform an unauthorized operation.” when they try to apply themes. There is another way to disable themes by editing “SPTHEME.XML” file from 14 hive, which is not recommended!

But the actual requirement is not to disable themes in all site collections of the web application. Now the question is: How to stop users from accessing “Themes” and “Site Themes” links on particular site collection(s)? So we made the feature and activated it wherever required.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack is a SharePoint Architect with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. He loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with the SharePoint community, through his real-world articles!

One thought on “Hide Links in Site Settings Page with HideCustomAction

  • February 25, 2021 at 5:53 PM

    Great post! Will this work in SharePoint 2019?

    Reply

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