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How to Enable Theme Inheritance In a Site Collection and Subsites in SharePoint 2010

by on August 27, 2010

In Site Collection > Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Collection Administration section > Site collection features

SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure > Activate button

Site Actions > Site Settings > Look and Feel > Site theme

You will now see an inherit theme section:Inherit Theme radio buttons

You can select “Inherit theme from the parent of this site” or “Specify a theme to be used by this site and all sites that inherit from it”

Select a theme (you can select a custom .thmx file you have uploaded")

At the bottom of the page you will see an Apply Theme section:image

You can select “Apply the selected theme to this site only” or, the one which will greatly interest you for branding purposes, “Apply the selected theme to this site and reset all subsites to inherit this setting” – this will carry over theme changes to all subsites in the site collection!

Select the “Apply the selected theme to this site and reset all subsites to inherit this setting” radio button

Click “Apply”

Check out your subsites!

Theme Inheritance Notes:

You can navigate to a subsite and do the same thing (if you want that subsite or that subsite and its sub-sub-sites to have a specific theme), however, keep in mind that when you reapply a theme to the parent site it will overwrite the theme CSS of the subsite again! You will need to reapply custom subsite themes as well!

You would think, if your root site is a different theme than its subsites, apply the subsite theme to the root site with “Apply to site and reset subsites” selected, then apply the alternate root site theme on the root site with “Apply to selected site only” selected. However, this does not work – you need to apply the subsite themes individually.

If your subsites have specific themes applied and you select “Apply selected theme to this site only”, since those sites do not inherit from the parent site but rather have their own theme, the subsite theme CSS will remain the same and not be overwritten.

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7 Comments
  1. jilani permalink

    How to Enable Theme Inheritance In a Site Collection and Subsites in WSS3.0

    • I don’t believe you can. Hooray for SP 2010!

      I don’t think you can do it at all unless you are using SharePoint Server – rather than SharePoint Foundation.

  2. jburton@yorkriverelectric.com permalink

    Thanks for the article! Just noticed once you activate this – the Home button on the top nav bar changes to the actual name of the site. Is there any way to change that back to Home?

  3. You may have to edit the master page for that.

  4. Thanks! I couldn’t figure out what it was there on some sites and not others. Enabling SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure was what I was missing.

  5. Nico permalink

    Great! this is exactly what I was looking for. It works, of course.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Automatically apply theme to a SharePoint Foundation 2010 subsite | SharePoint Use Cases

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