SharePoint: Missing “Save site as template” in sub sites



  • You create a sub site
  • You set Unique permissions (no inheritance)
  • You add a user who does not also have access to the top level site to the Owners group (or give them the Full Control permission).
  • The new “owner” goes to Site Actions, Site Settings and can’t find “Save site as template”.

For a similar problem relating to missing web parts see: SharePoint: Missing web parts on sub sites


Turns out it’s a rights issue. The templates are stored in the top level site’s Site Templates Gallery and your user does not have access to the top level site and its lists.


A quick fix is to grant contribute, or better, rights to the user to the parent site. But… you may not want them to have access to the top level site.

It's not necessary to inherit permissions from the parent or grant elevated rights to the parent. Just grant rights to the Site Template Gallery!

If you grant CONTRIBUTE rights to the Site Template Gallery of the top level site to the sub site owners then “Save site as template” will be available in the sub sties.


Here's how to duplicate my test:

  • Create a group a the top level site (SubSiteOwners)

    • give it no permissions to the top level site

    • add the sub site owners

  • From the top level site go to Site Actions, Site Settings, Galleries and click Site templates

    • Click Settings, Gallery Settings

    • Click Permissions for this gallery

    • Click Edit Permissions and OK

    • If your SubSiteOwners group is not displayed, click new and add it with CONTRIBUTE permissions, or if SubSiteOwners is displayed click and add the CONTRIBUTE permission

  • Create a sub site with Unique permissions (and do not use the parent’s visitor group)

  • Now to test: Open a new browser and login as a sub site owner user and

    • Go to Site Actions, Site Settings and click Save Site as Template






Diana said...

I have granted contributor permissions at the site collection level to the Galleries - site templates and list templates. The user can see the option to save a site as a template but gets a permissions error when trying to save. Please advise.

Soni Pandey said...

Yes Contribute access will not work in this case.You have to provide full access on site template gallery than it's works like charm.

Soni k

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