If you've been doing SharePoint 2007 development for any length of time you've probably heard that it's a good idea to block SharePoint designer from gaining access to your site for a variety of reasons. These reasons might include but are not limited to: cluttering up your code with unnecessary attributes or anyone and can be easily pointed at (and potentially mess up) your production server.

A quick search online will yield a couple of options for blocking SharePoint Designer in 2007 including:

  • Creating a feature that walks over all the webs and disables SharePoint Designer;
  • Creating an HTTP Module that blocks sharepoint designer (one is available on CodePlex); and
  • The DisableWebDesignFeatures attribute in the ONET.xml file described here.

At any rate, fixing this in 2007 usually involves writing some code or modifying some configuration files and then redeploying your solution.

The good news is that this is much easier in SharePoint 2010; you can easily block SharePoint Designer at the Web Application level through Central Administration and it doesn't require a deployment!

To disable SharePoint Designer in 2010 complete the following steps:

  • Open Central Administration 
  • Select Application Management 
  • Select "Manage Web Applications" 
  • Select the desired Web Application for which you want SharePoint Designer disabled, then under "General Settings" select "SharePoint Designer" as seen below:

Share Point Designer General Settings

  • Uncheck "Enable SharePoint Designer" as seen below:

SharePoint Designer Settings - Disabling SharePoint Designer

  • Click "OK" to save your changes and SharePoint Designer is now blocked for the Web Application!