SharePoint 2010 – Search Center Controls Missing

Further to the previous post related to “styling for SharePoint 2010”, I was having an issue with the “SEARCH” page. 

Even though I’d updated the Master Page to be 2010 aware (ribbon, etc), I was getting the Search Center home page showing as ‘blank’ in the middle – and the search controls were in the flyout (when clicking the ribbon button for “Location”) :


This page is within the ‘Search Center’ site :

  • Page Name : default.aspx
  • Page Layout : SearchMain.aspx

I looked into a working example (changed the Master Page to be v4.master) – as well as tried the old “upgraded2007” Master Page – and found that the culprit was actually a placeholder control in the Page Layout : PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb

Here’s the reason why (as far as I can tell) :

The Page Layout (SearchMain) puts the search controls into the ‘breadcrumb’ placeholder – this would normally be shown just underneath the top navigation (for a 2007 implementation).  

When moving to 2010, the same placeholder (PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb) is thus located within the ribbon, in the Master Page – meaning that the Page Layout is essentially injecting these controls into the ribbon.

My actions to resolve this were as follows :

  • Change the PlaceHolder name in the Page Layout (SearchMain.aspx) –> PlaceHolderSearchControls
  • Within the Master Page, include a placeholder within the ‘main’ area (for PlaceHolderSearchControls)

This is now working as expected.   See below…>


And – the flyout for “Location” is working too – this was broken :


So – if you’re having troubles with SEARCH, just check the PlaceHolders in use – and where they’re slotted into the Master Page.



7 thoughts on “SharePoint 2010 – Search Center Controls Missing

  1. Hi there,

    First, thanks for posting this!

    Quick question: Do one should change other aspx pages as well like peopleresults, advanced, etc. as it seems once you hit the SEARCH you are back to sq 1.




  2. Hi there,

    I was doing further testing as well and found that if you create a new Search Site (Enterprise) it looks Search Control in minimal.master page and shows an error

    System.Web.HttpException: Cannot find ContentPlaceHolder ‘PlaceHolderSearchControls’ in the master page ‘/_catalogs/masterpage/minimal.master’, verify content control’s ContentPlaceHolderID attribute in the content page. at System.Web.UI.MasterPage.CreateMaster(TemplateControl owner, HttpContext context, VirtualPath masterPageFile, IDictionary contentTemplateCollection) at System.Web.UI.Page.get_Master() at System.Web.UI.Page.ApplyMasterPage() at System.Web.UI.Page.PerformPreInit() at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) 85818aff-8574-4e13-b2f6-95698a9e7278

    Thanks & regards,



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