Setting up Anonymous Access

I always seem to leave out a step when configuring anonymous access for a SharePoint site so I’ve finally put together a full guide so I don’t leave out any steps in the future.

Deactivate Hidden Features

If you are getting “Access Denied” for lists and libraries then you probably for got this step. There is a hidden feature that secures the lists and libraries by default for all sites that have anonymous access enabled. If you have already enabled anonymous access prior to deactivating this feature then you will need to turn all anonymous access off and back on to refresh this functionality.

  1. For each site collection that requires anonymous access execute the following stsadm command.
    stsadm -o deactivatefeature -url http://sitecollection -name ViewFormPagesLockDown

Activate Anonymous Access

Turning on anonymous access is a two step process. You must first turn it on in central administration and then turn it on within the site collection itself.

  1. Log into Central Administration
    Click “Application Management”
    Click “Authentication Providers”
    Select your authentication provider. Typically “Default” or “Internet”
    Check “Enable anonymous access”
    Click “Save”
  2. Browse to the root web of the site collection
    Click “Site Actions”
    Click “Site Settings”
    Click “Advanced Permissions”
    Click “Settings” and “Anonymous Access”
    Select “Entire Web Site” or “Lists and libraries” depending on desired functionality
    Click “OK”
I'm a public speaker and the Chief SharePoint Architect for Eastridge, a Microsoft Gold Partner specializing in SharePoint and custom application development in Winston-Salem, NC. I focus on the SharePoint platform with a specialty in Information Architecture, Publishing and Best Practices.

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