Juan Carlos

How to Enable Anonymous access to a SharePoint 2013 site!

October 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: CloudShare, Demos & POCs, SharePoint | Tags: , ,

As is the case in previous versions, you can configure SharePoint 2013 sites to be accessed by anonymous users. In this article I will show the steps needed to configure anonymous access to an existing SharePoint 2013 site.

  • Navigate to the SharePoint 2013 Central Administration in your SharePoint 2013 environment. Under Application Management section, click the “Manage web applications” link.
  • Select one of the available web applications and press the “Authentication providers” button available in the Ribbon. A modal dialog showing the authentication providers available per zone is displayed. As you can see, in a basic scenario only the “Default” zone is listed.


  • Click the “Default” link so a new modal dialog is displayed. Just check the “Enable anonymous access” option and press the “Save” button.


  • Navigate to one of the site collections you have created under the configured web application and go to “Configure -> Site Settings”. Under the “Users and permissions” section, click the “People and groups” link.


  • As you can see, SharePoint 2013’s Ribbon display is an “Anonymous Access” button that allows you to configure how anonymous users can access to the site.


  • Press the “Anonymous Access” button in the Ribbon so the related configuration modal dialog is shown. In this dialog you have three configuration options, just click the first one that provides full anonymous access to the site. Press the “OK” button.


  • Back to the “People and Groups” page, check there is a new group called “Anonymous users” available in the list.


  • We are almost done. To finish, start a new instance of a web browser and check that you don’t need to provide credentials information since anonymous access is enabled on the entire site.


And that’s all about how to enable anonymous access to a SharePoint 2013 site. I recommend you to check how it works in your SharePoint 2013 CloudShare environment.

Happy CloudSharing!

About the author:
With more than 10 years of experience in the ICT sector, what best define me is the interest and knowledge of new technologies as a natural way for attending and solving customer problems and needs. My career in the TIC sector, and particularly in the .NET platform started in 2003, just after finishing my studies at the university, in the global worldwide consultancy company Accenture. There, I had the opportunity of working during 3 years in big national and international projects performing different task and roles: development of VB.NET applications, application test and deployment, management of small development teams and so on. In May 2006 I left Accenture and started a new adventure at the Microsoft Innovation Center in Cantabria (CIIN) as a Solutions Architect. In this new stage, I had the opportunity of knowing deeply a variety of Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, Office 365, Windows Azure, Visual Studio, SQL Server Reporting Services, BizTalk, LINQ, Entity Framework, etc. At the CIIN I haved performed evangelism activities just around these technologies, and I have had the honor of belonging to one of the more specialized organizations in SharePoint in Spain. In October 2013 I joined LKS where I perform a Consultant and Solutions Architect role skilled in SharePoint and Office 365 platforms. My daily work in LKS is focused on providing SharePoint & Office 365 advice and consultancy, specialized training and evangelism in the different projects and LKS customers where I’m involved.

  • Pete

    This sort of works… but in most browsers, the login is still brought up. Hitting cancel allows access, but this is annoying. I”ve read you have to allow anonymous access to the Master pages and site templates. Can you add this to the tutorial?

    • tom

      check if all items on your page are published (could be scripts, images, …)

      • Juan Carlos González

        Hi all,

        In general I agree with Pete and Tom just be sure that you don’t have any elements in your site in a draft state what means they won’t be visible for anonymous users. This applies to master pages, images, CSS files, etc. Therefore, if you have edited a master page be sure to have it published. The same applies to images, CSS files and other files that could be in a draft state or not published.

        Kind regards

    • ppoole

      Pete, did you get this work? I am having the same problem. The Windows Security login appears and I cannot login with my AD Credentials. After hitting the ESC key 10+ times, it takes me to the broken site where I can “login”. Can you provide me your solution on this?

  • Eric Smith

    You must click “site permissions” not “people and groups”

    • Juan Carlos González

      Hi Eric,

      You are absolutely right, just a simple mistake :-)

  • yjk

    Hello Juan,
    Wlll anonymous access also be possible for access 2013 webdatabases?
    Greetings Ynte jan

    • Juan Carlos González

      Hi yjk,
      The answer is “no by default” since Access databases are published as a SharePoint Applications what means you need to be logged in SharePoint in order to access to the application and the content on it. However, I can guess it could be a workaround to provide anonymous access to an Access application published to SharePoint. As you can see in this MSDN forums thread, a lot of people is not being able to work with Apps when trying to access them anonymously.

      Kind regards

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  • T.Teich

    Hello Specialists,

    I’m desperated!
    I had done all the steps above, but it works not or in a manner, that is not expected.
    There are three different results:
    First: on the SP2013 Server itself the the Site Collection is shown correctly for Anonymous.
    Second: From an other machine the Site Collection is shown, but only the title row and the logon etc. buttons. No contents are show (list, librarys…).
    third: On a SP, that is configured for anonymous access after put in contents, anonymous access not works. It is required a logon for each view.

    Do you have any idea? In a earlier older installation of MOSS we had had an anonymous access to the Sharepoint. We need because it will be published.

    I’m grateful for any help.


    • T.Teich

      Oh, the second I solved now self: The Alternate Access Mappings where the cause. Here are the Problems – time and again.

      • Juan Carlos González

        Hi Tobia,

        Sorry for viewing so late your comment. I’m happy to see you solved by yourself. As you have experienced, when you are experimenting a different behavior accessing to a SharePoint site outsidethe server is mainly due to the alternate access mappings.

        Kind regards

        • T.Teich

          unfortunatly it not works fine. The third item is a Problem still. We opened a Support call and I will tell the answer here.

          • Juan Carlos González

            Hi Tobia,
            Have you chekeck that all the content published is approved and not in a draft status?
            Kind regards

          • T.Teich

            Hello in a new year,

            the third item could solved. It’s not my favorite solution. The MS Support said our environment wasn’t supported because we had installed only one machine with DC AND SharePoint. We decided to bite the bullet and we installed a dedicated DC and a Sharepoint on two machines. now it works fine. But it’s a additional machine and may be a additional license.
            Kind regards

      • http://www.westportpoint.org/ MLCarter1976

        THANK YOU @t.teich and @disqus_JzjueYFyOk:disqus for this! THIS HELPED ME! I have a blog http://www.westportpoint.org/blog and I was having a HECK of a time getting it to work! I was ready to throw in the towel, but now, with your helping me, I realized that I had another site collection for my /blog and so when it put in the FQDN http://www.domain.mobi then it worked! I only was using the local internal URL not the PUBLIC URL. I added Internet to the Zone and after a web browser refresh, BAM, it worked! Thank you! As I said, I was ready to just say ##*$&*$ SharePoint 2013, I don’t know how to “handle” you, but now I feel a bit more in “control!” Thank you!

  • Miguel

    Thank you, great, I was looking for a long time how to do this. I just have a problem when people browse the page, the theme is not loaded.

    Should I set the specific rights for this.

    thank you

  • Scott Ray Brewster

    I have a problem still. Another company hosts SharePoint site. I have enabled anonymous access. I enabled it on the comments list as well. Everyone who is anonymous gets a 403 error. I don’t get it. @madwhitehatter.

  • da

    can the screenshots be smaller please wtf we can’t see shit

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  • WhydoYou Need a name

    Good, just a minor mistake somewhere, just can’t think where right now but thanks man!

  • http://www.cloudappsportal.com/ Regina Ritter

    Thanks for this information. I have just signed up for a free SharePoint site with http://www.cloudappsportal.com and was looking for help on this topic.

  • Ross

    Hi and thanks for the great post. we have a multi domain environment.
    After enabling Anonymous to allow a non-trusted domain into our authenticated Intranet environment, everything works, except that now authenticated users by default get the anonymous look and feel, meaning they don’t see their links until they click on “Sign In”.
    Before they would automatically get logged on, but after enabling Anonymous it looks like the authentication order is 1) anonymous 2)claims.
    Is there anyway to switch it so that first goes through claims and if not authenticated it lets you in as anonymous?
    Thanks for your help in advance