Can’t access a list on an Anonymous site – SharePoint 2010

I was recently hounded by a client's strange issue. The client had a Publishing Site which was configured - 'Anonymous Access" - Entire web site. They have fantastic branded home page (I must say, you can't tell it is SharePoint). Anyways, they have an announcements list which shows some announcements on the home page. When you click the announcement it opens the OOB dialog to display the viewform of the list.

Strangely, when you open the view form of an announcement, it gave an authentication popup for anonymous users. Initially, I thought it was perhaps that the form had something which was not published. Nope, every resource published. Then I checked the permissions of the list and it was inheriting from the site.

Then what was it? After a bit of investigation I remembered there was Lockdown feature which blocked form pages in MOSS. But is it still in SP 2010. Yes it is. Still Enabled.

This feature still exists in SharePoint 2010 and is still automatically turned on for Publishing Portal sites. This feature is referred to as lockdown mode and can be turned on or off by enabling/disabling the ViewFormPagesLockdown feature. In this scenario, I want to toggle lockdown mode to off so anonymous users can post comments to the blog site. This is accomplished by using either STSADM or PowerShell. I prefer using PowerShell:

To determine if a site has ViewFormPagesLockdown enabled run the following:

get-spfeature -site http://sitecollectionURL

If ViewFormPagesLockDown is listed, it's enabled.

To toggle lockdown mode to off:

$lockdown = get-spfeature viewformpageslockdown

disable-spfeature $lockdown -url http://sitecollectionURL

If anonymous is already setup, you may need to disable\re-enable anonymous on the site.

Comments (5)
  1. Susan says:

    I was having the same issue and followed your steps but as soon as I did a custom list which previously allowed anonymous access on its view form suddenly started requiring authentication. I checked the permissions for that list and anonymous access still has "View" permissions. Any idea why this would be happening when the announcements list is now allowing anonymous access correctly?

    Also, as a possibly-related follow-up, when you said 'disable/re-enable anonymous' did you mean remove anonymous permissions from the site permissions and re-add them? Or turn off anonymous access at the Central Admin level and turn it back on?


  2. Oh, thank you so much 😀

  3. chris says:

    RE: disable/re-enable…just at the site collection level. Go to permissions and just toggle anonymous access on/off.

    Also – I have to use this script *everytime* I want to enable InfoPath form services on a site collection (the SharePoint Enterprise Services Feature). The forms will not render on publishing sites with anonymous access unless viewformpageslockdown is disabled from the site.

  4. Subhash Reddy says:

    Thanks 🙂

  5. Mani L says:

    HI , am facing same issue in my Blog site , i tried with option above , after that when i tried to post the commands am getting below error.


    TypeError: b is null

    TypeError: b is null

    i cannot see the original commands .   please let me know if we have an fix for this issue.


    Mani L

Comments are closed.

Skip to main content