Enabling Anonymous Access SharePoint 2013

Anonymous access, as the name suggests, allows anonymous users to view pages. Most public facing Internet websites use this type of access. Some websites may also require you to provide logon credentials to allow access to other, more restricted areas of the website; for example, on a corporate website that has some internal access areas, or when purchasing goods on a website.

Anonymous access

Anonymous access uses the IUSR anonymous user account that is maintained in Internet Information Services (IIS). Therefore, when you enable anonymous access for a SharePoint 2013 site, you are actually granting the IUSR account the View Items permission on objects in the site. In SharePoint 2013, anonymous access is disabled by default, but it can be enabled either at the time of creating the web application or later if needed. If enabled, other site administrators can then grant anonymous access to sites or site content as requirements dictate.

Best Practice:

To maintain a web application and site security, it is a best practice to not enable anonymous access unless it is absolutely vital to do so.

Enabling anonymous access for a web application

Use the following procedure to enable anonymous access if you did not choose to do so when you created the web application:

  1. In Central Administration, under Application Management., click Manage web applications.
  2. Select the web application you want to enable anonymous access for.
  3. In the Security group on the ribbon, click Authentication Providers.
  4. In the Authentication Providers dialog box, under Zone, click Default.
  5. On the Edit Authentication page, select the Enable anonymous access check box.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Close the Authentication Providers dialog box.

Enabling anonymous access for a site collection

Use the following procedure to enable anonymous access for a specific site collection and not the entire web application:

  1. On the Home page of your site collection, click the Settings icon and then click Site settings.
  2. Under Users and Permissions, click Site permissions.
  3. On the ribbon, in the Manage group, click Anonymous Access.
  4. In the Anonymous Access dialog box, click one of the following:

    • Entire web site. This allows anonymous users to browse the entire site and view all lists, libraries and items that inherit permissions from the site.
    • Lists and libraries. This allows anonymous users to view the lists and libraries on which the View Items permission has been granted to anonymous users.
    • Nothing. This blocks anonymous users from accessing any part of the site or its contents.

Configure anonymous access permissions for lists and libraries

If you select either the Entire web site or Lists and libraries options described earlier, you can then configure anonymous access permissions on lists and libraries in the site.

Use the following procedure to configure anonymous access permissions for a list:

  1. Open the list on which you want to configure anonymous access permissions.
  2. On the LIST tab, in the Settings group, click List Settings.
  3. In the Permissions and Management column, click Permissions for this list.
  4. On the PERMISSIONS tab, in the Manage group, click Anonymous Access.