I work a lot in SharePoint 2007 and sometimes forget that when I started I didn’t know where anything was, it took me so long to find different options that now are second nature for me to modify. Once I got better acquainted with the software it has become pretty easy to configure my sites the way I want them. One of the harder to find options is how to enable anonymous access to a SharePoint site after it has been created. In this article I will explain the anonymous access setting and also give you detailed steps on how to configure this hard to find setting.
Anonymous access to your SharePoint site sounds like it could be a bad idea, but paired with your IIS security settings giving anonymous access to your entire SharePoint site isn’t that bad. I do it for my clients when they want anyone to be able to view the site content. This doesn’t give the anonymous users any other rights; all they can do is look at the content on the SharePoint site. This comes in handy when you have a few users who are submitting the content but lots of users who want or need to view the content.
I suggest that if you are allowing anonymous access to your SharePoint site you don’t post any content that can even be remotely considered sensitive data. You don’t want to allow just anyone to see things like an employee roster, employee phone numbers, or worse yet personal information about your clients or employees. So just use common sense when deciding if you want your entire SharePoint site to be readily available for any and all eyes.
Setting up anonymous access is easy if you know where to find the setting within SharePoint. To set your sites to allow anonymous access follow these steps:
Open your SharePoint site (you must be an admin on the site to complete this guide)
Click Sign in (only if you aren’t automatically signed into the site)
Click Site Actions Button (upper right hand corner of page)
Click Site Settings Option (last option of drop down menu)
Click People and Groups
Click Site Permissions (on the left hand side of page)
Click Settings Tab (opens drop down menu)
Click Anonymous Access Option
Click Entire Web Site (Or one of the other two options if they work for your setup)
Now your website should be totally available to anonymous users, test it out by either having someone you know doesn’t have permissions to view your SharePoint site go to it. If they are able to get to the site then you have been successful. The other way to test this is to set your IE settings to log you into the site anonymously, to do this follow these steps:
Open Internet Explorer
Click Internet Options
Click Trusted Sites Icon
Click Sites Button
Type Website address
Click Custom Level Button
Scroll to bottom of the page
Select Anonymous Logon (under user authentication)
Test the website as yourself now, it should log you in anonymously, if you see the website then it worked. If not you might still have one more step and that is to set your IIS to anonymous access. To set the sites to anonymous access in IIS follow these steps:
Expand the server name
Right-Click the website
Click Directory Security Tab
Click Edit button (under authentication and access control)
Check the box Enable anonymous access
Test the website and it should work now. If it still doesn’t work then you are having a different issue and should probably view your security logs and application logs to see what is going on with your website. Well I hope this guide allows you to set your SharePoint 2007 websites to allow anonymous access.