intranet has department subsites (HR,IT,sales,..). i break inheritance at each subiste and grant access to (HR group to HR site, IT group to IT site,.,.) when I add "NT AUTHORITY\authenticated users" to "intranet visitors" group at top-level site, users can see the link of the other departments with it's contents. However, I want all users to see the links for other departments (HR,IT,..) without been able to see contents (doc libraries& subsites) in other departments.

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If you want the navigation to display without regard for security, then you will need to maintain the navigation manually instead of relying on the automatic "Show sites" capabilities.

However, I would suggest that links to site for which you do not have permission be hidden. This will reduce the number of times users will get the Access Denied page.

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