Im trying to run the code below but I get a UnauthorizedAccessException at the last line(using SP 2013)

TaxonomySession newTaxonomySession = new TaxonomySession(site);
var termStore = newTaxonomySession.DefaultSiteCollectionTermStore;
var siteCollectionGroup = termStore.GetSiteCollectionGroup(site);// <-- throws UnauthorizedAccessException
  • I have wrapped the code in RunWithElevatedPrivileges
  • User xxx is farm admin
  • Added user xxx to Managed Metadata admin in CA, also as Term Store administrators, Group Manager for the term group and owner of term set
  • I am logged in as xxx and also tried to impersonate xxx (new SPSite(url, userToken))
  • I am able to activate feature in SP GUI without problems
  • I Have verified through logging that the web.CurrentUser.LoginName is xxx
  • I have also tried to set HttpContext.Current = null Before the code above

Details: I'm stapling the feature to SPSPERS Template (my sites-sitecoll), so the feature receiver code (above) is run when a new personal site coll. is created.

2 Answers 2


It turns out that I'll get the above error if "Publishing Infrastructure" is not activated on the site coll... a bit misleading.

I hope that someone else can save a some time reading this.


You don't have to activate the "Publishing Infrastructure" feature.

Actually, when you activate the "Publishing Infrastructure" feature, it activates a bunch of other feature. I've tracked the one that needs to be activated in order not to have the UnauthorizedAccessException and it is the "Enterprise Wiki Layouts" feature. I took a look at the code behind the feature activated and found that it create a TaxonomyField (WikiPageCategories).

What I found out, is that all you needed, is to have to following code in a Site scope feature:

TaxonomySession taxonomySession = new TaxonomySession(site.RootWeb, false); <-- Important to call with RootWeb
Group siteCollectionGroup = taxonomySession.DefaultSiteCollectionTermStore.GetSiteCollectionGroup(site);

Then, you can call the GetSiteCollectionGroup within any Web Feature without it causing the UnauthorizedAccessException.

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