I've got very strange issue on one of our site collections. It's basically a simple site on SP 2010 Foundation with 1 document library and some folders with broken inheritance. It was created as root site in web app (e.g. http://appname.domain.com/)

Site has also several unique permission levels and ~10 groups that have different access to folders in document library. Nothing complex.

After 1-2 months something went wrong and suddenly ALL users, including site collection administrators are experiencing several limitations:

  • nobody can add/delete files (even with explorer view)
  • nobody can add people to groups,
  • nobody can set/change permissions on objects,
  • nobody can add/edit permission levels,
  • nobody can edit group settings

The site is practically unusable by now, so we recreated identical site in the same web app (as a http://appname.domain.com/sites/something)

Anybody seen this kind of behavior?

Have a nice day :)

1 Answer 1


May be site collection is set to read-only from central administration.

you can check the same on central administration

CA > Application Management > Site Collections section > Configure Quotas and Locks > Select site collection > check if it is set to Read Only

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Reference: All sites are read only, even for site administrators

  • bingo! I wasn't aware of that option (usually i'm site collection admin rather than farm admin). Big Thanks! Sep 10, 2015 at 9:26
  • This caused me a LOT of grief for the past two days. This is how I resolved it using this post as a starting point. Logged into the server hosting SP2010 as admin. Opened SharePoint 2010 Management Shell (PowerShell). Ran Get-SPSite -Limit All to find all the sites. Once I found the site I wanted to fix - type in $site=Get-SPSite -Identity http://<sitename>. Then check status with $site.ReadOnly. Returned $true. So I changed it with $site.ReadOnly = $false. Voilla! Aug 6, 2020 at 0:50
  • Just replace <sitename> with the URI of the site in the returned list that you need to revert. This doesn't necessarily happen because of a person - it can also happen if your backup failed. The backup puts the SharePoint 2010 site into ReadOnly mode whilst it runs the backup. If the backup fails, it doesn't put it back to WriteEnabled mode. Don't blame your users - check your system settings. :-) Aug 6, 2020 at 0:51

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