I have created a site and sub sites and am having difficulty with the permissions:

Top Level Site contains all content such as Lists, Styles and Images which I do not want anyone to have access to

Sub Site A & B has pages with Content Search Web Parts which pull information from the lists in the Top Level Site

I'm trying to give Read permission to Visitor A for Sub Site A and Visitor B for Sub Site Site B, but the styles are not showing properly and the CSWP content does not show, the Visitor gets the error Something Went Wrong.

I've ensured the inheriting is broken and I've tried going to the List in the Top Level Site and permissioning the list for the User, but this has made no difference.

How do I do this without giving access to the Top Level Site?

2 Answers 2


If the user does not have permission to read anything in the root site then the CSWP will not show anything since it's security trimmed.

For the users to be able to use and see anything they must be granted permission to that item. That includes any assets stored on the root site.

Instead of giving the users full read you can create a permission and grant it "Limited Access" permission level, to all assets needed by the CSWP.

  • Hi, thank you for your comments. I could not get the Limited Access level to work until I deactivated the Site Collection Feature: "Limited-access user permission lockdown mode". I now have Limited Access permission, but it still does not show my content. I have given Read Permission on the Top Level Site on the List only, but it makes no difference
    – Koloris
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 0:04

I finally found the answer to my question so am sharing just in case anyone else has the same issue.

My problem was threefold. First I had to deactivate the Site Collection Feature, "Limited-access user permission lockdown mode" so I could get Limited Access permissions to show the contents of the web parts - thanks Fredrik for pointing me in the right direction.

Secondly, to get the styles working on the sub site, I had to go to Site Master Page of the sub site and choose "Use default styles and any CSS files associated with your Master Page" under Alternate CSS URL.

Thirdly, the refiner tab was not showing as I had not published it!

Finally success!

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