I'm a farm admin
I'm a site collection admin
I'm a member of <site> Owners

Access denied logging in (Windows)

What else could it be?

FYI, in system.web

<authentication mode="Windows" />
<identity impersonate="true" />

SP App Pool is running under a specific windows account

  • Are you trying to access this from the server console or another computer? Jan 19, 2012 at 17:04
  • im RDC-ed to my VM
    – BobTodd
    Jan 19, 2012 at 17:27
  • Yes still I face the issue Im getting Access denied error for site collection admin.
    – user10429
    Aug 30, 2012 at 13:00

4 Answers 4


This post worked for me


i can now access the site.

(un?)interestingly enuf tho, this post is still an issue: Sign in as a different user access denied

  • I wonder what is the difference between Step 1 and Step 2, They seem to me identical commands. The same command should be entered twice? Jun 4, 2012 at 8:52

You said "im RDC-ed to my VM" so you're accessing the site using IE running on the server (VM) itself right?

I am assuming you're using "Integrated Authentication" (where it's supposed to pick up the windows login) and you're getting 3 prompts for credentials before 401 access denied - in that case its most probably the local loopback check.

DisableLoopbackCheck & SharePoint: What every admin and developer should know.

  • Access is denied, not logon failed...
    – BobTodd
    Jan 20, 2012 at 9:15

The first thought that comes to mind is that you haven't set the portalsuperuseraccount and portalsuperreaderaccount.

From powershell:

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication -Identity http://webappUrl

If they are empty, check out Configure object cache user accounts

  • these values are present (but not the user i am trying to login as, its an admin account)
    – BobTodd
    Jan 19, 2012 at 17:30

Is this a SharePoint access denied error?

You might want to try using Process Monitor to check whether there are any NTFS file permission issues. I normally run it while the issue occurs, then search for the word "denied".

Other things you can check:

  • ULS log (ULSViewer will help) - this is probably your best bet

  • Event viewer

Let us know if you are still stuck.

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