Ive been having a mysterious access denied error for site owners when they try to edit content query web parts on their sites, but site collection owners have no issues.

I ended up creating a copy of the limited access permission set and added "browse directories" and gave the site owners for that site this permission over the site collection.

Its better than giving them site collection owner status, but still I dont want to have to do this for every site owner.

My question is, what does this permission "Browse directories" give access to exactly? Im thinking some permissions got blown away by accident or something.



As it turns out, this doesnt occur in SharePoint 2010. So this is no longer an issue.

3 Answers 3


As per documentation, it has following permissions: Enumerate files and folders on a site using Microsoft SharePoint Designer and WebDAV interfaces.

Out the box, Contributors are given this permissions which means if you want someone to author/add content in your site, you need to provide this permission.

  • Is there a way to give all site owners across the site collection this permission at once? Or do I have to do it for each owners group
    – user5907
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 21:43

if browse directories permission is taken off,you cannot open the site in sharepoint designer

  • 1
    besides, some files in sharepoint may be hidden to users without this permission.
    – bighuiwolf
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 7:36
  • Why would this affect site owners modifying content query web parts?
    – user5907
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 15:56

This isn't really documented anywhere, but I found that "Browse Directories" also grants access to Storage Metrics (/_layouts/StorMan.aspx) -- normally only the SCA has a link here, but simply granting the permission & accessing seems to work.

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