We've been running our SharePoint site (public facing, publishing with workflow site) for a few months, but recently we've found that randomly the editing ribbon will disappears for all users who are meant to see it. I've tried things like IISRESET to fix it, but nothing seems to work except time, i.e. if we wait a while it'll just reappear and everything works well again.

As this is a public facing site for customers and prospects, I've used security trimming in the master page to only show the ribbon for authenticated users with ManageWeb and AddAndCustomizePages permissions. Therefore, only my colleagues and I should see the ribbon when we log into the site.

When the ribbon does disappear, I've also found that I cannot open my site using SharePoint Designer - I forget the exact error message, but I'm pretty sure it said I didn't have permission to open the site.

I know this is a very brief description of the problem, and I will update this question when the ribbon next disappears, to provide more info (and exact error messages for SPD), but I'm wondering if anyone has ever seen this odd behavior before, and knows how to resolve it?


1 Answer 1


What this really sounds like is that some level of caching has been enabled between SharePoint and the Internet itself. You need to make sure that this caching will cache content per user rather than overall. In SharePoint, this is set in the Output Cache options in Site Settings but any other devices in the mix, i.e. (load balancer, edge caching, proxy server, etc.) will need to be verified by your IT Hardware guys.

  • Hi Dave, Sorry for the late response (vacation). I checked the "Site Output Cache" and things there are set to inherit from the collection. The "Site Collection Output Cache" is not enabled, so that shouldn't be the cause, right? As for load balancing, and proxies - we're not employing those, though I will have to look up "edge caching" to see what that is, but I doubt we're using that either. We're finding that this issue of the missing ribbon occurs mostly when editing lists, views or items, and clears after 20-30 mins. Is there any caching on lists themselves?
    – QMKevin
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 13:20
  • The behavior is that of caching, that is, a page is viewed by someone without permissions and it is cached in that state, but then it is viewed by another user with edit permissions but they instead are seeing the cached page. This could happen at any layer between the browser and the server. The fact that it corrects itself in time also supports that as cached content is only cached for a limited duration. Also, can you post the exact error you are getting in Designer?
    – Dave Wise
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 14:45
  • When the issue with Designer reoccurs, I'll post the error.
    – QMKevin
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 18:41
  • It's been a while, but this error still hasn't occurred at a time when I'm at work, or able to grab a screenshot of the error. We are still getting the issue, but I don't get informed of it by my colleagues until too late. I'm wondering, if the page is being cached, but then something triggers to clear that cache, could I perhaps force that clearing of the cache somehow, or reset a timer to be shorter for that caching?
    – QMKevin
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 12:09
  • Sure, if you could identify where the caching is happening. At this point, it really sounds like it is happening on a device somewhere between the SharePoint server and the desktop. Once you know the 'where', that should point you to the 'how'
    – Dave Wise
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 17:03

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