I have a site in SharePoint 2013 with 12 subsites. All but one inherit permissions from the top site. The subsite with unique permissions is named "General".

This subsite has 2 new groups:

  • "Visitors of General": Read only and view only permissions
  • "Members General": Edit permissions

I added a dummy user account to both these groups, yet the dummy can't access the subsite. The dummy can however access the top site, just not the subsites (none of them, not even the ones that inherit permissions from the top site).

Can someone tell me what I'm missing here? I don't know what is wrong, the user has been added to the groups and should be able to see the subsite "General", yet the access is still denied.

3 Answers 3


Are you using a Publishing site? If so please check if the Dummy user has access to all lists and libraries in the top level site (check if there is no inheritance broken in any of the lists). For example, if you are creating a subsite with the same master page as parent's, the user must have access to masterpage library, in other case you will get the error (by the way, all the master pages are stored in top level site)

This is my approach, just check permissions in top level site and check out if that works.

  • The dummy user has access to all lists and libraries and also to the master page used on all subsites. No luck so far. :(
    – Magali
    Aug 20, 2013 at 10:01
  • Are you using any webpart in the subsites that could trigger the authentication?
    – Alvmad
    Aug 20, 2013 at 10:22
  • Yes I do, but those inherit settings from the top library and the group is added there as well with the dummy user in it (read only though). So the dummy should be able to see the webparts as well.
    – Magali
    Aug 20, 2013 at 10:35
  • Ok. Can you try with this tool what is happening in the ULS log? sharepointlogviewer.codeplex.com (look for the keyword access denied) Other thing I can think of is to put the Dummy user in the OOTB reader and or member group and check what happens
    – Alvmad
    Aug 20, 2013 at 10:43
  • It tells me "Microsoft SharePoint is not installed on this machine.". I do not have access to the central administration or anything, I just design and create the site. I have full administration rights though.
    – Magali
    Aug 20, 2013 at 10:51

As stated in my last comment: it turned out I didn't publish a certain page layout as a major version. After doing so, the access denied no longer happens.

  • Hey Magali, I know it's been a while, quite a while, but how did you end up knowing what the issue was? The troubleshooting to find a simple error like this is driving me nuts and it's incredible you don't get more information to know what's going on.
    – Yugo
    Oct 18, 2016 at 13:30
  • I had the issue return sometime early this year and noticed again a page layout wasn't checked in as a major version (through SharePoint Designer). Fixed the issue, No idea how I ended up there, I was mainly doing some trial and error with the things I had edited recently at the time. I can only recommend checking in everything again after doing an edit. Or do the check-out-check-in through the designer.
    – Magali
    Oct 25, 2016 at 13:19

Yes, You need to publish each and everything you have used in a site from external. Once you publish you can share your site and access from any account depending on permission.

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