Last modified at 3/15/2014 11:31 AM by Koen Zomers

If you're having a SharePoint 2010 webapplication which allows access to anonymous users, you may find that when users click on listitems, they get prompted to log in. This is the case for publishing sites where the ViewFormPagesLockdown feature is automatically activated and denies access to the list and its items. So for example when you're having a list with news items and you want users to be able to click on the item so they can read it, they will have to log on before they can see it.

Warning: Keep in mind that when you will disable the ViewFormPagesLockdown feature, it will have consequences. One of them being that the /_layouts/viewlsts.aspx page showing all lists in the site will become available for anonymous users as well. This means that all your lists will be accessible by default unless you specifically define permission inherritance to be broken on each list and specify anonymous users to not have access. Some lists may not be blocked this way, for example your pages library. This means that anonymous users will be able to see allpages that exist in the library. So consider building a custom webpart to disclose information from lists to anonymous users above disabling this feature.

In order to prevent this from happening, follow these steps:

  1. On one of your SharePoint servers, open up the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell
  2. Type: Get-SPFeature -site http://<yoursiteurl> -Identity ViewFormPagesLockdown
  3. If you're seeing an error as shown on the following screenshot, the ViewFormPagesLockdown feature is not activated on your site and the problem is not caused by this.


    However, if you do get a result, it means the feature actually is enabled for your site and the problem may very well be caused by this.

  4. If the ViewFormPagesLockdown feature is enabled, go to the site for which you want to allow anonymous access to lists and listitems and go into Site Actions -> Site Permissions
  5. In the ribbon click the Anonymous Access button and set the radio button to Nothing. Click OK to save the setting.

  6. Next, execute the following command to disable the ViewFormPagesLockdown feature in the management shell on your SharePoint server:

    Disable-SPFeature -Identity ViewFormPagesLockdown -Url http://<yoursiteurl>

  7. Now either run IISRESET if you don't mind putting your whole SharePoint 2010 farm offline for a few seconds or just recycle the application pool in IIS to flush cached contents. Also close all your browser instances.
  8. Open up a new broswer and go back into your site.
  9. Again, go via Site Actions -> Site Permissions and click the Anonymous Access button in the ribbon


  10. Turn anonymous access back on by clicking on the Entire Web site radio button followed by a click on OK. Make sure your list inherits from its parent site which allows anonymous users.


  11. Log off and close your browser
  12. Go back to your site with a new browser without logging in and verify if you can now access a list item anonymously