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Kris Wagner's SharePoint Blog > Posts > SharePoint Foundation 2010: How to Enable Anonymous Access
December 23
SharePoint Foundation 2010: How to Enable Anonymous Access

A few weeks ago I ran into a user who didn’t know how to enable anonymous access on a web application (website).  He was signed into the SharePoint website and found that anonymous access was greyed out.  This was because anonymous access hadn’t been enabled within SharePoint’s Central Administration. Here’s how to fix that.  In this example I’ll be showing you how to expose a SharePoint Foundation 2010 website to the public internet using post 80. 

SharePoint Foundation 2010: How to enable anonymous access within Central Administration for a web application and then within an web application.

Access You’ll Need -  Farm Administration rights within Central Admin and Full Control or Owner for the web application.

1. Open the SharePoint 210 Central Administration page while logged on as a Farm Administrator and clickApplication Management” in the left navigation bar.
2. Select and clickManage web applications” under the Web Applications heading.

3. Click and highlight the web application you would like to enable anonymous access on then click “Authentication Providers” within the ribbon. 

Note: Make sure you don’t enable this on SharePoint Central Administration unless you really want to expose CA to public internet.
4. When the Authentication Providers window opens clickDefault”.
5. Your are now in the Edit Authentication window. Scroll down to the “Anonymous Access” section and check the box to “Enable anonymous access” and click save.  You can now close Central Administration. 

6. Surf to the website you want to expose and allow anonymous access on and sign in an owner of that site.  ClickSite Actions” and clickSelect Site Settings”.
Note: You can also select “Site Permissions” directly above Site Settings and skip to step 8.
7. ClickSite permissions” under the “Users and Permissions”
8. Click the “Anonymous Access” icon in the Ribbon to show the anonymous access options.

9. Your are now in the Anonymous Access for the web application window. Click the level of access you would like to share.  In this case I chose the “Entire Web site”, after you make a selection press ok.

10. Sign out of the web application, close the window.  Open a new browser and type in the url to your site and you should now see the site exposed. with no logon box popup!


Some considerations:

1. Firewall:  If you’re exposing a SharePoint Foundation 2010 site to the public internet you’ll most likely have a firewall or router in-between your server and the internet.  If you don’t, get on that creates a NAT (Network Address Translation” between your server and the internet.  You’ll need to consult with your network admin to make sure the post assigned to the exposed web application is open.  In this example I used port 80 with a very simple port forwarding process.

2. Hardening: Hackers Hackers Hackers… Got to love them, not! Take a look at this link on TechNet on “Plan security hardening (SharePoint Foundation 2010)”

3. Licensing:  Did you know there are actually 4 to 6 MCTS tests on Microsoft Licensing?  Always make sure you license your products, if you’re not sure about what you have or what you can do contact your company’s Microsoft EA or Open account holder.  My site is hosted by so I’m covered but make sure you are.

Thanks – Kris Wagner, SharePoint Server MVP


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