Anonymous access and 401 Unauthorized – Sign out first

I have just been attempting to configure anonymous access on a MOSS publishing site, and was getting quite frustrated when I continued to receive ‘401 Unauthorized’ error messages. In Central admin – I extended site to extranet and configured anonymous access on the Extranet site.

  1. Opened the extranet site, set anonymous access to ‘Entire site’ in the advanced permissions for the site
  2. Turned off ‘integrated windows authentication’ in Extranet site (in Central admin) to test as an anonymous user
  3. refresh the extranet site again and bam – 401 error

After thinking about it for a while I realised it may still be trying to access authenticated components. So if you experience the same problem, try this simple answer. Before you do step 3 above, make sure you log out of your session on your extended extranet or internet site first, and then turn off integrated windows authentication on the Extranet site in Central Admin. When you return to the extranet site and refresh, it won’t try refresh the authenticated version of the site. 


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