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Add Document, Access Denied and the Content Organizer

December 28, 2016

WHAT

Troubleshooting a SharePoint site for a customer today.  Users with even up to Full Control on a library (nevermind simple contribute access) couldn’t upload documents to a document library. The system page would give an “Access Denied” response when choosing “Add Document”.  While Publishing was on and was my first suspicion, the user had access to site pages via specialized permissions.  Granting Site Collection Privileges did allow the user to upload but there was no way I was leaving all users with that permission.

Access Denied Add Document in SharePoint

SO WHAT

Digging deeper via the Google for some clues, I saw some comments regarding this problem occurring when the “Content Organizer” feature has been activated on a Web (Site).  Sure enough, it had. And the “Drop Off Library” was 5 months old (turns out that is roughly when the problem began, that’s how long this client lived with the issue before asking for help (!!??).

Worse still, lots of ULS logging didn’t give me many clues because nothing was actually wrong.  The system was doing what it was supposed to be doing.

Content Organizer - Site Features

NOW WHAT

A lot of the advice out there was to deactivate the Content Organizer feature.  However, while that is probably the solution for this client (it appears someone turned it on to check it out … um, that’s what a Sandbox is for, not your production site collection…), I wanted an answer in case they wished to keep it activated.

My base sense was that permissions were missing somewhere, still.  It perplexed me that it was impacting a system page like upload.aspx but now that I knew the possibility that the Content Organizer was the source problem (when used, it intercepts uploads to be filed automatically by known/defined metadata), I decided to look at the “Unique Permissions” summary page that exists at /_layouts/uniqperm.aspx

Drop Off Library with Unique Permissions

In this case, I simply gave rights for everyone that needed to contribute, to the Drop Off Library and the problem immediately stopped.  I still plan on speaking to the customer about the Content Organizer Feature but this was the core problem and ultimately allowed me to give them two options in approach.

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Sean Wallbridge

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