Setting up a Document Library as a Catalog

Occasional Contributor

I have a setup multiple lists and libraries to build a company "services catalog". All the items display on the search results webparts including the links to documents, the only problem is that the users get access denied when trying to click on the link to these documents.
I've setup the libraries as catalogs and turned on anonymous access on the catalog settings.
This used to work fine on sharepoint 2013 on premises. Is there a setting that I'm missing or this is just not possible now on sharepoint online?

I'm thinking if there is no other way around... to add "everyone" to a group like "style resource readers" since I don't want to create a new group... and grant them read only access to these libraries. I only want the users to be able to open the documents, not access the site or library where they are originated...


Can someone point me to the right direction?

2 Replies

Hey Mara, sorry for the delay.

The anonymous option in the catalog settings is for the catalog in the search index and not the actual documents.

That's why users can see the documents in the search results, since it does not do any security trimming, but when they click on the url (and physically go to the document to download/open it) they get access is denied. This is how it is designed and is the way it worked on On-Premises too, is it possible you had set permissions differently before?

You have no other workaround but to grant your users access to the documents you want them to access.


When turning regular Lists into catalogs, you don't need to since people don't need to physically access anything. Once the metadata is stored in the index, they have/see everything about the list item.

Hi Benjamin, no worries.
Your articles on Sharegate pointed me to the right direction too :-). 

Thanks a lot for your response confirming. I ended up doing exactly that,  added "everyone" to a group like "style resource readers"... and granted them "read only access" to these libraries. The users are able to open the documents without accessing the site or library where they originated and that's all I needed.