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Control whether spaces can turn on anonymous access

Giving anonymous users access to your content lets you share content with people who don’t have licensed access to your Confluence instance. This means you can let them view and collaborate on content, without having to add them to your license count.

Anyone on the internet will be able to find and access your Confluence instance

When you make your content available to anonymous users, this means anyone on the internet. The anonymous access feature can’t accommodate sharing with some anonymous people and not others. It’s all or nothing.

Content shared with anonymous users will show up in Google searches.

In what situations would anonymous access be useful?

Using anonymous access to share externally is best when you want to share a lot of content with nonspecific people (aka, anyone on the internet). For example, a publicly available roadmap, an open knowledge base, or support documentation are prime types of content to use with anonymous access.

You can organize that content in a space and grant anonymous users access to that specific space.

What is an anonymous user?

An anonymous user is anyone who isn’t logged in to your Confluence instance. This could be:

  • anyone on the internet

  • a member of your organization who is not a licensed user of your Confluence instance

  • someone who is a licensed user of your Confluence instance, but they aren’t logged in

Grant anonymous users access to your instance

By enabling anonymous access, you’re allowing people who are not logged into Confluence (anonymous users; aka, anyone on the internet) to access content on your instance. You can pick and choose which spaces to make public and which to keep secure.

The global, Confluence-level setting for anonymous access governs whether anonymous users (anyone on the internet) can access the instance. Actual access to content for anonymous users is managed in space permissions.

If anonymous users are granted access to the space, they’ll have access to all content within the space. To restrict them from a page, you can either change its page restrictions or hide it from the page tree.

By default, anonymous users start with no access to any spaces. For example, when a new space is created, anonymous users will have no access to that space, even if the global settings is enabled.

Anonymous access tab in Global permissions

To enable or disable anonymous access for the instance:

Only Confluence admins can change the global setting for anonymous access.

  1. Select the wheel icon () in the top-right corner to open Confluence administration.

  2. Find Settings > Security in the left-hand navigation.

  3. Select Global permissions.

  4. Select the Anonymous access tab.

  5. Select Edit.

  6. Check or uncheck the box under Use Confluence to enable or disable anonymous access for the instance.

  7. Select Save when you’re done.

Security note

Disabling the global setting if it was previously enabled doesn’t change any space level settings.

Even if the global anonymous access setting is disabled, space admins can indicate they want anonymous users to access their space. This doesn’t mean anyone on the internet can access those spaces. If anonymous access is disabled at the Confluence level, only logged in users can enter the instance.

However, if the global setting is enabled while those spaces allow anonymous users to access them, then anyone on the internet will be able to access those spaces.

You can also choose whether anonymous users are able to view user profiles of any of your logged in users by checking or unchecking the box under View User Profile.

How does anonymous access fit Confluence’s permissions structure?

Anonymous access to content is controlled at 3 different levels:

  • Confluence – At the Confluence level (in global permissions), the Confluence admin or site admin decides whether to grant anonymous users any access to the instance.

  • Space – If anonymous access is allowed at the Confluence level, it’s then up to the space admins to decide whether they want to grant anonymous users any access to their space. If space access is granted, then anonymous users will have access to all pages in the space, unless restricted on the pages themselves.

  • Page – Anonymous users are restricted from viewing a page when a page’s access setting is Only specific people can view or edit, or when one of its parent pages has been set so that only specific people can access. This means that view restrictions are passed down to all of the nested pages.

More about anonymous access

  • Essentially, the global setting enables the possibility of sharing content to anyone on the internet. It’s then up to the space admins whether they want to give anonymous users access to their spaces.

  • The global setting could be enabled, but if anonymous users haven’t been granted access to any spaces, no anonymous users will be able to access anything on your instance.

  • Space admins can grant anonymous users all the same permissions as regular users, except anonymous users can’t be admins of a space. For a list of all space permissions that can be granted, see Assign space permissions.


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