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Access Denied when activating a feature in SharePoint

Access Denied when activating a feature in SharePointI recently wrote a custom SharePoint timer job and had no problem deploying it to my development environment using Visual Studio. But when I deployed to my production server and then tried to activate the feature through the site collection user interface, it failed with an “access denied” error.

I’ve run into this same issue multiple times in the last few months, and I finally got smart and decided to blog about it so I’m not having to search for the solution every time.

The solution is to activate the feature using PowerShell instead of the SharePoint UI (you may have to open your SharePoint Management Shell as Administrator).

Enable-SPFeature -Identity [Feature Display Name] -Url [Site collection URL] 

Access denied when activating a feature in SharePoint

If you don’t know what your feature’s display name is, there is a command for that:

Get-SPFeature [guid] 

Access Denied when activating a feature in SharePoint

Uh-oh, I can’t see the entire feature name because it’s too long.  Luckily you can format it so that each property is on one line, like this:

Get-SPFeature [guid] | Format-List 

Now you can see your entire feature name!

Get-SPFeature [guid] | Format-List

If you don’t know what your feature’s GUID is, you can get this from your project in Visual Studio (remember this is a custom developed solution):

Double click your feature name in the Solution Explorer -> Click on Manifest -> Scroll over until you find the ID attribute.  This is your GUID.

Access Denied when activating a feature in SharePoint

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About Me

Wendy Neal

Wendy Neal

I am a .NET SharePoint Developer for DMI. I've worked with SharePoint since 2007. I love to share my passion for SharePoint and Office 365 by speaking at various industry and user group events, as well as writing articles for various publications and this blog.   Read More

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