ManageFeatures.aspx – not authorized to view

Note: Migrated from previous blog..

Features are the new way to add functionalities to WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007. If you are working with features a lot there is good chance you occasionally get a “You are not authorized to view this page” – Error 403 – when you try to manage your features – either site or web scoped. To manage features in the user interface you navigate to ManageFeatures.aspx.

Image of You are not authorized error message

This can be very frustrating and may have you scratching your head. The fix is actually simple. Chances are you manually added a new feature to the FEATURES directory and did not inherit the FEATURES permissions. The error is slightly misleading. You are most likely authorized to view the page but the account is not authorized to access one or more of the files contained inside of the new feature. The most common reason the new directory and files do not inherit the correct permissions is because you cut and pasted one or more of the files to the new location. Cutting and pasting will bring along it’s permissions while copying and pasting will inherit the parent permissions. This is a file system issue and not a SharePoint or IIS issue.

The fix is simple, cut and paste the file out of the feature directory to another directory or the desktop and then COPY this newly created feature file(s) back to the features directory. The new files should now inherit permissions and ManageFeatures.aspx should load correctly.