Recently one of our teammates faced a challenge in an anonymous SharePoint site where we could successfully view/download all files except Excel formats (.xls, .xlsx). We were not using Office web app.


While trying to open the file the user sees the message "Operation in Progress", and then receives:

"Excel Web Access  An error has occurred."


"Access Denied"


Reason and Resolution


We resolved the issue by executing the following PowerShell commands so that it gives anonymous "OpenItems" permission rights to certain files that could potentially contain sensitive info:

·         $siteUrl = "http://yoursite";

·         $site = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite($siteurl);

·         $web = $site.OpenWeb();


·         $enumPerms = [Microsoft.SharePoint.SPBasePermissions];


·         Write-Host $web.AnonymousPermMask64;

·         $web.AnonymousPermMask64 = $web.AnonymousPermMask64 -bor $enumPerms::OpenItems

·         $web.Update();

·         Write-Host $web.AnonymousPermMask64;


·         $web.Dispose();


See Also

For more details please refer: