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How can non-users access the Confluence portal?


I am planning to deploy confluence as a documentation portal (on premise), but only myself that will actually create the documents. Is it possible for other people who are not users to access the portal just for reading?

2 answers

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Answer accepted
Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Aug 18, 2017

Enable anonymous access in the global settings, and then go to the space permissions for each space you want to expose and add anonymous access there as well.  It means "not logged in" users specifically, so anyone who can see your Confluence will be able to see these spaces without logging in.  I probably don't need to warn you to only allow "read" for anonymous.


Thank you very much for your consideration, Nic.
Right after the post, I found a related link that speaks about this configuration. And this setting does not consume my user licenses, right? Do not I have an additional cost for this?

Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Aug 18, 2017


Your only cost is the planning and enabling, which probably takes a few seconds per space.

Bruno Miretti Aug 18, 2017

Hi Jose,

Following my experience with opened documentation space, you have to know that when opening access to anonymous users, all comments you post on the pages and inline comments will be visible to them


Thank you very much for the warning, Bruno. I'm going to look at this question

Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Aug 19, 2017

Yes, it opens up *everything* in the space.  Pages, comments, attachments, everything.

There is also an interesting peculiarity to think about.  Imagine this:

  • A user is in the group "developers"
  • You allow anonymous access to the space "Developer Stuff"
  • Your user is not logged in
  • The user can see the space "Developer stuff"
  • They log in
  • They can no longer see the space "Developer Stuff"

It is counter-intuitive, because surely "anonymous access" means "everyone can see it".  It does not.  It really does mean "you are not logged in".  Once the system knows who you are, then it applies all the visibility rules.  In the example I've given above, I had *only* allowed anonymous access to the space, not known people.   (Solution is to add "developers" to the space as well)


After setup, I had another interesting case where I need your support.
After I release anonymous access, when I share an anonymous space and access link, it allows me to view all Spaces that are for anonymous viewing by going to the menu below


View All My Spaces


My goal is to have spaces by business areas, where I could only see the space I send (through the link)

Is there any way to hide or block it from viewing other public spaces? I'm sharing right?


Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Aug 19, 2017

Anonymous access is an all-or-nothing thing.  If a user does not log in, we cannot know who they are, so we don't know things like which business areas to limit them to.

You could use other authentications outside Confluence (for example, a proxy server that knows "when condition X, only let them see spaces Y and Z by putting a url filter on it", but there is a huge caveat here - you need a rule for X.  If a user doens't log in, what rules could you impose given just the session information?


As for the non-permission control of the anonymous users, the understanding was clear, tks.

But if I had only one way of not showing the spaces button, I would have solved it. So, it would be me who would direct the anonymous user x to space x, and user y to space y. Like me who would send the link from space, I could do this control.

Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Aug 19, 2017

Spaces is just the most obvious place to find spaces.  Confluence would still show other spaces to users in the page body, links, search, macros, feeds and so-on.


Thank you, Nic. I'll think more about it, or buy more licenses for users, lol

0 votes
Ashleigh Brennan Sep 20, 2017

MASSIVE problem with Atlassian's products is the licensing and expectation of providing licensing for all external users. They are a complete joke. Literally can't share a page in Confluence without giving an external user a full account or exporting.

Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Sep 20, 2017

Or using anonymous access?

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