Unable to Access Restricted Confluence Pages with Full Admin access

Maxwell Schroeder
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May 26, 2022


I am a Confluence administrator for my organization.  Recently users have reported that pages that had been public have now been set to restricted.  


When I go to access these pages using my Site Administrator account, I am rejected and receive the following error:


"You don't have permission to view this page

This is because it's inheriting restrictions from a parent page. A space admin or the person who shared this page may be able to give you access."


The URL does not indicate which space the page is tied to, or what parent page it is inheriting permissions from (example link: https://confluence.XXXXX.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=53215354).


Is there a way for me to find the owner of this page, edit the restrictions, etc?  I am stuck and unable to find information. Please advise if I can provide additional information to resolve here.

5 answers

2 votes
Wolfgang Kaml
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May 25, 2023

I am having doubts that all of the restricted space access issues for even site admins is per design for Atlassian trying to sell you Premium and up. We are on a Standard plan and while I believe taking temp ownership of a user's account (with appropriate email notification sent) is an option, there is no way for a site admin to obtain access to restricted pages, which is super annoying.


Mirka Osojca May 26, 2023

There is a way. Go to your Confluence Space General page, Go to the settings and click on 'restricted' in Manage Pages section. Then you can find the restricted pages and lift the restrictions.

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Joel Calland
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October 27, 2023

I'm having a similar issue, and (like I think someone else posted on this thread,) the restricted page is not showing up in that Restricted list. So now an admin is faced with either:

1. Asking the person locked out of a restricted page to message someone who DOES have access to let them in.

2. Logging into a user account that you think may have access to that page and change the settings there.

3. Ask your organization to pay for an upgrade to Premium.

1 vote
Iona Augustine February 7, 2024

I honestly believe this is by design to push users to upgrade to premium.

Lynne Wilton March 21, 2024


1 vote
Joshua Carr April 11, 2023

I previously commented saying that accessing another user's restricted pages wasn't possible, however...I just realized that in addition to the solution posted by David Catriel, there is another method. If you are an admin and at least one user with page access is not, then (on Cloud) you can use Atlassian Admin to look up their account and "log in as user." (You do this from their account page, on the menu next to the product name.) Then, your access will be the same as theirs.

Mirka Osojca April 17, 2023

Yes, but this has the downside - user gets email notification that you have logged in to their account and this may raise some security concerns. I try to be very careful using that option, and notify user prior my login attempt - especially because we have different levels of information access in my company. 

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1 vote
Srinatha T
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May 28, 2022

Hi @Maxwell Schroeder ,

Welcome to Atlassian community. 

As an admin, to get access to a restricted page, go to the bottom left corner, space tools>permissions>restricted pages. If you cannot get to Space Tools go to Confluence Admin>Space Permissions and click Manage Permissions next to the desired space to add yourself as a space admin. Once you have the access you should be able to get page details. 

Basically the point is A user with admin rights has, well, admin rights.  Not the ability to see and do anything.  They can grant themselves the ability to see and do anything, but the admin right does not grant them any "browse" rights automatically.  They still have to be given those rights in the space permissions.

Hope that answers your question. Have a good day!


Srinath T

Maxwell Schroeder
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May 31, 2022

Hello Srinatha,

Unfortunately, your advice does not resolve my issue.

I am a Space Admin for all Spaces within Confluence, as I am part of an 'Admin' security group which is assigned to all spaces.  When I am on the restricted page in question, there is no 'Space Tools' option listed in the bottom left corner.  To test, I explicitly added my user account with 'Admin/Edit' rights for the space where the restricted page is hosted, but nothing has changed.

Beyond that, I am able to get to 'Restricted Pages' via the main Admin console, but the restricted page in question is not listed here as one of the restricted pages. 

I am beyond confused, and unable to edit the page, or edit restricted page edit access directly when I am on the page itself.

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Mirka Osojca March 14, 2023

Hello @Srinatha T I have encountered same problem. 
I am already admin to the particular space, my username is added in individual space permissions - all checkboxes are checked as on the picture below. 
Confluence space permissions.JPG

The page I am trying to reach is not on a restricted pages list neither. I am an Org admin to my Confluence instance and this is very frustrating I can't get to a page. 
Contacting the page creator is not going to work, as the person has left company some time ago. 

Please advise. 

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david catriel March 31, 2023

Hi @Srinatha T , I'm finding the exact same issue here. Even as a space admin I cannot access restricted pages. Seems like the only way to get around that is to find someone who does have access and then use user impersonation to go behind the scene and change the access. Seems excessively complicated. 


Doesn't sound like "Space admin" rights actually grant the right to administer restricted pages. Is this a bug?  

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Mirka Osojca April 2, 2023

Yeah.. this is especially a pain when you inherit admin rights to some spaces, and you have to tidy it up - and it turns out that persons who had access, do not work in your company anymore... 

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Joshua Carr April 3, 2023

I'm pretty sure this is intentional, and I can see the argument for it. I recall that one team in my department use Confluence to organize material related to hiring, which truly was not supposed to be visible outside a small group. If administrators can see any page at any time, and can make anyone else an administrator, it becomes very possible for companies with less-than-perfect policies or communication (i.e., most companies in my experience) to accidentally expose materials.

If they did want to allow admins to gain access to pages like this, then I think they would need to explicitly show (either through a warning or just through granting access) that Jira admins could see all the pages. That way, users would know what they were getting into. It could definitely cut down on the usability of Confluence for these purposes, though arguably Confluence is not the best place for such work anyway?

In any case, I definitely share your annoyance as users in my company are by and large not super-invested in Confluence, and rely on me to do a lot of basic things. Not being able to see all the pages can make troubleshooting a lot more difficult. But I do see the rationale for it.

david catriel April 3, 2023

@Joshua Carr I think this would miss the point of being a space admin, which by default does have access to everything on a given space so it could be maintained. On top of it, the "restricted pages" section does have an "unlock" icon for space admins to use when the pages need to be unlocked, but that doesn't work either (an "unauthorized" message show up, which makes little sense). I've opened a bug report with Atlassian about it and am hoping they can either fix this or provide a solution: https://support.atlassian.com/requests/JST-861055

david catriel April 5, 2023

So for anyone facing this issue down the road - I finally resolved it on my end, so here's hoping this helps someone else too.


Looks like the restricted pages had the “unlock” icon attached to individual historical events on the page (e.g. edits by different users), and confluence was unable to unlock some of them (I guess because it could no longer retrieve that specific version of the page?).


I ended up clicking on ever single one of the unlocks for a single page (in the attached example you’ll the one page had 17 of these), and while some gave me the “unauthorized” error, others worked. Once I did this with all the links the list finally cleared up. Use ctrl-left click on each one to open in a separate tab so you can quickly go down the list.

confluence issue 4.jpg

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0 votes
Joshua Carr March 31, 2023

If you're on Cloud, the location of the restricted pages space is different from what Srinatha mentioned in the first response. The way to find it is to go to Space Settings and then under "Manage pages" choose "Restricted." This will take you to a page where you can see all the restricted pages as well as who has permissions on them.

However, even with admin credentials you can't freely change restrictions or grant access to new users. I feel like there must be some way for Atlassian admins or people with really deep knowledge of the application to manage this, but as a normal admin it is not possible. The only help this solution actually provides is that it tells you to whom you need to reach out in order to be granted access. (I believe this is the same on Server and Data Center, though on those platforms there may be an easier way to unrestrict pages using direct database edits.)

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