In this post I’ll cover two symptoms commonly seen when subsites evolve from inheriting permissions (using existing groups) to being given unique permissions (having their own groups at the site’s level).
- A site owner with full control gets “Sorry, this site hasn’t been shared with you” when trying to approve access requests.
- When reviewing Access Request Settings, a user or owner sees the message “Members cannot share this site because this site is missing a default members group.”
Chances are the site was never set up with default, unique permissions groups. Perhaps the creator of the site chose to inherit permissions from the parent (using existing groups from a hierarchical level higher than the new site), then later decided to manually build out groups that resemble the traditional visitors, members, and owners groups at the new site’s level. Or perhaps the default groups were deleted. Either way, the following solution should set it straight:
We need to either officially designate or build new default groups for the site, using the same dialog you see when creating a new site. Since we can’t “reconfigure” the site with a wizard, we need to manipulate the site’s URL a bit to get to the configuration screen we’re looking for.
Add “_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx” to the end of the site URL. For example, it may resemble sharepoint.contoso.com/sites/ABC/EA/_layouts/15/permsetup.aspx. This takes you to the permissions setup page.
IF YOU HAVE GROUPS YOU WANT TO SET AS THE DEFAULTS
Perhaps after site creation, you created groups intended to be used like the visitors, members, and owners groups. Go to your site’s _layouts/15/permsetup.aspx page and simply:
Leave “Use an existing group” selected, and change the dropdown for each to the groups that were created and intended to be the new defaults. Click OK when finished. This will make them “official.”
IF YOU DON’T HAVE GROUPS YOU WANT TO SET AS DEFAULT
Change “Use an existing group” to “Create a new group” for at least the Members and Owners options. Here you can add the appropriate persons to each group, or add them at a later time via Site Settings > Site Permissions. Be sure to add your owners (approvers/permissions managers) to the new owner group.