Sometimes when you publish a new menu item, and everything seems to be OK, when you try to access the new menu item you just created you hit the wall: instead of the intended content you'll see the following error:

You are not authorized to view this resource.
You need to login.

Even more confusing can be the situation when a link which used to work behaves this way. The target content item is published, access rights are set to Public, and you still got this message! What can be wrong here?

The causes can be more, than you may imagine. The most usual cause of this is that you (or another Administrator) has unpublished the category or section where the content item belongs to. Check this first, in 90% of cases this is the cause.

So, check all your permissions! I mean ALL of them! You must have all of the following published, permissions set to public,

  • Content item
  • Category the content item belongs to
  • Section the Category belongs to

Additionally the publication start and end date must to be correct, the item also need to be published now. The "Start Publishing:" date and time must be before the current date and time of your server and the "Finish Publishing:" date and time must be after the current date and time of your server. To be sure, and you have problems with a newly created content item try to set the Start Publishing date with a day before. This usually fixes the problems related with server time.

But here are some more possible causes and accompanying quick fixes:

  • Trash! Permissions and settings are sometimes pulled from the Joomla's trash. Empty it!
  • Cache! I'm not sure that this definitely will solve the problem, but it's been suggested in dozens of posts in Joomla-related forums. Can't hurt, clear them all (browser, program and database). Aggressive caching especially on ISP side already is causing lots of delays in propagating the actual stage of a site to the user's browser.
  • Turn on SEF and/or install a third party SEF component. If you have turned it on, turn it off temporarily to check if this is the cause. Empty SEF component's cache, the record of 404 errors, and generally everything but your saved custom URL's.

The problem also can be related to menuing:

  • You must have the content item linked to a menu and the permissions on the menu and menu item must be set to public. (The menu does not have to be published.)
  • Linking the content item to more than one menu can cause problems if one of the menu items has permissions other than public. Mambo/Joomla will apply the most restrictive or the first permission it comes across depending on the case. Any Menu or menu item set to "registered" or "special" could cause the error.
  • Trash problem reloaded: Menus and menu items (and maybe other things?) in the trash can cause problems (see above).

Other known occurrences of problem (we suggest to search in the most appropriate locations, as Joomla Forums, the components support forums for cure):

  • Read more... link stopped working - you need a core hack to fix this
  • Add on menu systems
  • Users can't add content
  • Expired items are still showing in search, but clicking in the result in the search results leads to the error - you need to manually unpublish the items again
  • Expired session cookie and daylight savings time are causing the error. Usually upgrade to latest Joomla will fix this, since the cause was fixed in 1.0.12
  • Community Builder component - older releases, upgrade to CB2 usually fixes the problem
  • Add-ons which have their own, independent registering features: forums, mailing lists, picture galleries (the most known case was SMF bridge with Joomla 1.0.8)
  • Discussbot mambot
  • HotProperty's commenting and discussion feature

If none of above helps, then the problem it's more serious, as described in the following posts:

This is caused by the well known fact that in very rare occasions Joomla generates wrong Itemid's for content elements. If this is the case, you need help from a Joomla guru, definitively!

PS. I originally unpublished this article, considering a thing of past... but couple of days ago I faced the exactly same issue on a brand new Joomla 1.7.3 site... so here it is again!
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Category: Joomla Troubleshooter