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Remove the list view threshold (5000 by default)

This limit has always been a bit laughable, and is even more so as we develop more client side applications. In SharePoint 2007 we didn't have this limit and were allowed to make our own mistakes. Now that hardware is so much more powerful, we need this limit removed so that we can build enterprise-class applications.

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sympmarc shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We are continuing to make our large list experiences better, please keep the feedback coming.

Spring 2018 update:
- We now support being able to manually add indexes to lists of any size (increased from lists up to 20,000 items previously).
- Starting with the February release of the Office 365 Excel client, you will be able to export your full list instead of getting cut off part of the way through.

What we are working on now:
- Predictive indexing will start to work for lists larger than 20,000 items so your views will automatically cause the right indexes to be added to your lists.

In our backlog:
- Being able to index/sort/filter by lookup column types (like person, lookup or managed metadata columns) without being throttled.
- Making sure that our REST APIs support querying in ways that will guarantee that the call will not be throttled.

For a general update on large list capabiltiies, the video on (focusing on large lists at 42 minutes and 25 seconds) describes some of the changes that we delivered back in the second half of 2017:
- Modern UI now has a lot of support for adding indexes to large lists and libraries on the fly, reducing the number of throttling errors experienced by our users, and some new UI for browsing through items in large lists with our paging model
- SharePoint runs predictive indexing jobs to automatically add indexes as lists get larger based on your view definitions, and updates these indexes when you add/update your views

Looking forward to receiving more of your feedback.


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  • PJ commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    SharePoint is heading backwards in so many ways. As another contributor said, it's driving business away from SPO - but then, maybe that's what Microsoft want. SharePoint will become a simple (and small) file store). Lots of publicity re huge amounts of storage space, millions of items in lists etc. - except it's effectively unusable.
    What makes this limit really unusable is that you cannot create / amend indexed fields. How useless is that!

    Or am I being cynical?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The 5000 item threshold is ridiculous when Microsoft's own guidelines say a library can hold 30 million items. How in the world is anyone supposed to come up with indexes and filters to split that into 5000 item chunks and have it be anything but worthless? It's already difficult enough when people have barely more than 5000 and a view using Groupings, and suddenly it stops working after a migration.

  • Juan Pineiro commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This has been a major issue for us and driving business off of SPO. It's not just about awareness, indexes or filters. I understand nobody need 5k+ items sent to a page, but after 5k, many setting features no longer work. We have a list with 25k items and you can't add new indexes or change calculated columns on it. Is that a bug or a protective feature?

  • Arvinda Sudan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are really disappointed with the 5000 limitation as we are online users. Hope Microsoft will find a good solution for this in the future. We also appreciate if someone can suggest us a third party solution to overcome this 5000 limitation.

    Thank you,

  • Russell Bain commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Admin - "The 5,000 item threshold is likely here to stay. We are aware that it takes awareness on both sides to get past this limitation".

    Awareness is not the solution - it is unrealistic to expect the average SharePoint user to develop the technical skills required to operate under this sort of limitation. Even those with strong technical ability are often unable to mange such lists and libraries effectively because finding the right approach often depends on identifying usage patterns and business needs which may not yet be established, or may change significantly over time. Besides, in many cases there is no approach which meets all of the critical business needs effectively.

    There are no end of other software products which can serve up views with more than 5,000 rows. If there is technical issue preventing this in SharePoint Online, then it needs to be addressed.

  • Andrew Armanini commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is a show stopper for even a small office (around 50 users). If you read the "how to deal with large lists" article, it's a catch-22. The only way to get large data in is via creating a list by uploading an Excel spreadsheet. That method only allows the creation of a new list with custom columns. You can't retroactively add indicies and searches to custom columns. So you have an unusable list. And this is without thinking about a document library which excel can't deal with.

    This requires the use of third party tools with subscriptions in the thousands of dollars a month, because there's no inbuilt way to migrate list items.

    SharePoint Online as it stands is fundamentally broken. You can have 30 million items, as long as there's no more than 5000. SharePoint can do amazing things, except if you actually try to use it.

    We at the very least need to be able to retroactively add indexes and switch a custom column to an inbuilt indexable column. It's too easy for a client to work their way into the threshold 5000 trap - with no way out of it.

  • Martin Coupal commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Why not enhance and leverage the search engin? You should provide a way to create list/library views based on search and scoped to the list where the results would be presented in a similar layout than a list view (ECB menu etc.).There should be a way to provide real-time search results by using a kind of event driven indexing. This would probably be easier than change how sharepoint stores list data in SQL.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Clients who have worked on prem in a certain way multiple sorts and filters no matter how many indexed columns you have this will not work in o365 with the limits in place , this in turn results in clients looking at other solutions

  • Dave commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's 2017. 5,000 item threshold is just insane. Right now, I can't even setup a workflow to do a lookup against a list with 5,000+ items.

  • Sabin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Also, if this is a limit in SQL, maybe MS needs to think about using Oracle for storing their back-end Database.

  • Sabin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    As a consultant, I absolutely cannot recommend O365 as an Enterprise Application for Document Management due to the 5000 item limit. It is ridiculous. Try going to the Business and telling them that they have to come up with Metadata (which they do not have) just to make the tool work.

  • Douglas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    SharePoint stores it's content in a SQL database. The 5000 items limit in a document library makes no sense especially when there is an item limit setting in the view, which btw is ok if it's lower than 5000. Many of my customers have up to 20000 documents in a single document library and wants to find duplicates which requires the use of "Show all items without folders" in views. A view without folders but with a item limit of lets say 1000 would work just fine. But it doesn't.

  • David Caranfa commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with many of the comments that the limit just needs to be removed or dramatically increased. if this means fundamentally changing how SharePoint handles information and interfaces with the database, I still think it needs to be a priority. The reality is enterprises have a ton of data and in many cases don't have the time and resources to spend on planning how to avoid a limitation that is not present in other comparable systems.

  • Balu Dharmarajan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Admin,

    From your answer, it looks to me that you don't really know the limitations of the 5000 item limit or you don't know meaning of word enterprise.

    Lets say we have a ticketing application and there is over 10000 tickets in status closed.

    How do we get last 10 closed tickets.

    Can't because filter don't work even with indexes in place. Throttle !!!. (retrieve all data in list even if over 1 million and filter your 10 items)

    Can we export to excel, Throttle !!!.

    Add new column and index it for filtering it. Throttle !!!.

    So please don't tell filters and indexes work, they don't for lots of production scenario in enterprise.

    This is just start, if you have more than 5000 items forget about adding new columns that has to be filtered, there is no way.

    we are in process of switching to adobe cms due to this limitations and you are still thinking about it.Take as much time as you want, then probably you don't have to do it.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    this limit really needs to raised, 5,000 items is way to low. Needs to be somewhere in the 40-50,000 item limit range for sharepoint online. Please raise the view limit!!!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "The 5,000 item threshold is likely here to stay"
    This arbitrary number is the worst limitation you could have thought up to cripple online sharepoint.
    Every single other cloud storage has no such restriction - even worse, on premises sharepoint can be configured too in that way - making transition of existing structures de facto impossible.

    Personal onedrive folders (private and office365 business) are not limited to 5000 files either.

    Counting versions of documents against the 5000 limit just is the cherry on top of this whole craziness. Not even small companies can work with this without completely rebuilding their structures, which is definitely NOT a goal when moving to office365.

    This issue has repeatedly blocked transitioning from google docs and is causing all kinds of problems with people ending up on dropbox, with business data because office365 azure sharepoint is just not fit for use.

    I do not care wheter it has a gazillion super nifty features to work with (that roughly 0.0005% of all customers use or care about) it has to be able to compete with other cloud based solutions when it comes to the basics.

    number of files in a given library - you do not get more basic than that.

  • Ralph commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Simply syncing a library with a local machine fails if there are more than 5000 items in the library. You can't expect admins to create a new library, migrate part of the old library and configure new sync jobs, then reconfigure the network shares, every time a library hits 5000 items. If the list view limit can't be addressed the OneDrive for Business sync client needs to be more intelligent in splitting up the queries and running the job in chunks.

  • Monir commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This 5000 threshold limit is a joke in enterprise uses. Users need to see all the items in a single view to analyze data and make good decision. Setting up multiple views and then combining them in excel or in other apps is cumbersome and bad bad experience. Goal should be to help getting things done easier ways but not complicated ways. Because of this many users moved on to other solutions.
    Microsoft only limiting themselves because of this...

  • Jarrod commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This could be resolved if lists wern't so horribly inefficient in SQL. How many SQL queries you want to do just to get a list of items!

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