Overcome Document Library Item limit by moving documents

Iron Contributor



Im looking into ways for a Document Library to automatically move older documents (or in this case, document sets) to a different Document Library.


The reason behind it is we use a workflow to create document sets when a item is created on a seperate list but this workflow stops working when the 5000 item limit is (almost) reached!


So the views are fine, but the workflow stops.


Does anyone have any experience with this case, and a possible workaround to overcome the workflow from stopping?

8 Replies
The problem is that you have reached one of the SharePoint limites in regards of workflows: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262787.aspx#Workflow Try to create some index in the list and see what happens with the workflows

We are doing this exact same mechanism, but dont have any issue with the 5,000.  (In fact, 70,000+ and counting).


Is the 5,000 error on your List or on your Library?


What is the error message you are getting and where are you getting it?


How are you creating the document set (high level overview of the workflow)?


We are currently using Nintex workflows to do this, but transitioned from SP2013 Call HTTP Web Service to create Doc Sets and a folder structure inside.


Edit 1: Based on @Juan Carlos González Martín post, the issue probably lies in the fact you are using the straight up Lookup function (based on ID probably) between the list and library.  Indexing should help.  To really not worry about it, you could transition to something like Call HTTP Web Service, which doesnt rely on the lookup function. 


Maximum list size for workflow lookups to non-indexed fields

5,000 items per list view


This limit is a result of the maximum view size limit. When this limit is exceeded, workflow lookups to non-indexed fields will fail for non-administrative users. At this threshold, an index must be created for the field, in order for workflows to be able to successfully perform lookups against the field.

Im getting the error within the workflow which is running on the Document Library.

I already use indexing on the library and am able to view the library properly but only the workflow keeps on crashing with the error:


"The attempted operation is prohibited because it exceeds the list view threshold
enforced by the administrator."


We dont have possibilities to use Nintex Workflows here so im looking for a workaround which uses ootb solutions and moves older document sets to a different library so that the current one only contains recent document sets.

can you give an overview of the actions the workflow is running


if possible the exact action where it stops too

The workflow is pretty straightforward. it creates a new item with a specific content type (document set), and immediately stops with the given error.

Can you screenshot what the workflow looks like, and paste it

Also be sure to add some logging to the workflow adding Log To History list actions

Can you try to do the same steps in the different library and make sure you associate with new workflow history list to replicate the issue? You can always purge the workflow history data or create a new one as suggested.



As suggest above by @Juan Carlos González Martín and @Brent Ellis, use Log to history action to analyze where workflows stop the execution and if possible can you post the screenshot of your workflow to suggest a better solution?