force metadata when uploading files

Brass Contributor


When I enforce values in a column in a library (in a team site), and then when uploading a file, I am not forced to enter metadata, the file simply shows "Required info" in the column.  

Is it not possible to enforce that metadata be entered for required fields?  Currently I upload files and no enforcement of metadata when I have required fields set.

Thank you

16 Replies
best response confirmed by Robert Lien (Brass Contributor)
They did this because so many people would upload documents and ignore this and it would sit check out and no one would fill out metadata anyway.

I personally like the new modern way, and you can easily keep an eye on metadata by making use of the “files needing attention” view to follow up and tag documents that need to be tagged.

If you must use the enforced method then you’ll need to set the document library to classic mode where you can use the old behavior.
Thank you.
When looking at it, I believe this new method is also better. I don't expect to be using classic mode.

I believe the only way to force users to add metadata when uploading a document is by using a list to capture the required fields, have the users then upload a document or documents, then use a MS Flow to move that data over to a document library, maybe after some approvals occur or using a delay or timer, etc.  Having the ability to require the metadata when someone is uploading a file and not letting them save it until they do complete all the information, such as occurs in a SharePoint list, would be a really GREAT feature!  I have been having issues getting all of the metadata over to the library even though it is written in the Flow. @Robert Lien 

@Robert Lien 

I do not believe there is a silver bullet to address the problems associated with adding metadata to content. In addition to the above mentioned methods there are alternatives that may help. For example, use
- tools that require users to select content types (and set properties) during uploading
- tools that automatically extract properties from the uploaded content (e.g. PDF keywords, email subject, GPS coordinate, ...) and capture the values as metadata
- "inheritance" (e.g. documents uploaded to a project folder inherit the folder's metadata that are project specific)
- tools that provide "auto-classification" capabilities

Paul | SLIM Applications

@Robert Lien 


I found a WA for that problem. You can use the the old link /sites/XXXXX/_layouts/15/UploadEx.aspx for the upload ant then you have to fill in the required metadata.


@Chris Webb 


That sucks hearing this because I like making sure people put in metadata when they upload documents. You really only get once chance to get it from the user and that's the best time to get it...upon uploading. I can't run a workflow with the metadata I'm expecting from the user when they upload a document. There's workarounds I use but overall that sucks. I like the old experience which would force the user to add the metadata and basically keep the document checked out. 

@cbankx  Agree, we should at least have an option to force, or allow bypass IMO. And what happens if it's forced and skipped (Save file as draft , or remove/don't upload) 



@cbankx good point about workflows. This is not working as a required field. Required means required, not flagged. If I make a column REQUIRED I expect that the item will not be added to the library unless something is entered for that field. I don't want a library with a whole bunch of "Required info" flags.

Well said!!! That was exactly my point but you said it better with less words =)

@tpogue - AGREE


What is the use of setting up a version control library with Approval workflow but you do not have to specify the approver name????


Must admit the more I work with cloud and flow the more problems there is and I truly feel that this is a step backward from on-premise with Workflow / Enforced metadata / Designer workflow / reusable workflows etc...

Almost if this was a rushed job to get the functionality out without proper investigation / scoping or testing


@Chris Webb 

What is the point of making a metadata field required if it is not this context, it really means, "we'd like this value, but you don't need to include it." Words have meanings.

@hcvman This is one of the starker examples of Msft's completely amateurish understanding of ux. There's a huge difference between telling users to upload documents and fill in the required fields and telling them to upload a document and THEN REMEMBER TO GO TO THE LIBRARY VIEW AND FILL IN WHAT'S MISSING. Worse still, there's no alert or notification that they need to do this. Msft "recommends" classifying with metadata rather than folders, yet they've removed an absolutely essential compliance component in getting users to do this. So now daily I get complaints from users because documents with missing tags "aren't showing up" in predefined views .... really, really stupid, Msft.

@matt howellI suggest using  M-Files if this is a real pain point for you. It integrates well with SharePoint as well.

  1. It will enforce that users select the class of documents the file belongs to
  2. It will enforce that users enter the metadata associated with the class before the file is saved.
  3. It also comes with an AI that scans files and automatically suggests information to use in capturing metadata even if the file already existed on SharePoint before purchasing M-Files.

@DushilinoDo you have a link for that tool?

The only way is to use third party product like Shareflex, they combine a list and a library. A list behaves differently compared with a library. In a list you cannot store the item unless the mandatory fields have content. Shareflex uses the list for the metadata and the SP library for the files.



@Robert Lien 
See Collab365 for a list with best document management apps: link