Renaming columns -> new name not showing for site members

Occasional Contributor

Hi community,


I noticed that in a recent created SharePoint Online site, that when I rename columns, I (as creator) see the new names, but every other site member see the original column names.


What I did:

Because SharePoint stores column names that contain spaces as "_x0020_", which is very annoying when trying to read data from the back-end. I create new list- and content type columns in lowercase format without spaces. When I'm done creating content types and columns, I rename the columns to a friendly name and create the views.


I searched online, but I can't find similar topics. Any idea or help is appreciated.





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15 Replies
Since you have content type management on you might want to go check in the content type and name them there. I think this has a separate name as well but don’t have PC to check. Otherwise I wonder if it’s a cache thing. Hold shift and refresh the page. Also the user view is the view settings not list. I would say try creating a new view from scratch making it public and see if it shows correct.

Thanks @Chris Webb.


I tried clearing browser and the shift F5 with a user. I also tried inviting a new user, the same results there. Going to try out your suggestion to change the column name in the content type and to create a new view.

Changing column names in site settings > content type editor did not work either, same for creating a new view. So far I never had this issue with new sites in SPO.

Next on the list of things to try: creating a template of the list and see what happens when I create a new list.
Deleting the list, creating a new list, adding content types > columns still remain the old names and don't update for other users then myself. In the New > Item form, the metadata fields show the old name as well. This is really frustrating.
You sure they are going to the exact same list and not another orphaned similar list? It is very odd indeed!

Thanks for thinking along Chris. I submitted this issue to Microsoft. Maybe it's a problem on my end, or I'm doing something wrong.

I spent several hours on the phone with Microsoft to look into the problem and we manage to solve it. We looked at a number of solutions:


Solution 1: Forcing and executing column indexing

  • Go to the list settings, click on advanced settings, turn on "index non-standard views", click on "re-index list".
  • This can take up to 24 hours, depending on the size of the site, region of the tenant and how often this job is running.

Solution 2: Creating a search scheme

  • Make sure the list contains the content types.
  • Go to the site settings > management of the site collection and select "search scheme". Click on "crawled properties".
  • Search for properties starting with "ows_".
  • If the indexing works and the list contains data, the search with results should return. If not, you can add search properties manually.
  • Check the operation of the search by searching for a known value that is already in the list.

This option re-indexes columns. Check if other members of this site see the new column names.


Solution 3: Check site features
When I create a new site in SharePoint I turn off unnecessary features by default. Features like "create new pages", "site notepad", "social features", and some more unnecessary features.


Apparently, column names are not updated for other site members and visitors if a feature (I suspect the "create new pages" option) is not enabled. In the end, this was the solution for me.

Wow..... that's random... thanks for coming back and posting the solution!
best response confirmed by Minus50DKP (Occasional Contributor)

Update July 2020:

I still had this issue with new sites and almost gave up on troubleshooting. I had a brainstorm with another SharePoint minded person and it became clear that the language template might be a thing.


When you visit a website, the language in which the browser is set determines the language in which the content is displayed. If the website offers content based on language of course. With modern browsers you have the option to support multiple languages, like spell check and browser interface. My native language is Dutch, but I set my browser to English to read Microsoft Docs in English (the machine translation is absolutely horrible).


Now back to SharePoint. I create a site, make content types and columns, create libraries and lists and all that in my English browser. Most of my colleagues all have browsers with their interface set to Dutch. And here's where things go wrong. All Dutch visitors see the columns in their old ("ugly") name. When I change the user's UI language to English, *poof* all columns are in the correct "fancy" names.


So in conclusion, I have to rename all columns in two different languages, and more if we want to support other languages for our visitors as well....



Thanks for the follow up. Interesting scenario. and I like the Username just noticed it LOL. Whelps!


am having the same issue here. Could you explain how and where do users need to change the language to display the correct names? I tried changing mine in the browser and in to recreate the problem but I keep viewing everything correctly.

Also I was wondering if this issue could cause other problems. In my case, the sharepoint list is connected to some flows and the from is customized using powerapps.There are some weird bugs that happened only to the one user who sees the internal names of the columns...


Thanks! Setting Dutch as the top most language in Edge, restarting, and renaming the columns again fixed the problem.


Hi, just noticed your question, sorry. Don't change the language settings on the back-end (i.e. SharePoint, or Delve).


In Edge/Chrome you can change the language settings of your browser. The first language is used to tell the website that you visit in what language you want the content presented in. So if Dutch is your primary language, set it to Dutch.


If you have, for example, English branches of your office, and you want to create/rename columns, you have to change the language from Dutch to English and rename the columns again. I set Edge language to Dutch and Firefox (my main browser) language to English. This is the only way I know of to make sure that columns have the same visual name in both languages.

Wow, I had the exact same issue and this solved it :) Many thanks

@Minus50DKP  Thanks for sharing this info, it really helped me a lot! I changed the primary language to English, and everything works fine now!