Searching for Items in SharePoint Lists with over 5000 Items

Iron Contributor

It is my understanding that indexing a column and restricting a view to have less than 5,000 items will make work of lists with over 5,000 items. However, how does searching work? If my view only has items from the last 30 days to meet this magically 5,000 figure, will the searchbox go beyond the current view, and show me results from my up to 30 million allowable items, or will it be limited to matches of the 5,000 or less items in the current view?


Here's a picture to better explain:how does search work with 5000 limit.PNG

8 Replies

I've tested this, and was disappointed to learn that if you run a query within a view, results show below the search box, but the list view results are limited to those within the list.


If I created a list with names of fruits and vegetables, and created a view for those beginning with 'A' and searched for 'Banana' it would not appear on the list when I completed the search, but would appear below the search box as I was typing.


If we can have 30,000,000 items, but we can only search for 5,000 at a time, what is the point of having so many items?!

Should I stop using SharePoint lists for storing data and only use them for document libraries?


Without my AWA, I feel helpless.

have you added indexes to the list?  the new intelligent indexing feature eliminates a lot of the historical problems with large lists, BUT, you need to add at least one index before you get to 20,000 items and preferably before 5,000


Have you looked into using managed metadata navigation to easily filter a very large data set like you describe. 

Dean, I've added indices, however if I limit a view, I can't search beyond that view. I feel like I'm stuck.

I assume that your list in Classic view and that you're using the native search box on the page and that our results are getting returned on the default osssearchresults.aspx search results page. Is this the case?

Dean, I'm using modern pages.



Any updates on this? i feel your pain! 


I have the same problem. I had previously created a call center via AWA and our lists will always exceed 5000 items. Got us through 4 years with ease!


There doesn't seem to be a true way to replicate the functionality of AWA even through workflows or views, forcing me to create customized share point lists and use a connected desktop Access database to manage the look up's, searches, mass updates and reports. This is a lot of hand holding ... and don't even get me started on Power App's... 


Sharepoint is great in collaborating, last month we managed to utilize SharePoint as a Call Center to make roughly 50 k calls, but that meant uploading multiple SharePoint Lists due to the 5k limit view and using Access Desktop to contain a master list that is updated using a macro within Access. 


I may opt to create a linked Access Database on a shared network to manage searches and reports... 

@Peter Mcdermott 


Even Document libraries with larger than 5000 documents have same issues. I have been struggling with this issue for quite some time, Microsoft support says this is a limitation from browsers and they can't handle loading so many records, but that is no excuse for not being able to fetch a single entry from a list when you search for it. I mean when i search for items I expect the search runs in the database not in a cached list within my browser.


hopefully Microsoft have a solution coming out for this or a search feature replacement.

Your understanding about indexing and view thresholds is on point. Regarding search behavior - it generally operates beyond the confines of views. The search index itself indexes all list items, irrespective of view limits. That said, a few nuances come into play. First off, SharePoint only indexes a default set of columns out-of-the-box. If you need additional columns included in searches, you'll have to configure them as "crawled properties."

Another factor is search index freshness. Searches don't reflect real-time data - the index updates periodically based on a crawl schedule, which varies per environment and load. Moreover, the syntax of your search query itself can impact results. Complex queries or filters may optimize or constrain results based on indexed columns.

In some instances, search results could get scoped by the configured "search result source" - like looking within a specific site or list. Lastly, SharePoint may trim excessive search hits to uphold performance and UX. Now, to directly address your query: Assuming no extra filters, the search should return matches across the entire list, extending beyond your 30-day view's 5000 item limit, as long as items are properly indexed. However, if you filter the search to that same 30-day window, results could then align with the view's constraints. For ginormous lists in the millions, you'll likely need to optimize search by configuring crawled/managed properties and tailored result sources for efficient, relevant hits.