SharePoint Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for SharePoint enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This is just a theoretical question as I am in planning stage, so I dont need to know how to do things, just if they are possible.

Lets say I have a content type that I need to change and add a required field to. I already have several lists using that content type. What would happen? Would they all be set to a default value? Would nothing happen? Would the creator of the list items be prompted to update the item by filling in the required field?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Short answer, yes, you can add new column, issues are more with updating existing ones. It also depends if the Inheritance is not broken, so that the changes are replicated to Child Content types (usually it is the case, unless manually updated)!

For all list items already existing, no changes will occur until the user actually tries to Edit the item when he/she will not be able to update it unless also a value is given for the new field. Also setting Default Value would NOT update existing items, but it shall be considered for new ones. At that stage you should use a script to update items, either a PowerShell or Client-Side should also work (or Workflow - it simpler for you).

For New list items of course it shall be requested at all times.

share|improve this answer
Could the list item creators/owners be prompted to update the field, as a task, rather than when you would happen to open the list item next time? – Nina Fokdal Feb 8 '13 at 13:02
No, for that you should consider something else besides, such as a Workflow or custom code (Event handlers) – Marius Constantinescu - MVP Feb 8 '13 at 13:12
thanks, that answers it :) – Nina Fokdal Feb 8 '13 at 13:16
welcome, good luck and thank you 2! – Marius Constantinescu - MVP Feb 8 '13 at 13:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.