Is it possible for SP 2010 CQWP to query millions of items in Multiple Sites with Filter and Sort functionality?

In my case, I have a root site with many subsites. The total items in all sites might reach hundreds of thousands to millions. In the root site, I would like to have a CQWP that queries lists from the subsites and displays them (like most recent). The actual # of items returned I would like is small, for example, about 50 most recent, and I can Filter / Sort this based on Metadata.

The # of Lists in total won't exceed 1000 Lists, though there may be multiple folders on a Single List.

Is this possible with CQWP? Or should I create my own Custom Webpart already?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


if the list contains less than 5000 items, the performance of the CQWP is likely to be very good. However, if the list exceeds 5000 items, and the query in the CQWP is complex, the Web Part can run into performance problems. It’s difficult to define exactly what a complex query is, but a Source that goes across all sites in your site collection is more complex than a Source that queries a specific list. Also, if you query uses Additional Filters, the query complexity increases. The query complexity increases depending on the site column types and conditions that you use. Here are some examples:

A query that filters on a site column of type Multiple lines of text is more complex than a query that filters on a site column of type Yes/No. A filter that uses a contains condition is more complex than a query that uses an is equal to condition. Multiple Or conditions increases the complexity of the query

The performance of the CQWP is also affected by where your content is stored. If your content is stored across several sites, the total amount of list items the Web Part has to process will affect its performance. For example, on your company’s home site, you want to display the latest news items from lists that are maintained in multiple subsites. Each list contains 1000 items. That means that the CQWP will have to query across 3000 items.

Below is the link where all the content above come from. The article is comparing Content query webpart and Search Query webpart where it highlight the advantages of Search Query webpart over Content query webpart which i think answer your question regarding performance of using Content query webpart.

Since your environment is SharePoint 2010 i would not able to recommend Search Query Webpart.


  • Thanks, I'm using multiple lists. Does that mean if 1 of those lists exceed 5,000, I'm going to have trouble already?
    – Water
    Jul 10, 2014 at 14:27
  • Yes. it might effect your performance.It also depend on where the content is stored. For instance single location or multiple location
    – Supermode
    Jul 10, 2014 at 23:18

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