Is there a limit to the amount of values I can lookup? When I search for the topic I only get hits on the number of lookup fields you can have in a list.

I have tested this a bit and it was working with ~5600 items, but that was also with the list item threshold bumped up to 6000 (from 5000). Is it related to that threshold or not at all? I can't find any documentation on this topic and would like to know if I need to worry about it breaking over time with more records being added.

2 Answers 2


Logically lookup field tries to find data inside another list. Hence the resource throttling setting for list get applies to lookup fields implicitly.

I was also unable to find any documentation which states this.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/spses/archive/2013/12/02/sharepoint-2010-2013-list-view-lookup-threshold-uncovered.aspx This once states about the maximum lookup's we can have in a single list.

cannot create list item error: Throttled:Query exceeds lookup column threshold. This one proves list view throttling has relation with lookup fields.


I tested this out and imported a list with ~6000 items in an environment with the default 5000 list view threshold. In another list I created a lookup column to that list. When I try and use the lookup field I get an error thrown as follows:

This is a lookup column that displays data from another list that currently exceeds the List View Threshold defined by the administrator (5000).

So it is confirmed that the amount of values you can have in a lookup field is whatever you have set for your list view threshold.

  • So why did you accept this as an answer?
    – Dinerdo
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 19:22
  • Does typing in a few letters in the Lookup column field filter the source list and therefore your source list can have more than 5,000 items because as you type the list is filtered down to fewer items? I'm trying to create a '1 to many' style Document Register List to Document Library where you user a Lookup column in the Document Library to select which register entry the documents relate to. But that solution won't work if I can only have 5,000 items in the register. I can't think of another approach at the moment. Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 6:08

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