For a list having 50K item it is more convenient for user to create folders to segregate list items logically. But if we consider performance, is it recommended to create large number folders of within a list?

What are the pros and cons of creating folders within a list?


I would suggest you create different content type or use the tagging feature to organize the items.

Check this for the list of Pros and Cons


Folder vs Metadata

  1. SPS 2013 search makes it easy to find worthwhile files and list items with or without any added metadata.
  2. If you don't use metadata, SharePoint automatically adds metadata anyway to your documents. The document name, document type, folder name, created by, modified by etc. SharePoint adds about 20 metadata to your documents automatically without you having to do a thing. So in fact you are always using metadata.
  3. You can lose documents when placed in the wrong folder, but the same is true when you add the wrong metadata to a document. A good search engine alleviates those problems.
  4. Besides the time needed to add constantly new metadata to individual documents, there is no decent way to add or change metadata in bulk when its Term Store metadata. The Datasheet view options are grayed out when using the term store. Are you really going to ask you end-users to add metadata to individual documents when they want to move 50 documents from file share to SharePoint on any given day? Do you really want to use third party migration software for every instance that this occurs?
  5. Of course it is best practice not to create too many folder levels, but metadata grouping can only give you 2 levels of “folder like” structure. Sometimes you just need 3 levels to make the document structure logic for everyone.
  6. When you add a library web part view on a page, there is no way to tell in which folder you are at any given time, there is also no way to navigate to the parent folder. However, it's possible to invest in custom work to give library web part views that do show a breadcrumb and that has taken away the biggest disadvantage of using folders for my end-users.
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  • Please don't just link to the answer, provide some context from the referring link. – Eric Alexander Dec 16 '14 at 15:50
  • 2
    @PirateEric Done! – Amal Hashim Dec 16 '14 at 15:51

As a Best practices you need to use the Index Column, this will help to improve the performance. You can have up to 20 Index column. Then you create Filter view Based on the Index column to quickly filter through large list.

In general, an index on a column enables you to quickly find the rows you want based on the values in that column, even when working with millions of items. When you combine indexes with filtered views, you can quickly retrieve the items you want.

Although folders (also called containers) are not required to use large lists and libraries, you can still use them to help organize your data and improve the efficiency of your data access. When you create a folder, behind the scenes you are creating an internal index.

It is important to consider the following when you use folders to organize a large list or library:

  • A folder can contain more items than the List View Threshold, but to avoid being blocked, you may still need to use a filtered view based on column indexes.
  • If you choose the Show all items without folders option in the Folders section when you create or modify a view in this list or library, you must then use a filter that is based on a simple index to ensure you don't reach the List View Threshold.
  • It is often useful to make the default view show all the available folders without any filtering so that users can choose the appropriate folder when they insert new items. Displaying all the folders also makes it less likely that items will be incorrectly added outside the folders in the list or library. Note that, unlike libraries, there is no automatic way to move items between folders in a list.

read this for more information https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Manage-lists-and-libraries-with-many-items-b8588dae-9387-48c2-9248-c24122f07c59?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

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Depends on the customer's requirements. If the Customer has Records Management requirements, folders might be (and probably are) required. There is nothing wrong with folders. Some companies will never use tags or even notice or care that they can. It also depends on the number of files and how the customer is used to finding their stuff when needed, now. [Edit: The trade-off is that the customer must then actively manage those folders.]

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Everyone has made some good suggestions here. I will add that folders can excel when leveraged for user adoption. Usually users will already understand how to work with folders. While I wouldn't deploy a deep hierarchy of folders, I am fond of them because it allows me to setup default metadata values when documents are added. You won't get very far asking users to input values after uploading a document, but if you setup rules based on folders - then it's easy to have your metadata added.

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  • Here the question is adding folder in a custom list, not a document library. So answer should be based on using folders within a custom list only. I am updating the question. – Sunil Dec 17 '14 at 5:10
  • Actually, I wanted to know about using folders inside LIST not inside library, But most of the answer was based on Library only. I would request you to give proper answer based on LIST. Hope I am able to make things clear to you. – Sunil Jan 12 '15 at 5:49
  • List and Library works the same. You can still use folders, metadata, and default values. – Jesus Shelby Jan 13 '15 at 16:04

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