I need to set the lookup reference to a field that already exists (of type lookup) that is not pointing to yet.

I can get the lists and the fields but I don't know how link to each other. Can you give me an helping hand here, to fill the code?

SPWeb web = SPContext.Current.Web;
SPList destinationList = web.Lists["My new List"];

SPWeb rootWeb = SPContext.Current.Web.Site.WebApplication.Sites[0].RootWeb;
SPList linkedOriginList = rootWeb.Lists["Origin List"];

if (destinationList.Fields.ContainsField("LookupField"))
 //code here

1 Answer 1


I've noticed that setting LookupList and LookupWebId does not always work. Therefor, I have a function that replaces XML attributes in field's schema. Take a look at the following code:

public static string ReplaceXmlAttributeValue(string xml, string attributeName, string value)
    if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(xml))
        throw new ArgumentNullException("xml");
    if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(value))
        throw new ArgumentNullException("value");
    int indexOfAttributeName = xml.IndexOf(attributeName, StringComparison.CurrentCultureIgnoreCase);
    if (indexOfAttributeName == -1)
        xml = xml.Replace("<Field", "<Field " + attributeName + "='" + value + "'");

        return xml;
    int indexOfAttibuteValueBegin = xml.IndexOf('"', indexOfAttributeName);
    int indexOfAttributeValueEnd = xml.IndexOf('"', indexOfAttibuteValueBegin + 1);
    return xml.Substring(0, indexOfAttibuteValueBegin + 1) + value + xml.Substring(indexOfAttributeValueEnd);

I use it like this: Get both lists and the lookup field that you want to set up:

var mainList = web.GetList(SPUtility.ConcatUrls(web.ServerRelativeUrl, "Lists/MainList"));
var mainListLookupField = (SPFieldLookup)mainList.Fields.GetFieldByInternalName("LookupField");
var lookupList = web.GetList(SPUtility.ConcatUrls(web.ServerRelativeUrl, "Lists/LookupList"));

Replace List and WebId attributes in your Lookup Field's schema:

mainListLookupField.SchemaXml = ReplaceXmlAttributeValue(ReplaceXmlAttributeValue(mainListLookupField.SchemaXml, "List", lookupList.ID.ToString()), "WebId", web.ID.ToString());
mainListLookupField.LookupField = "Title";

Hope this helps!

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