I have a list of location names at the root of a site collection. I have a site column at the site collection level that is a lookup to the locations list. In sub sites I use the site column in document libraries. I created a custom search page to return results across all the libraries and I want to add the list of places as a refiner. Unfortunately, the dropdown for refiner on the managed property is grayed out.

I did find this note at TechNet:

"By default, lookup columns are not automatically promoted to search refiners; manual steps requiring a high level of user rights must be completed to enable this"

Anyone know what the steps are?

Note that I am limited to Site Collection admin.


1 Answer 1


You need to map the crawled property for the column to one of the existing RefinableString... managed properties.

This is due to a limitation in SharePoint Online where you can not mark additional managed properties as refinable (as you can do on prem)

Detailed instructions here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/sharepoint_made_easy/archive/2013/03/19/step-by-step-configuration-to-add-custom-refiners-in-the-refinement-panel-of-search-results-page-for-sharepoint-online.aspx

I think you need to have higher permissions than site collection administrator I'm afraid, since the mapping is done in the Office 365 settings section

  • Perfect and thanks. In the blog post there is a step to "Reindex Document Library." I have 180 document libraries, so I did this for just one of them. The refiners for in my search page only show values for items found in that library. Is there a way to trigger this reindexing for the entire site or site collection?
    – Arknev
    Jul 15, 2015 at 12:37
  • 1
    No, not in Office 365 there is not I'm afraid. It will be done in time automatically though Jul 15, 2015 at 12:38
  • There are less than 100 documents across the libraries at this time, should I force the reindexing on all the libraries that have the documents (20 or so) or are there concerns that would warrant simply waiting for the automatic process.
    – Arknev
    Jul 15, 2015 at 12:41
  • FYI, for others who find this answer, I was able to complete the mapping with just Site Collection Admin permissions for a custom search page created and accessed in the same site collection (not a search center).
    – Arknev
    Jul 15, 2015 at 12:44

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