We have a Sharepoint farm where we have Cont. crawls configured on a content source, however it still seems to run Incrementals every four hours. When we changed over to Cont crawls after recreating the content source (due to another issue with GPO) the 'Schedule' drop down changed automatically to 'every four hours' - I have seen some screenshots where this is greyed out, but it isn't for us.

Everything I have found online suggests it doesn't actually run the incrementals, but I can clearly see from the crawl history that it is, and that items are being processed by it:

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Does anyone else have a similar situation, and a possible explanation? I have been combing technet et al for a while now and can't find an official answer from MS (surprise, surprise) and am loathe to log a call with them for it and incur a cost just to do their beta testing for them.

  • Exactly the same situation here, after enabling the Continuous crawl, we had automatic incremental crawls every 4 hours. We see one Continuous crawl in the logs that takes all day, and x Incremental crawls every so many hours (with a schedule we can modify, but not disable) It's this way even when you activate continuous crawling after incrementals had been disabled. It's quite confusing and not very well documented. Did you ever figure it out completely? :)
    – Rik H
    Aug 2, 2016 at 8:17
  • In the end I just set it to do a 'clean up' incremental every week on a different day for each content source... not had any complaints so far. Aug 8, 2016 at 9:37

2 Answers 2


The docu clears things up though:

A continuous crawl does not process or retry items that return errors more than three times. A "clean-up" incremental crawl automatically runs every four hours for content sources that have continuous crawl enabled to re-crawl any items that repeatedly return errors. This incremental crawl will try to crawl the item again and then will postpone retries if the error persists.

source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219802.aspx


  • Continuous crawls every 15 minutes, and can run multiple times at the same time if it has to process big batches
  • Incremental cleans up errors every 4 hours
  • optional full cleans up everything every x time (optional)
  • My bad, didn't read it properly. That's what I thought it'd be. Aug 8, 2016 at 9:36

Continuous Crawls are Incremental Crawls. CC just prevents Incremental Crawls from overlapping.

Manage continuous crawls in SharePoint Server 2013

  • That doesn't make sense tho - if a CC is just an IC, then why would there be a schedule for the IC set to every four hours, but the CC interval is 15 minutes? Mar 14, 2016 at 17:22
  • Also based on the article you've linked to, it says that Continuous is LIKE an Incremental - not that it IS an Incremental. If they were the same thing then CC wouldn't be a 'new' feature, it would just have stayed as Incremental/Full only but the 'feature' would be that ICs could now overlap... Mar 14, 2016 at 17:26
  • Sorry for multi-commenting but one last thing is that if what you say is right, then all the results of the day's Incrementals should add up to the same as the period shown for the Continuous, which it doesn't. Mar 14, 2016 at 17:27

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