Once I reach 5000 documents can I still index a column or change permissions if I have created several views that will always keep me inder the 5000 item view threshold...


if overall I have 5000 items regardless of views will i have issues indexing columns, changing permissions, etc.

From Greg Sharepointmaven

"it “locks” the document library from trivial operations like adding columns, making certain adjustments to views, setting permissions, sharing and even managing column indexes." http://sharepointmaven.com/how-to-overcome-sharepoint-5000-item-limit-threshold/

2 Answers 2


In central administration you can set a time window during which operations are allowed for more than 5000 items. During that time window you can create a new index, even if there are more than 5000 items in the list.

If you don't have access to central administration to set that time window, then the only way you can create new indexes is to reduce the number of items to below 5000.

  • thanks teylyn...what about permissions for the document library ? am I locked in to what I set-up prior to 5000 documents ?
    – daPlayaURH
    Sep 5, 2016 at 0:47
  • What is the scenario? I've never come across issues with permissions. We set our permissions via AD groups and add/remove people there, not the SP list directly. You want to avoid item level permissions in large lists, of course.
    – teylyn
    Sep 5, 2016 at 0:52
  • I was just going upon the link in my original post where he mentions permission issues. I could see where I break inheritance on a document library where there this would be an issue if I could not change permissions for a document library. However, I inherit from the top level down so this should not be an issue. My situation is I have creayed a lot of views so even thoug overall my doc libreary will exceed 5,000 none of my views will exceed 5,000. My fear is next month the mgr will say they want another view..Will I be prevented from creating a new view once the overall items are > 5000
    – daPlayaURH
    Sep 5, 2016 at 0:59
  • It depends. The first filter of the view must not return more than 5000 items. In order to achieve that you must ensure that all filter columns are indexed, and you may need to adjust the order of the filters. For example if you want to return all items where the column "Customer" is "Joe Bloggs" and the "Status" is "Closed", you may not want to start with "Status" as the first filter, because that may return more than 5000 items. If you use "Customer" as the first filter criterion, the result may be less than 5000 and the view can be created.
    – teylyn
    Sep 5, 2016 at 6:11

We ran into this exact scenario in SPO recently. Once you hit 5000 items, you cannot do anything. Permissions cannot be changed, indexed columns cannot be created. If you are going to go over 5k items, all permissions adjustments need to be made ahead of time as best as possible and all desired columns that need to be indexed need to be created before you hit the limit.

  • That seems nuts...so SharePoint can technically store more than 5,000 documents for a document library, but its not advisable even if you set up indexes, views, etc. because you are rolling the dice that no one request any type of change. If someone does request a change there is no way to implement it without getting the documents back under 5,000 Is my analysis correct ?
    – daPlayaURH
    Sep 5, 2016 at 1:06
  • 1
    You are correct. If on-prem, you can utilize the happy hour configuration to bypass the thresh hold. If in SPO there is nothing you can do. This is laughable considering they just announced 25 TB site collections for SPO, would be tons of libs over 5k in those. Sep 5, 2016 at 4:55
  • Eric, good to know. What kind of permission changes are causing problems? Item level permissions or list level permissions through SP groups/AD groups?
    – teylyn
    Sep 6, 2016 at 10:27
  • @teylyn in our case, it was breaking permissions inheritance on the library itself and trying to assign folder level permission, could not be done. Sep 6, 2016 at 11:58
  • 1
    FYI from blogs.technet.microsoft.com/quentin/2014/07/15/… But why is the limit set at 5,000? When users perform operations against a database, SQL Server locks rows to prevent conflicts from concurrent operations. Once operations start to affect more than 5,000 items the entire table gets locked because it is more efficient than locking the individual rows. SharePoint stores all list items for an entire content database in a single table .
    – Jammin4CO
    Sep 6, 2016 at 17:11

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