I have an existing list where I would like to make some of its columns available at the site level. I am working in SharePoint 2013 on prem.

3 Answers 3


No, there is no way to promote a field like that. You need to:

  1. Create your site column
  2. Add it to your list
  3. Copy metadata from old column to new column
  4. Add new column to any desired views
  5. Delete old column

Another approach would be to create a site lookup column to the desired field in this list. This lookup column could be used across the site.

  • Thanks Eric. If I can't use PowerShell, I will take this approach.
    – Ben.intj
    Jan 3, 2017 at 21:20
  • You can use powershell to do these things, this is just the high level process flow. Jan 3, 2017 at 21:22

This article explains how to do it via csom: https://code.msdn.microsoft.com/office/Convert-Sharepoint-28e28d4d


The short answer is that you would have to recreate them. Given that you're using 2013 on prem you could use a tool like SharePoint Manager to capture the declarative CAML and then turn them into "site columns" that you could deploy using visual studio... but that's a ton of work that would probably be done faster with powershell or a third party tool. Furthter, once you create site columns they have different Guids so for all intents and purposes they are different columns and you would then have to copy the data from the old columns into the new columns. This can easily be done by using a tool like ShareGate but that may not be available to you, so your next best alternative would be powershell.

  • Thanks Julie! I'll have to see if our IT group will let me use PowerShell...
    – Ben.intj
    Jan 3, 2017 at 21:19

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