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I have a SharePoint 2010 environment configured for content search with schedule as defined in the screenshot below.

enter image description here

from past 1 or 2 months I am facing a very strange issue and unable to get any resolution for the same.

I have configured the incremental crawl to repeat every hour. This was running perfect but suddenly one day it stopped.

Now incremental crawl takes too much time than expected i.e., it takes 8-9 hours on an average to get complete. In this time also it only crawls maximum 10-15 records. The crawl history is shown in the screenshot below.

enter image description here

can anyone suggest how can I fix this issue ?

  • Have you completed a FULL crawl recently? It is generally advised to routinely run a full in conjunction with additional incremental crawls. The full performs index maintenance that is not done with incremental crawls. – Matthew McDermott Jan 10 '17 at 19:34
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    yes the full crawl has been completed recently – Vishwas Goswami Jan 11 '17 at 7:02
  • Generally you don't want to run a full crawl on a regular schedule, only when you have a specific issue or are forced to do an index reset. Imagine a FC on millions of items -- no search results for days :-) – Trevor Seward Jul 6 '18 at 23:48
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Most of your incremental crawls do have a massive amount of Security Updates (last column). If the number of Security-Updates decreases, your crawls finish much faster.

Question:

Why do security only crawls take so long?

Answer:

The time difference in crawl can be attributed to expansion of the SharePoint Group and also that the group is at the site collection level and affects items beyond the list. If a Sharepoint group has several thousand users at site collection level, you can see how this can be very expensive. Also, a large number of items within that site collection can add to the delay because new ACL changes will be pushed down to every item affected by the security change.

Question:

How can I work around this and prevent security only crawls from affecting incremental crawl times?

Answer:

Instead of users explicitly added to Sharepoint groups, add AD groups instead. Managing adding/removing users from Active Directory security groups will not cause ACL changes within Sharepoint. Because of this, no security only crawls will occur.

Reference: Troubleshooting Security Only Crawl

  • This sounds like the most reasonable explanation. Another issue that can happen is changes which are not picked up correctly and repeatedly run into an error. Those error items can slow down a crawl a lot. In order to verify that I would monitor the crawl Q. closely. But +1 to MHelds answer – Heiko Hatzfeld_MSFT Jul 3 '18 at 13:15
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    I agree with the above answer, it has solved the very similar issue we had in our environment. but the only disadvantage is, SP admins can no longer manager site permissions, AD team has to handle it, so discuss with your stake holders before implementation. – Achiever SP Jul 5 '18 at 15:07
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I had a similar problem with full crawl on SP2013 (it was running for several days) and the solution was to reset the search index and run the full crawl again - after that the crawls were taking normal times like before. This blog post describes all the necessary steps for reseting the search index (it is written for SP2013 but it also applies for SP2010).

There is also the official MS page on this topic.

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