I need to know if changing the SharePoint Server 2013 Search Service Application Topology requires re-launching a full crawl ? What are the other scenarios where re-launching a full crawl is required when changing the Search Service Application configuration ? Please provide me with technet articles if possible.


1 Answer 1


In my opnion, it does not required the full crawl. But i would do the full crawl to make sure the everything is working fine. Here are the event which required or auto trigger full crawl.

Reasons for a Search service application administrator to do a full crawl for one or more content sources include the following:

  • A Search service application has just been created and the preconfigured content source Local SharePoint sites has not been crawled yet.
  • Some other content source is new and has not been crawled yet.
  • The Search service application administrator has changed a content source.
  • A software update or service pack was installed on servers in the farm. See the instructions for the software update or service pack for more information.
  • A Search service application administrator or site collection administrator added or changed a managed property. A full crawl of all affected content sources is required for the new or changed managed property to take effect.
  • You want to detect security changes that were made to local groups on a file share after the last full crawl of the file share.
  • You want to resolve consecutive incremental crawl failures. If an incremental crawl fails a large number of consecutive times for any particular content, the system removes the affected content from the search index.
  • Crawl rules have been added, deleted, or modified.
  • You want to replace a corrupted search index.
  • The permissions for the user account that is assigned to the default content access account have changed.

The system does a full crawl even when an incremental crawl or continuous crawl is scheduled under the following circumstances:

  • A search administrator stopped the previous crawl.
  • A content database was restored, or a farm administrator has detached and reattached a content database.
  • A full crawl of the content source has never been done from this Search service application.
  • The crawl database does not contain entries for the addresses that are being crawled. Without entries in the crawl database for the items being crawled, incremental crawls cannot occur.

Technet: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219577.aspx#Plan_full_crawl

  • Thanks Waqas for the answer. We are planning for a new search dedicated SharePoint Server 2013 farm. We'll be indexing more 60 millions items and documents with multiple content sources (SharePoint sites, Documentum, File Shares, ...), and our recommendations are to use 12 servers (6 WFEs, 4 Apps and 2 SQL). The problem is that IT don't have sufficient resources so we're planning to do this incrementally, which means starting with 2 WFEs and scale out. I want to know if we add more servers later (which implies topology change), does this mean that we need to launch a full crawl, apparently no.
    – KhalilG
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:48
  • i am not search expert but my little hands on search...I think you dont need to do the full crawl, as you are adding more hardware rather then adding extra content sources. But I would do a full crawl to test all the components are working fine....With 60M items it is alot...starting with 2 wfe its hard
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 15:57
  • Starting with 2 WFEs, 2 Apps and 2 SQLs, and when reaching 20 millions we will be adding servers, we must wait for resources. I think there's no need to do a full crawl, as I read here (technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn745901.aspx), changing the topology will pause the entire search service application, crawling should resume after changing occurs and index repartitioning done.
    – KhalilG
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 16:01
  • Yes, as i said no need for full crawl. Because you have 60M items, it will take time for re crawl everything. Best of luck and hopefully things goes well
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Feb 28, 2017 at 16:04
  • You should consider SharePoint 2016. In 2013 the index limit is 10M items. The 20M item number you state is for SP 2016. Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 13:45

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