I am in a SharePoint online environment.

I have created a site column as part of a content type. That content type is assigned to a document library. The site column has been added as a refinement. When I search and click on one of the refinement values from this site column, everything works as expected. So far, so good.

Now, when I simply try to search for a value in the site column, I get no results. If I search by columnname:value, I get results. In order to create the refinement, I added the site column as a mapping the the RefinableString01 managed property. When I edit the RefinableString01 managed property, the searchable checkbox is disabled.

I have also tried creating a new managed property mapped to this site column with the searchable checkbox checked. However, I still cannot search for documents by any value in the site column.


In SharePoint online you must use the existing managed properties that are already available such as RefinableString01 and then you can use them in the refinement panel. while creating that in the refinement panel make sure you try to preview the search results and also make sure you are pointing to the correct custom column based on the internal name.

Also, you have to re-crawl the site or document libraries whichever it applies.


When you create or reassign a Managed Property you have the choice of Refinable, Searchable and Queryable. You have found that Refinable is for refinement. The difference between Queryable and Searchable is that Searchable is for free text. For example somevalue. If you want to do a property query like property:somevalue or property=somevalue then the property needs to be Queryable.


I figured out my issue. I needed to request a recrawl of the document library.

  • 1
    Please provide a detailed answer to help future visitors. Thanks for your contribution! – Mohamed El-Qassas MVP Jun 2 '17 at 13:10

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