I want to check if list(by Display Name) exist in current web.

In pnp developer guide is no information on how to work with lists?

I need this for validate web property and i want to use pnp-core-library to do this:

private asyncTextBoxValidationMethod(value: string): Promise<string> {
if (value !== undefined && value.length > 3) {
  var url = this.context.pageContext.web.absoluteUrl + `/_api/web/lists?$filter=Hidden eq false`;

  return this.fetchLists(url).then((response) => {
      var lists: ISPList[] = response.value;
      var foundList: boolean = false;
      lists.forEach((list: ISPList) => {
          if (value === list.Title) {
              foundList = true;

      if (!foundList) {
        // resolve promise with error message to display..
        return Promise.resolve("Value entered did not match a list in this site!");

      // otherwise resolve promise with an empty string..
      return Promise.resolve("");


How to do this?

2 Answers 2


You can use the lists.ensure method to check if the list exists or not.

Add the below import statement:

import pnp, { List, ListEnsureResult } from "sp-pnp-js";

In your method, you can use it as below:

// Use lists.ensure to always have the list available
pnp.sp.web.lists.ensure("Custom List").then((ler: ListEnsureResult) => {
    if (ler.created) {
        console.log("list was created");
        console.log("list already existed");

    // work on the created/updated list
    const r = await ler.list.select("Id")();

    // log the Id

Reference - PnP Core debugging

Using PnP with SPFx

  • 3
    If list does not exist, then ensure function creates it. Which is sometime not ideal. Correct me if I am wrong.
    – Asad Refai
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 15:02
  • 1
    Yes, it creates a new list. Which is not always ideal, but it has been modelled on the web.ensureUser method which checks if user exists , if not adds it to user info list and then gives you the user object. Having said that, you can use lists.ensure to also check if a doc lib exists or not like pnp.sp.web.lists.ensure("DocLib","",101).then(... etc. It can be use for lists of any templates as well :) Let me know if need more details :) Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 15:44
  • Many thanks for this information. You are doing a very good contribution on SP.SE, keep it up. :)
    – Asad Refai
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 4:39

I have tested the PnP List existence check against SP Online. You may try the same with SPFx without SP.SOD

<script src="https://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-3.2.1.min.js">
<script type="text/javascript" 
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">

$( document ).ready(function() {

SP.SOD.executeFunc('sp.js', 'SP.ClientContext', function(){
$pnp.sp.web.lists.filter("Title eq Employee34'").get().then(function(result) 
   if (result.length > 0) {
      alert("List Exists");
   } else {
      alert("List Does Not Exist");


On Testing :

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • This is a good approach.
    – Asad Refai
    Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 15:10

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