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Say I have 40 document sets and each doc set has about 20 to 50 files. The document sets have all the metadata populated however how do I copy the metadata from doc set to it's respected items (items should inherit metadata from document set).

Is is possible by using designer or nintex workflow? or is it automatically done when I drag files into a document set? we are using sharepoing 2013 enterprise.

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Document set field synchronization job does this propagation.

Easy way to force propagation is try to modify the document set. An update that will trigger the sync timer job and viola all the documents underneath will get all the meta data.

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