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In SharePoint 2013 farm we have a Search Service Application running. Due to a very long time required to run a full crawl, decision has been made few months ago to not to run full crawl regularly and keep only daily incremental crawls.

I want to justify to IT management that full crawl should be running regularly. This will help to get some resources to improve crawl performance.

The most "painful" consequence of not running full crawl in that farm I see that some items might be dropped from the index due to repeating incremental crawl errors. So I need to get an estimation on how many items are really missing from search index. Can anyone suggest how this can be done farm-wide, apart from checking/querying every item from crawl error log manually?

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A Full Crawl should not be running with any regularity. It should run when you've performed an Index Reset, a rebuild of the SSA, or find a catastrophic failure to index items. A Full Crawl generally won't have any more success than an Incremental with regards to indexing errors (after all, it runs the same process).

Full Crawls decrease the freshness of the index. It's just bad practice in environments with a large index. You can get away with it in smaller environments due to how quickly the indexing occurs, but when your index freshness drops because the Full Crawl takes >3+ hours, end users start getting upset (around here, anyways!).

You can use reflection to get the crawl log. See PowerShell - Search Crawl History which outlines the required PowerShell.

  • I see your point. But I believe that full crawl is also required after installing CU, right? And since full crawl takes a few days here, users will be super upset whenever we patch SharePoint... But thank you for providing the link to crawl history powershell tips, it might be helpful. – arax28 Dec 12 '17 at 21:28
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    There is no requirement to perform a Full Crawl after any type of patch is installed (Sec, Hot, PU/CU, SP). – Trevor Seward Dec 12 '17 at 21:30
  • That's funny... I have an MS RAP assessment results on my hands where they suggest to schedule regular full crawl. Full crawl after patching is mentioned as one of the reasons why we should do this. But you are right, this is not a requirement, it says "see the instructions for the software update...", so I assume it depends on specific update – arax28 Dec 13 '17 at 14:15

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