I am now working on a project which has the traditional sites-libraries-folders-subfolders structure.

And now the end users want to keep this architecture and also use the metadata. Certainly metadata can be used to search efficiently within one doc library. But since they want to keep the old sites-libraries-folders-subfolders structure. we need to make the search work across doc libraries/sites.

I then tried to use the crawling property and mapped it to managed property. By following this blog: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/o365totd/2015/12/11/using-site-columns-to-create-searchable-metadata-in-sharepoint-online-office-365/

And have a testing doc library with tens of documents with some site column, and the documents are tagged using this column. i.e. tagged as different colors.

Now if I use the search box and type in Color:Red, the Sharepoint search engine will return just one result. not sure why.

Only if I apply the search directly to the document library can it return all the files tagger with color=red in the doc library.

But the point with this research is that we need to get search results from all the doc libraries within the site.

It is strange, do you have any idea of what happened and how I may get the anticipated results?


  • Can you add to your question the version of SharePoint, and if it is SharePoint Online? Jul 5, 2018 at 17:38
  • Also, Color:Red is not the same as Color=Red. Depending on the data type of the columns you will get different results. The first is a contains query, the second an equality. Jul 6, 2018 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


You are most likely hitting a search "out of the box design feature". The search box at the top of a library returns all items while the other search boxes are filtered to remove duplicates. The definition of duplicates is very broad, and data created for testing purposes often looks like duplicates. see here: http://techtrainingnotes.blogspot.com/2015/04/sharepoint-2013-search-weirdness-part-1.html

In general:

  • The search box at the top of a library is limited to just that library, and will return "duplicates".
  • The search box at the top of the page defaults to the current site, and the default search results page filters "duplicates", and cannot be edited.
  • The Enterprise Search Center search result pages default to all indexed content, and filters "duplicates". These search result pages can be edited to disable the duplicate filtering.
  • You can configure the site's search box to redirect to the Enterprise Search Center, but this will take users away from the current site.
  • Another option is to add a page to your site that contains the search box, a resultat web part and a refiner and define a search resultat source for the result web part that limits the search to just that site Jul 5, 2018 at 17:54

Based on your description it is working...

But since you did not change the documents, the new managed property wont be included in the index yet. So try to mark your sites for recrawl and try to search again. This will cause the documents to be reindexed and you will be able to find them correctly.

[edit] The comment sounds like you wanted mike to be the answer.

On top of that I suggest using SQT (Search query tool) in order to troubleshoot any search issues. It allows you to see what is actually in the index and will help uncover any missing data (like not yet indexed MP's) or check various document metadata in the index.

  • You are right. Since I was too lazy to change the content of my document and the documents with the same content are treated as the same file. They may use a signature for the file content and just compare the signature.
    – Howell
    Jul 5, 2018 at 19:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.