I'm in the process of reviewing our tenant's managed properties in the Search schema configuration to clean up orphaned managed properties. For this I would have to be able to ensure that the crawled property mapped to the managed property is not used anymore. Is there a way to determine this?

So for example I have a RefinableString108 that is mapped to a crawled property.

Can I view if a) values exist and b) in which site collection / list/library that column might be used?

Thanks for your input.

1 Answer 1


Creating Managed Properties isn’t difficult. The real challenge is to keep track of all custom Managed Properties. Although SharePoint 2013 allows you to export search configuration, it only allows you to do so on the Site Collection level. Unfortunately, as you can only create Managed Properties of types Text and Yes/No at the Site Collection level, you will find yourself creating custom Managed Properties in Central Administration where there is no easy way for you to see which of the few hundreds Managed Properties belong to SharePoint and which are custom.

If you have access to PowerShell, you can easily get a list of all custom Managed Properties using the following snippet:

$ssa = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication
Get-SPEnterpriseSearchMetadataManagedProperty -SearchApplication $ssa | ? { $_.SystemDefined -eq $false } | ft Name

One thing worth mentioning is, that the list that this script produces, contains both Managed Properties created manually and Managed Properties created automatically for your custom Site Columns during a Full Crawl.

  • This is kind of useful if you're using SharePoint Server but I forgot to mention that we're using SharePoint Online. Furthermore, I tried to use the SharePoint Search Query tool as it is able to return more than just the value of the managed property that was queried. It can also show the source which would help to check where the managed/crawled property is used. However, I was not able to query a managed property at have it return all values (like an asterisk search). Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 10:50

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