I have a SharePoint Online list that has recently grown to over 5000 items. Here is what a given entry looks like on the AllItems view, with the column I'm interested in circled in red:

List View with one column circled in red

When I go to the List Settings, however, that column is not available:

List of available List Columns

Nor is it available in the list of columns I can create an Index on.

The list items are added via an InfoPath form, but I can't see any field or column related to 'Approval Status' in InfoPath, nor can I find any automated column additions in SharePoint Designer when looking at the site's various workflows.

How does this list have a column that I can't see, and how can I make it show up so that I can edit it? I understand I won't be able to index it if it's an options list, but I need to be able to see it, at least. I am a site collection administrator and also a SharePoint Online admin.

2 Answers 2


The Approval Status column is a system column which will be added to list when content approval is enabled in that list and the column is read only.

If you want to see and manage this field, you can use the open source SharePoint Client Browser to achieve it. You can use this free tool to see all fields of the list.

SharePoint Client Browser (SPCB)

Download for SharePoint Online version is here.

enter image description here

  • D'oh... that makes sense, though I feel it could be a little more obvious to users when a column is "coming from somewhere else" so to speak. Hopefully knowing that it is a system column will help tailor my future endeavors... I'm guessing I'm out of luck in trying to index a system column or at least this system column, as its a multi-choice option column whose values can change? (Indexing seems to be for columns whose values will not change).
    – TylerH
    Jan 22, 2019 at 15:36

This is Sharepoint out of box functionality for Lists and Library when Require content approval for submitted items? is enable

If you don't want it you can simply set Require content approval for submitted items? to No and Approval Status column will gone.

To Enable/Disable you can go to List Setting > Versioning Settings as show in below screenshot

enter image description here

  • Well, I am not the one using the list, and the group that is using it needs to continue requiring approval for the items.
    – TylerH
    Jan 22, 2019 at 15:16

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