One of the main reasons some customers got afraid of using sharepoint online is the list threshold limit of 5,000, which unlike the on-premises can not be expanded. now i know that there are workarounds for this by using indexing & folders. but the problem that some columns can not be indexed such as managed metadata columns which allow multiple selection.

For example i have a case where the customer is using sharepoint on-premises 2013. and they have an enterprise wiki site collection. the Enterprise wiki site collection have these main components:-

  1. 6 managed metadata columns, and these managed metadata columns allow multiple selections.

  2. the customer enabled the metadata navigation and filtering for the wiki pages list, where they added the 6 managed metadata columns + the Created, Modified, Createdby and Modifiedby fields, inside the metadata navigation.

  3. Currently the wiki pages library inside the enterprise wiki has 3,200++ wiki pages.

And the customer is approaching this as follow; that when the wiki pages library reaches 4500 they are going to expand the list threshold to 6,000. and they feel comfortable with this.

So i think if we migrate the above enterprise wiki site collection to SharePoint online, we will be facing many risks, as follow:-

  1. if the enterprise wiki reaches 5,000 wiki pages , then the managed metadata will stop working.
  2. and even we can not define indexing on any of the manged metadata columns, to force each of the list views to show less than 5,000. as managed metadata columns which allow multiple selection can not be indexed.
  3. So all the enterprise wiki's list views will break in this case.

So can anyone adivce , on what are Microsoft plans for the list threshold? are they planning to expand this?

Second question.. If we chose to migrate the above enterprise wiki site collection into sharepoint online, then what are the approaches that we can follow to allow the metadata navigation to work in-case the wiki pages library exceeds the threshold (which is currently set to 5,000)?

1 Answer 1


It's in the "working on it" category. See here:


There were some announcements at the 2018 Ignite event on this. (But a quick search did not find them.)

Do not expect any updates for older versions of SharePoint.

  • thanks for the helpful reply, seems the news are promising.. as the users mentioned inside the link that sharepoint can not be considered as an enterprise platform with these threshold limits.. but i did not get what u exactly mean by Do not expect any updates for older versions of SharePoint. ,, are you talking about sharepoint online? or you are talking about sharepoint on-premises old version (for example 2010, 2013,..)?
    – John John
    Mar 21, 2019 at 1:28
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    2016 and before. (You mentioned 2013 above.) Mar 21, 2019 at 1:37
  • now in my above case i mentioned that in SP2013 we have the option to expand the threshold from the web application level, but currently on sharepoint online we do not have this option (as we can not access the web application level in sharepoint online).. so that made our customer afraid to migrate from 2013 to SP online.. but as in the link you provided , seems Microsoft is working on preventing the 5,000 threshold limit inside SharePoint online, so we should be on a better situation in the future if we migrate to sharepoint online,, is this correct?
    – John John
    Mar 21, 2019 at 1:47
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    "we have the option to expand the threshold from the web application level" Not really... the 5000 item limit is a locking issue in SQL. Increasing the limit in SP just says "I'm willing to live with the locking and performance issues of the SQL 5000 limit." SharePoint Online does not want to live with the issue. :-) Mar 21, 2019 at 2:01
  • 1
    Agreed. And it a problem that should have been fixed a long time ago. Mar 21, 2019 at 2:18

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