I am working on sharepoint online classic team site and i created a new site column using the site columns UI, as follow:- enter image description here

where the site column gets its display name and internal name as "ResponsibilityCusomter", and as i know that sharepoint allows us to create site columns with duplicate display names (as in our case we already have another site column with the display name ="Customer" and internal name="ExternalCustomerName"), as long as they have different internal name. now i edit the above site column using the UI, and i changed its Name from "ResponsibilityCusomter" to "Customer", but i got this error:-

enter image description here

so can anyone advice how i can change the display name for my site column? can i do so using PnP? as sharepoint should not mind if we have duplicate display name for the columns as long as they have different internal names.

1 Answer 1


Yes, we can use PnP PowerShell to achieve it.

The following PowerShell script for your reference.

Connect-PnPOnline –Url https://tenant.sharepoint.com/sites/lz –Credentials (Get-Credential)
Set-PnPField -Identity ResponsibilityCusomter -Values @{Title="Customer"} -UpdateExistingLists
  • ok thanks a lot for the script , will try it on my site. but i did not understand what is the purpose of the -UpdateExistingLists exactly? Now when we update the site column using the UI we get this checkbox Update all list columns based on this site column?.. so is the -UpdateExistingLists parameter equivalent to the Update all list columns based on this site column? checkbox which we see inside the UI? as when we update a site column using the UI we can chose to update the related list columns and not the lists themself... so i am a bit confused.. can u advice ?
    – John John
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 0:10
  • 1
    Yes, the -UpdateExistingLists means "If provided, the field will be updated on existing lists that use it as well. If not provided or set to $false, existing lists using the field will remain unchanged but new lists will get the updated field". Check the official document: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/sharepoint-pnp/…
    – LZ_MSFT
    Commented Mar 25, 2019 at 1:14

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