I am using the Highlighted Content web part to display documents from multiple document libraries in SharePoint Online. I've learned that it can only show draft items if the document libraries have "Draft Item Security" set to "Any user who can read items". This is not ideal as I don't want just anybody to see/edit drafts when they are just viewing the documents - only those with edit permission.

As per How to make draft items show in search results, one of the suggestions is to allow the 'content access account' access to the related libraries. I want to do this - but I do not know the actual account name. Can anyone advise what the account would be named?

1 Answer 1


Based on my understanding, In SharePoint online crawling is completely managed by Microsoft. We are able to set the rules and all but the data is crawled based on the user's permission on the site. There is no default content access account which we used to have in On-premise SharePoint.

In the below link also, you can see that it is not available for SharePoint Online. As in On-Premise, we are creating the Search Serice Application but in the Online we are not.

Change the default account for crawling in SharePoint Server

So, there is no default content access account for SharePoint Online. It crawls the data based on the user's permissions.

  • Thank you for the details - I accept that I won't be able to simply grant permissions to a Content Access Account. However, you mention that SharePoint crawls data based on "the user's permissions". Which users are you referring to? All of them? If what you say is true, I would imagine my Highlighted Content web part should show my draft items (even if the source library is set to show drafts to "Only users who can edit items") as I have permissions to the files. This is not the case though...
    – DRVR
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 4:05
  • Hi @DRVR, I tried to reproduce the scenario as described in the question. But I am able to see the draft version of the file. So I am not able to reproduce as per your saying. Also, when any user tries to edit it, SharePoint shows the alert that you can not edit it. Also, it will show the last published content. Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 5:02
  • My apologies I didn't include all the details - yes, the last published version is displayed. However, I'm trying to list documents in the Highlighted Content based on a metadata column, "Review Status", that can be modified at any time. If the document is draft then the web-part doesn't show the latest 'draft' version, and hence the Review Status is only shown from the last published version, not the true current status. If the document never had a published version, it is simply not shown at all.
    – DRVR
    Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 23:58

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