Scenario: We have a large document library (roughly 122k documents/folders), housing most of our sales documents. We use Power Automate (replacing SP Designer 2013 workflows) to dynamically add metadata to documents and auto-folder documents to associate them with specific deals. We now have 65 columns in the library, around 15 of which are no longer needed (many of which were auto-created designer workflow fields). We have indexed columns, set up views, and have Flows keeping the library in relatively good condition, and are using modern view and foldering to manage the >5,000 item limitations. I have SharePoint admin & am permissioned properly to modify the library.

Issue: We are trying to clean up the library (delete columns, consolidate content types, etc.) and are running into dead ends with managing the library. To delete columns, we have so far tried:

  1. Standard SharePoint online column edit --> delete - running into the classic "exceeds the list view enforced by the administrator". Being SharePoint online, we're not able to temporarily override the list view cap to work around this one. exceeds the list view enforced by the administrator.
  2. Open library in MS Access & delete field - Also stating that the library is too large
  3. Powershell (referencing this script)- After working through the 403 (forbidden) errors, I get the same error message as the standard, UI-based delete ("... exceeds the list view enforced by the administrator".

BIG disclaimer: I'm not a programmer, but can fumble/fake my way through PS code, and am moderately proficient with Flow and SharePoint (and SP admin).

I figure there has to be a way to delete columns. Any creative minds out there have another way of modifying a library that is agnostic to the number of documents/folders?

pre-emptive thanks,


  • Quick additional info - the Access error states "The table is too large to delete this column" Sep 8, 2020 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


I Suggest you split the documents into a new view to reduced to less than 5000.

In addition,display 12 or more columns of the following types can cause a list view threshold error: people, lookup, and managed metadata, display columns of other types will not.

  • I'm trying to delete the column at the site level (Library settings --> column --> delete button) - not remove them from a view. Would I need to update the default view to comply with the 5k item limit? I'm able to delete columns from our test library (smaller, but still over 5k docs/foders in the default view) with no issues. Sep 9, 2020 at 20:36
  • Did you check the columns that will cause the threshold issue? Though you could delete columns in test library over 5k docs, it's not recommend to over the list view threshold since uncontrollable issues occur randomly. Lastly, please decrease the items in current view to compare the result.
    – Julie_MSFT
    Sep 10, 2020 at 7:48
  • Hi Julie - I have multiple views, but none of them contain over 12 columns of the people/lookup/mgd metadata/etc. What view, specifically, would I need to update to impact being able to delete a column? Does it apply only to the default view? Sep 11, 2020 at 11:45
  • Also - I've modified the default view to contain below the 5k limit documents (and less than 10 columns displayed, total) and receive the same list view threshold error posted above Sep 11, 2020 at 11:50

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