I read many articles which show how metadata provide many benefits over folders. and they show cases where users will be uploading all documents inside the root folder >> tag them using metadata columns >> and they will create views with filters on the metadata. but this architecture will fail sooner or later, because views will not allow us to show more than 5,000 documents. and if we add multiple filters and the first filter return more than 5,000 documents, the second filter will fail and so on. also based on SharePoint limitation if a folder contain more than 100,000 documents you can not break the permission on it.. so are metadata really replace folders for real enterprise document library which might contain 1-2 million documents?


1 Answer 1


It is true that using metadata to organize and filter large amounts of content in a SharePoint document library can have some limitations, such as the 5,000 item limit for views and the 100,000 item limit for breaking permissions on a folder. However, metadata can still be a useful way to organize and manage content in a SharePoint document library, even for large libraries with millions of documents.

One way to work around the limitations of views is to use a modern PnP Search Web Part to display content, rather than relying on views. This will allow you to filter and sort content using metadata and other properties, and they are not subject to the same item limits as views.

Another option is to use a combination of metadata and folders to organize and manage the content in the library. You could use metadata to tag documents with relevant information and use folders to create a hierarchy or structure for the content. This would allow you to use both metadata and folders to filter and sort the content in the library, and could potentially help you avoid the item limits of views and folders.

It's also worth noting that SharePoint has other features and tools that can help you manage and organize large libraries, such as document sets and content types. Using these features can help you create a more scalable and flexible solution for organizing and managing your content.

  • I use content types when adding custom columns, but still content types will not prevent the 5,000 list view limit and the limitation of 100,000 documents .. i think combining folders with metadata and use PNP Modern search web part and other modern websites is the way to go for
    – John John
    Dec 30, 2022 at 14:19
  • are you able to advice on my above comment?
    – John John
    Jan 5, 2023 at 21:54

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