How can I set default value for a lookup column (when we adding new item)? For lists creating I am using site columns and site content types in elements.xml.

I can set default value for text or date field type, but I can't find any way to do it for lookup column. I've find this article, but I don't want to use custom InfoPath forms. Is there any possibility to do it?

My site column elements.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Elements xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/">
       Description="Data Centre lookup" 
       Name="NewServer Datacentre"       
       DisplayName="Data Centre"       
       Group="Data centre">

I've tried to play with


but I also have not got any results.

The "1;#FirstDataCenter" is the correct string, I am succesfully using the identical string for setting list item value.

Thank you in advance.

  • what is wrong with the way you are doing it exactly? Just want to clarify what kind of solution you are looking for... – Zork Mar 29 '12 at 12:48
  • When I create new item, it "NewServer Datacentre" column doesn't fill in with the default value = "FirstDataCenter". Columns of other types filling in well. – MikhailSP Mar 29 '12 at 12:53
  • Is this for one list, or do you use the column in many lists? If its for a specific list you could easily just set it with javascript when the NewForm loads – Anders Aune Mar 29 '12 at 13:10
  • Thank you for your answer Anders. I've found a more suitable for my needs solution. But your solution is also good. – MikhailSP Mar 29 '12 at 14:05

From the below blog, you can use the following code...

SPList docs = w.Lists["Documents"];
SPFieldLookup fl = (SPFieldLookup)docs.Fields["City"];
fl.DefaultValue = "1;#Mexico City";


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  • 1
    Does not work for list, only for doc libs. – Evariste Mar 15 '16 at 18:23

I wrote a simple add-on(SharePoint Default Value Add-On), which inject a "default value" section into "Create Column" dialog.

enter image description here

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