I am trying to know how throttling in SharePoint affects web services.

For example if a list contains 20 000 items and throttling is set to 2000, if I use the Lists.GetListItems() method to get the items what will the result be? Will it contains 2000 or an error message?

Thank you for your time.

2 Answers 2


It will give you an error message. Additionally, it also depends through which user account this code has been called as Administrators have different thresholds for listview than a regular user.


The exception message will be:

The attempted operation is prohibited because it exceeds the list view threshold enforced by the administrator.

  • Can you add a link or reference that describes this error? (The form of the XML returned...)
    – user3470
    May 24, 2012 at 7:41
  • I edited your question to add the exception message. Thanks.
    – user3470
    May 24, 2012 at 8:56

If you are running code as Farm Admin throttling settings are ignored and you can retrieve as much data as you need.

If you are a site collection administrator 'List View Threshold for Auditors and Administrators' applies, so by default you are limited to 20.000 list items.

Otherwise 'List View Threshold' will apply.

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