In SharePoint 2010, we have the List View Threshold, which defaults to 5,000, and:

Specifies the maximum number of list or library items that a database operation, such as a query, can process at the same time outside the daily time window set by the administrator during which queries are unrestricted.

So, I'm looking to determine the options for querying a document library that will have more items than the threshold limit.

Ignoring the 'unrestricted' dailty time window, will the threshold be triggered under the following scenarios on a document library with more than 5,000 items?

  1. Using CAML Queries in Content Query WebParts on indexed columns, non-paged results (Answer: Yes)
  2. Using CAML Queries in Content Query WebParts on indexed columns, paged results
  3. Using the Search API on indexed or non-index columns (Answer: No)

1 Answer 1


I have not found good documentation which has "finite list" of operations that triggers the threshold limit. But this blog post is good.

But I would consider increasing threshold limits via Central Administration because if your have list/document library exceeding the threshold, unusual things starts occuring

As far as No 3. is concerned - I would say "NO" because the search API does not query the list directly but it looks into its own index and there is no practical limit on that!

Another very useful resource.

  • Ashish, increasing threshold limits only avoids the issue which will have to be dealt with at a later date; I do not wish to circumvent the throttling, only understand how to retrieve data when it is in effect.
    – 9b5b
    Oct 21, 2010 at 18:24

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