following situation...

The goal:

i have a document library with different Project folders. Within these folders are various project files (exel - word - pdf etc.) that belong to that specific project. The goal is to make it so that the folders can be filtered and then that specific project folder shows up and when the user clicks on it, it will show the files within so they can work on them.

The problem:

Once you click on the filtered folder it appears as if it's empty e.g. the files are not shown (they are there though!) As you might have guessed by now I am still a newbie with SharePoint. I have searched for a solution for hours now, and none of them work out for me. I cannot code (yet) so I was hoping that you could give me a detailed solution on how to solve this issue via views or whatever is causing this problem.

Or maybe even an alternative to making this folder based structure, since i have heard using folders is a bad idea various times on my research. It does seem to be the best solution for me though since it should be like Project x23 -> contents and Project x24 -> contents etc.

Any help would be greatly accepted and welcome, of course you do not have to make it for me. I just need a push in the right direction (I hope).

Many thanks to all who have taken time to read this.

1 Answer 1


It is not clear what you want to filter on. A folder storage location does not work as a filter. If you want to display the files in a folder, you don't use filters. Instead you need to navigate to the folder. If you select a project folder, you should see all files in that folder.

If you prefer filtering, another approach is to use metadata, i.e. additional columns in the libary. All files can be stored at the same level, without folders. Use columns like "project" for project name or code, "Project Phase" for the phase, or other descriptive elements to help filter down to the required data.

Ideally you would want to create a child of a document content type, add these columns to the content type and then assign that content type as the default content type for the library.

With Metadata and Keyword filtering, the list view will then show a selection area at the left, where people can drill down into the documents and display them by one or more of the metadata columns specified.

  • First of all thank you for your answer, the metadata solution sounds great but also kinda complicated (at least for me...) Guess i will have to read into it (which is fine but takes time which is not good, guess i have no choice though) I did not quite get the first half of your answer though, is it possible to make it so that the user finds a specific folder instantly without having to scroll through thousands of them or not? Many thanks for your help. Edit: i want to filter the Folder names e.g. x1, x2 etc. so users just enter the project name and then find all files for that project.
    – David
    Jun 11, 2013 at 11:15
  • Do a google search on "sharepoint folders vs metadata". There are differing opinions out there and one size does not fit all. It depends on your business requirements.
    – teylyn
    Jun 11, 2013 at 11:39
  • Yup already on it, though i still think in my case folders are the 'better' option since there will be no sub folders etc, there will be one folder for each project containing files for that specific project only. Sadly i cannot figure out how to filter them in a way that the folder ends up showing it's files only, instead it just shows nothing e.g. files are not visible in that view.
    – David
    Jun 11, 2013 at 11:58
  • Can you elaborate more on the filtering of the folder? It seems like you are trying to have it work similiar to windows explorer where when you click on the folder it shows the file(s) in that folder, but this should happen by default.
    – BlueBird
    Jun 11, 2013 at 18:11
  • That is exactly what i want to happen, and it works fine if i open the site then open any folder it will show it's contents, but when i first filter out a specific folder, and then open it it appears to be empty, or atleast does not show any items in that view... sorry for my late reply had alot to do but this topic/issue here is nonetheless very up to date. Hope you can help me guys.
    – David
    Jun 17, 2013 at 5:50

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