Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

SharePoint Consulting Best Practices

Our SharePoint consulting experts have recently run into some problems with SharePoint library and list thresholds that we have been trouble shooting. We’re sharing some of the best practices that we’ve developed as a result to save other users out there some of the trouble!

Libraries and List in SharePoint

The bottom line for libraries and lists is this: use either folders or indexed columns and filtered views to accurately present a list or library with more items than the threshold. Also beware unexpected results when trying to make changes to settings for the list.

Basically, there are a number of operations that need to query the entire list, any of which may fail if not performed either through code or during the “daily time window” when list thresholds are not applied.

SharePoint consulting: accessing many items in a list or library

The “Item Limit” option for views is also something to consider. We should keep in mind that filtering a view on a non-indexed column may still break the threshold even if the number of items displayed by the view is limited with this option.

In this resource from Microsoft, the author says it pertains to SharePoint Foundation, but we seem to be finding similar restrictions within the other versions.

I also wanted to highlight a quote from the article that stresses how important planning ahead is for any SharePoint consulting engagement:

“The performance of any SharePoint site, especially one that contains lists and libraries with many items, is directly affected by decisions made when setting up and planning a SharePoint site.”

Limits for SharePoint 2013

For users of SharePoint 2013, we have also found a great resource sharing some of the limits and boundaries of this updated platform.

For more learnings from our SharePoint consulting work, check out our “SharePoint Best Practices,” blog!


Benjamin Smith
Senior Manager @ Entrance
Since 2012, Ben has been helping clients address their most critical needs with great software. He is a proponent of business done the right way; efficient, but full of human connection. As a University of Houston Bauer MBA, he understands both the technological and business sides of any project.
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