Manage the search schema in SharePoint Online

In the search schema, you can view, create, or change managed properties, and map crawled properties to managed properties. By changing the search schema, you can create a customized search experience.

In this article


About the search schema

When people search for content on your SharePoint sites, it's what's in your search index that decides what they'll find. The index contains information from all documents and pages on your site.

The search index is built up by crawling the content on your SharePoint site. The crawler picks up content and metadata from the documents in the form of crawled properties. The search schema helps the crawler decide what content and metadata to pick up. Examples of metadata are the author and the title of a document. However, to get the content and metadata from the documents into the search index, the crawled properties must be mapped to managed properties. Only managed properties are kept in the index. For example, a crawled property related to author is mapped to a managed property related to author.

Managed properties and search

The search schema contains the mappings from crawled properties to managed properties, and it contains different settings on the managed properties. Users can only search on managed properties. The settings on the managed properties define what you can search for and how, for example which managed properties you can later set up as refiners.

You can use the managed properties to restrict search results, as in "only search for items that have this specific author", and present the content of the properties in search results.

Refine on managed properties

When you create a new site column in a SharePoint list, the crawler picks up the name of the site column as a new crawled property. SharePoint automatically maps the new crawled property to a new auto-generated managed property. This auto-generated managed property is by default non-refinable.

If you want to use the property as a refiner in the front-end, you must manually map the crawled property to a managed property that is set as refinable. To create a new refinable managed property in SharePoint Online , you must use an existing, unused managed property, and rename it by using an Alias. There's quite a few managed properties available for this purpose. They have names such as "RefinableString00" and "RefinableDate19."

For example, you create a new site column called NewColors, and you want users to be able to use NewColors as an option when they refine on the search results. In the search schema, you choose an unused managed property, for example RefinableString00, and rename the property to New Colors by using an Alias. Then, you map this new managed property to the relevant crawled property.

Change the search schema on tenant level or on site collection level

Usually, you don't have to change the default search schema for the tenant. However, if you want to create a more advanced or customized search experience, you can change the schema.

You can change the search schema for the whole tenant or for a specific site collection only. The search schema for the site collection is based on the search schema for the tenant, so typically, you would make changes on the tenant level first, and then on the site collection level. Any changes you make on a site collection, only apply to that site collection.

Crawling and re-indexing

When you change managed properties or add new ones, the changes take effect only after the content has been re-crawled. In SharePoint Online, crawling happens automatically based on the defined crawl schedule.

When you have added a new property to a list or to a library, or when you have changed properties that are used in a list or library, the content must be re-crawled before your changes will be reflected in the search index. Because your changes are made in the search schema, and not to the actual site, the crawler will not automatically re-index the list or the library. To make sure that your changes are crawled and re-indexed, you can specifically request a re-indexing of the list or library. When you do this, the list or library content will be re-crawled and re-indexed so that you can start using your new managed properties in queries, query rules and display templates.

Top of Page Top of Page

Create a new managed property

 Note    Not all options are available in SharePoint Online.

In SharePoint Online, when you create a new managed property, it will have some limitations. For example, the property can only be of type Text or Yes/No, and it can't be refinable or sortable.

If you need a property of a different type, or one that has different characteristics than what is available, follow the steps under Create a managed property by renaming an existing one.

  1. Go to the Search Schema page for the tenant or for a site collection:
  • For the tenant:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Choose Admin > SharePoint. You're now in the SharePoint admin center.
  3. Click search, and then on the search administration page, click Manage Search Schema.
  • For a site collection:
  1. On your site, go to Settings, click Site settings and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search Schema.
  1. On the Managed Properties page, click New Managed Property.
  2. In the Name and description section, in the Property name box, type the name of the new managed property. Type a description if you want.
  3. In the Type section, select one of the available options for the property:
  • Text
  • Yes/No
  1. In the Main characteristics section, select one or several of the available options.
  2. In the Mappings to crawled properties section, click Add a mapping.
  3. In the crawled property selection dialog box, choose a crawled property to map to the managed property, and then click OK. Repeat this step if you want to map more crawled properties to the same managed property.
  4. In the Mappings to crawled properties section, specify if you want to include:
  • All content from all crawled properties mapped to this managed property
  • Content from the first crawled property that contains a value and, optionally, in which order
  1. Click OK.

Top of Page Top of Page

Create a managed property by renaming an existing one

  1. Go to the Search Schema page for the tenant or for a site collection:
  • For the tenant:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Choose Admin > SharePoint. You're now in the SharePoint admin center.
  3. Click search, and then on the search administration page, click Manage Search Schema.
  • For a site collection:
  1. On your site, go to Settings, click Site settings and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search Schema.
  1. On the Managed Properties page, find an unused managed property. By unused, we mean that the property is not mapped to a crawled property: the Mapped Crawled Properties column is empty. See the Default unused managed properties table for more details.

 Important    To be able to use the property as a refiner later, choose a managed property that is marked with Refine.

  1. Point to the managed property, click the arrow, and then click Edit/Map property.
  2. On the Edit Managed Property page, under Main characteristics, in the Alias section, enter the new name for the property in the Alias box.
  3. In the Mappings to crawled properties section, click Add a mapping.
  4. On the Crawled property selection page, select a crawled property to map to the managed property and then click OK. Repeat this step to map more crawled properties to this managed property.
  5. Click OK.

 Important    When you have created a new managed property this way, the library or list that will use the refiner must be re-crawled and re-indexed before the property will appear as an option in the refinement configuration. See Request re-indexing of a document library or list.

Top of Page Top of Page

View crawled properties and managed properties

  1. Go to the Search Schema page for the tenant or for a site collection:
  • For the tenant:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Choose Admin > SharePoint. You're now in the SharePoint admin center.
  3. Click search, and then on the search administration page, click Manage Search Schema.
  • For a site collection:
  1. On your site, go to Settings, click Site settings and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search Schema.
  1. On the Managed Properties tab, you see all the managed properties, the settings on the managed properties and the crawled properties they are mapped to.
  2. To view crawled properties and the managed properties they are mapped to, click Crawled Properties.
  3. To view crawled property categories, click Categories.

Top of Page Top of Page

Edit a managed property

 Note    Not all options are available in SharePoint Online.

  1. Go to the Search Schema page for the tenant or for a site collection:
  • For the tenant:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Choose Admin > SharePoint. You're now in the SharePoint admin center.
  3. Click search, and then on the search administration page, click Manage Search Schema.
  • For a site collection:
  1. On your site, go to Settings, click Site settings and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search Schema.
  1. On the Managed Properties tab, find the managed property that you want to edit in the Property Name column, or type the name in the Filter box.
  2. In the list, point to the managed property, click the arrow, and then click Edit/Map property.
  3. On the Edit Managed Property page, edit the settings and then click OK.

Top of Page Top of Page

Delete a managed property

  1. Go to the Search Schema page for the tenant or for a site collection:
  • For the tenant:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Choose Admin > SharePoint. You're now in the SharePoint admin center.
  3. Click search, and then on the search administration page, click Manage Search Schema.
  • For a site collection:
  1. On your site, go to Settings, click Site settings and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search Schema.
  1. On the Managed Properties tab, find the managed property that you want to delete, or enter its name in the Filter box.
  2. Point to the managed property that you want to delete, click the arrow, and then click Delete.
  3. Click OK.

 Important    If you delete a managed property:

  • Users can't search on the property.
  • A query rule that uses the property no longer works.
  • A custom web part that uses the property no longer works.

Top of Page Top of Page

Map a crawled property to a managed property

  1. Go to the Search Schema page for the tenant or for a site collection:
  • For the tenant:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Choose Admin > SharePoint. You're now in the SharePoint admin center.
  3. Click search, and then on the search administration page, click Manage Search Schema.
  • For a site collection:
  1. On your site, go to Settings, click Site settings and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search Schema.
  1. Choose Crawled Properties.
  2. On the Crawled Properties page, find the crawled property that you want to map to a managed property, or enter its name in the Crawled properties box under Filters.
  3. Point to the crawled property that you want to map, click the arrow, and then click Edit/Map property.
  4. On the Edit Crawled Property page, in the Mappings to managed properties section, click Add a Mapping.
  5. In the managed property selection dialog box, select a managed property to map to the crawled property and then click OK. Repeat this step to map more managed properties to this crawled property.
  6. In the Include in full-text index section, select the box if you want to include the content of this crawled property in the full-text index.
  7. Click OK.

Top of Page Top of Page

View or edit crawled property categories

  1. Go to the Search Schema page for the tenant or for a site collection:
  • For the tenant:
  1. Sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center.
  2. Choose Admin > SharePoint. You're now in the SharePoint admin center.
  3. Click search, and then on the search administration page, click Manage Search Schema.
  • For a site collection:
  1. On your site, go to Settings, click Site settings and then under Site Collection Administration, click Search Schema.
  1. Choose Categories.
  2. On the Categories page, find the crawled property category that you want to view or edit.
  3. Do one of the following:
  1. To view which crawled properties belong to a category, and which managed properties they are mapped to, click the crawled property category in the Categories page.
  2. To edit a category, point to the crawled property category that you want to edit, click the arrow, and then click Edit category.

Top of Page Top of Page

Request re-indexing of a document library or list

  1. On your site, go to the list or library where you have added the new property.
  2. In the ribbon, click the Library tab or the List tab.
  3. In the Library ribbon, choose Library Settings,
    or,

In the List ribbon choose List Settings.

  1. On the Settings page, under General Settings, choose Advanced settings.
  2. Scroll down to Reindex Document Library or Reindex List, and click the button. All of the content in the document library or list will be re-indexed during the next scheduled crawl.

Top of Page Top of Page

See also:

 
 
Applies to:
SharePoint admin center, SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Small Business, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint operated by 21Vianet - admin center