How to manually start crawls and reindex SharePoint content

After you’ve made changes to managed metadata or the search schema you may wish to re-crawl your content sooner than the next scheduled crawl. You can do this across all site collections (on-prem/server), one site at a time (O365 or on-prem) or individual lists and libraries (O365 or on-prem).

O365/SharePoint Online

In O365, you can’t trigger a full crawl of all sites using central admin like we can on-prem. But some use scripts to achieve the same effect. In O365, content is continually crawled instead of scheduled like on-prem. You can, however, reindex individual sites, lists and libraries on-demand as noted in the next section:

Individual sites, lists and libraries (O365 and on-prem)

To crawl a single site/library/list by using site or library settings then reindex site/library/list.


  1. Go to site settings
  2. Under “Search,” click “Search and Offline Availability”iexplore_2018-09-12_08-07-30.png
  3. Click “Reindex site”


  1. Go to list/library settings
  2. Go to “advanced settings”
  3. “Reindex List” or “Reindex Document Library”

All collections (On-prem/SharePoint Server)

And if you’re on-prem/server, you can crawl all site collections and their content by following these steps:

  1. Go to central admin
  2. Click “manage service applications”
  3. Click “Search service application”
  4. Under “crawling” click “Content Sources”
  5. Click “start all crawls”
    You could also just crawl one content source by using the dropdown and selecting full or incremental.

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