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MC405984: Site Limits for SharePoint Lists, Libraries, and Subsites

Updated October 11, 2022: We are providing updates to provide you with additional information. Thank you for your patience.

Updated September 19, 2022: We have updated the rollout timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

We would like to provide clarification on the enforcement of maximum count of lists and libraries per site. As described in the SharePoint limits – Service Descriptions, the service limit is 2,000 lists and libraries combined per site collection (including the main site and any subsites). Beginning February 2023, we will enforce the limit of 2,000 lists and libraries independently at the main (root) site and the subsite level. For instance, a site collection can have 2,000 subsites (including the main site) and each subsite (including the main site) could have 2,000 lists and libraries (including the hidden and default out of the box libraries).

MC405984: Site Limits for SharePoint Lists, Libraries, and Subsites

These limits may get further re-aligned based on the service description in the future, but the timeline is TBD. In the meantime, we still recommend customers to follow the limits defined in the service description to achieve the best performance and service reliability.

SharePoint recommends a maximum of 2,000 lists and libraries per site, and 2,000 subsites per site. These have been long standing limits for SharePoint but have not been formally enforced.

There have been cases where some sites exceeded these limits, resulting in poor site performance and low-quality viewing experience. One of the most impacted areas is the API performance that degrades significantly when users access data on the sites that exceed their recommended limits. The API calls may time out or get throttled, blocking the users from opening the site or resulting in unexpected failures. In some extreme cases, the issue can impact functionalities beyond these sites.

To ensure site performance and help customers have the best possible experience, Microsoft will implement a safeguard to prevent customers from exceeding these limits.

When will this happen

The change will only impact the creation of new lists, libraries or subsites outside the approved limits starting in February 2023 (previously early November) and will be completely enforced by late April (previously late December).

How this will affect your organization

Once these limits are enforced, sites that exceed the limit of 2,000 lists and libraries will no longer be able to have new libraries or lists added to the site. Similarly, any site that exceeds the limit of 2,000 subsites will no longer be able to have new subsites added to the site.

When a site reaches these limits, users will see the following message on SharePoint web:

When a site reaches these limits, users will see the following message on SharePoint web

On the API request to create a new list or document library, SharePoint will return the error code, ERROR_SHARING_BUFFER_EXCEEDED on the API request.

Libraries, lists, and subsites that have been created before the enforcement rollout and exceed the corresponding limit, will continue to function and their access will not be blocked. The change will only impact the creation of new lists, libraries or subsites outside the approved limits starting in November. These new additions will get blocked at the time of creation once the site reaches the corresponding limit.

What you need to do to prepare

Share these limits with people who manage SharePoint sites in your organization. If the sites in your tenant are below the limits, this change will not impact you.

It is uncommon for the organic growth of site to reach these limits. However, there is a possibility that custom solutions can generate a high volume of lists and libraries. In that situation, our recommendation is to work with their solution providers to prepare an alternative solution in order to stay compliant with these limits.

Additional Information

Message ID: MC405984
Published: 26 July 2022
Updated: 11 October 2022
Platform: Online, World tenant

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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