Search results missing in SharePoint Online

Problem

When a user tries to search a site in SharePoint Online, items may be missing from the search results. For example, the following items may be missing:

  • Content
  • Pages
  • ASPX pages

This issue may occur even though the site was crawled and indexed by the Search service, and the user has permissions to access the resource by using a search query.

Cause

There are various reasons why expected results maybe be missing that are related to crawl latency or settings in SharePoint Online.

Solution

  1. To resolve this issue, check the following settings.

    1. Verify that Allow this site to appear in search results? is set to Yes.

    2. As an admin, locate the site that's missing results.

    3. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner.

    4. Select Site Settings.

    5. Under Search, select Search and offline availability.

    6. Make sure that Allow this site to appear in search results? is set to Yes.

      After the setting is set to Yes, the site should be indexed during the next scheduled crawl.

      Note

      From the same location, admins can also select Reindex Site to enable the site to be picked up during the next scheduled search crawl.

      See the "More Information" section for a detailed explanation and walk-through of site-level search configuration settings.

  2. Make sure that Allow items from this document library to appear in search results? is set to Yes.

    1. As an admin, locate the library that's missing from search results.

    2. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner.

    3. Select Library Settings.

    4. Select Advanced Settings.

    5. Make sure that Allow items from this document library to appear in search results? is set to Yes.

      After the setting is set to Yes, the library should be indexed during the next scheduled crawl.

      Note

      From the same location, admins can also select Reindex Document Library to make sure that all content in the document library is indexed during the next scheduled crawl.

  3. Verify that the version of the document that's missing from search results is a major version of the document. If the version is a minor version, it will not be displayed in the search results until it's checked in and published as a major version.

    1. As an admin, locate the document that's missing from search results.

    2. Select the three dots next to the document to see more settings.

    3. Check Version History to see whether there are any minor versions of the document. If there are, the document is available as a minor version but won't be found when the user searches for it.

    4. To make the document available in search results, select the three dots () next to the document to see more settings.

    5. This time, select the Advanced option, and then select Publish a Major Version. The admin can go back to Version History and see that the document is published as a major version, typically a later version than 1.0.

    6. Try to search for the document again. The document will be displayed (after it's crawled and indexed) because it's published as a major version.

  4. Verify the site's search visibility options at the following location:

    <site_name>/_layouts/srchvis.aspx

    Make sure that the Allow this web to appear in search results option is selected.

Parent site and sub site-specific search issues

The default setting for search visibility is one of the following:

  • Do not index ASPX pages if this site contains fine-grained permissions.
  • This site contains fine-grained permissions. Specify the site's ASPX page indexing behavior.

If a subsite on the site collection doesn't inherit permissions, .aspx pages won't appear in the search results. To resolve this issue, set the search visibility option in Srchvis.aspx to Always index all ASPX pages on this site or Always index all Web Parts on this site, depending on which option is available. Additionally, you may set the subsite to inherit permissions from the parent site.

More information

For more information about search, see the following Microsoft webpages:

Still need help? Go to Microsoft Community.