Friday, November 13, 2020

Mapping or clearing crawled property to managed property mappings using PowerShell (or code)


Mapping a crawled property to a managed property in SharePoint Online is usually done via the user interface. A somewhat cumbersome task as you first have to create content with a value which will ensure the creation of a crawled property matching your SharePoint field (or column if you want). Once the crawled property is available you can map it to a managed property.

Lately there has been issues where crawled properties are not listed in the admin UI due to a bug, and this blocks tenants from creating search solutions dependent on schema mappings. There are some workarounds available which you can check out at

Instead of these workaround I figured I’d show how you can use search configuration XML files to accomplish the same task – a pattern I used many times back in the day when working on SharePoint 2013 on-premises and had to move search configurations between environments. These files together with the PnP cmdlet Set-PnPSearchConfiguration is a time saver. You can also use

Get-PnPSearchConfiguration -Scope Site -OutputFormat ManagedPropertyMappings

to see any mappings at a particular site.

The first bonus of my solution is that you can map a crawled property which don’t yet exists, as it will be created for you. No need to create content before you start mapping.

The other bonus is that you can also clear out an existing mapping, reverting it to the default behavior. Particularly handy if you at a site scope override a global mapping, and later want to revert. Something you simply cannot do in the admin interface today. 

Note: The best way to create these files is to use a new site collection in either SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013/2016/2019 where you are able to do the mappings. Manually create the needed mappings and export the search configuration file to be used in another environment (site, or tenant).

The script currently works with ows_<fieldName> crawled properties. Which means you need to figure out the name of the crawled property manually. (ows_ + internal name of the SharePoint Field). It will also only work with the reusable managed properties as we know the id’s of these beforehand. In order to make it work for other crawled properties the script must be expanded to support more property set id’s. Focusing on the set 00130329-0000-0130-c000-000000131346 should however cover most scenarios.


Head over to and fetch the files:

  • MapCrawledPropertyToManagedProperty.ps1
  • SearchMappingTemplate.xml
  • SearchMappingReset.xml

Check the top of the ps1 for usage. Happy property mapping!

Cover photo by Markus Winkler @ Unsplash