Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Site descriptions are now searchable!! (and more)


“What????!” you might say, hasn’t it always been like that? And the answer is that ever since SharePoint 2013 it hasn’t. Because if it had, I would not be writing this – just saying.

As a bonus if you create a column in a library named Description, the content of this property is now also searchable. See my old post about this issue.

That’s correct people, you get a 2 for 1 special as Microsoft Search has rectified a long time nuance. And I’ll take the credit for getting this fixed (with some awesome technical help from Himanshu on the Stream team) - I can be humble another time


Note: The change applies to updated content, not content already in the index. For active sites it should fix itself, so no action needed on your part.

Technical explanation

For the site description (or the description of an Office 365 group or a Team) the crawled property storing the description value, ows_SiteDescription, was mapped to two managed properties:

  • Description
  • SiteDescription

Neither which were marked as searchable, effectively removing the ability to get a match on normal user queries from a search box. We have now made a search schema change to map ows_SiteDescription to the managed property Contents in addition to the two existing ones, ensuring full-text search.

Same goes for a SharePoint column/field named Description. Except this is a weird one as the crawled property for this column is Office:6, not ows_Description. To be on the safe side we have mapped both Office:6 and ows_Description to Contents as well.

Need a refresh on what makes content free-text searchable in SharePoint? Head over to

Cover image by Alexander Krivitskiy@unsplash