SharePoint 2010 Cookbook: Resource Throttling Settings for Large Lists

Consistent with its past behavior for this platform, SharePoint 2010 enhances those features we found to be ‘good’ with MOSS/WSS v3.0, improves upon those things we found to be ‘not so good,’ and offers us new functionality and features we wished were there in the previous iteration.  One of these improvements is the ability to work with large lists – measured the number of items included at the root of a list or in a view.

SharePoint 2010 permits a list to have up to 50 million items! Can you imagine the performance impact of such a list on the Web front-end, database, and other clients attempting to access a site which is attempting to process even half this number?!


How can I scale and manage large lists to optimize performance in SharePoint 2010?


Large List Resource Throttling is a new SharePoint feature which allows limitations to be placed on a given list view.  This new feature helps mitigate degradation in performance and can be configured the farm administrators in Central Administration on a per-Web application basis.

To configure [or disable] the throttling options, simply browse to the Central Administration Web Application and, under the Application Management area, click the hyperlinked text, Manage web applications:


Select the Web application you’d like to configure from the list:


From the General Settings drop-down on the Ribbon, select Resource Throttling:

As you will see, there are a number of options from which Administrators may choose. The configurations allow SharePoint Administrators to:

  1. Set a block of time each day during which large list throttling does not occur. This time is not ‘hard and fast’ and may not be honored if, for example, a list is still rendering when the cut-off time is reached.
  2. Configure whether or not the object model can override these configurations. As a property, custom code can access and change this.
  3. Set customized permissions for Site Administrators and Auditors.


  • Even though a large number of items [think over 500] can be displayed on a page, default, SharePoint’s paging feature will restrict this to 30 items per view with clickable arrow indicators to move forward or back through the pages.
  • The default number of items handled the database for a single operation varies based on user group. For SharePoint Administrators and Auditors, the default is 20,000 and for end users it’s 5,000.
  • Limitation: User accounts which belong to the local server administrators group are not affected the throttling settings.

See Also:

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