Monday, March 02, 2015

Resetting content index in SharePoint Server 2013: why and how

When you are developing against SharePoint Server 2013 search, you might forced to reset the search index. You can do this using the SharePoint user interface through the screen shown below or using PowerShell. I prefer to use PowerShell since resetting through the user interface seems to give me timeouts especially when the index is a quite large. One of the reasons why you are required to reset your content index is when your Search Service Application got into an unhealthy state because of insufficient disk space (See Fixing the Search Service after the Index Drive fills) but I also noticed that when you are working on your development machine and are making lots of changes to the search schema – it might also be useful to reset the search index for your changes to be picked up. If you want to change it using the user interface go to the Search Administration screen of the Search Service Application and select the “Index Reset” option underneath the crawling section of the left menu.

Don’t just reset your search index in a production environment since this will also impact the analytics processing component (Read Reset the index in SharePoint Server 2013). Listed below is the syntax for the PowerShell command (the snippet below assumes that you only have one SearchServiceApplication)


The SearchServiceApplication.Reset method takes two parameters -  public void Reset(    bool disableAlerts,   bool ignoreUnreachableServer) – I would recommend always setting disableAlerts to true if necessary. The value for the second parameter will depend on your specific case. If you also get a timeout when using the PowerShell cmdlet – you can use the steps outlined in SharePoint 2013 Content Index Reset Timeout – they worked for me.

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