How big can my SharePoint 2010 installation be?

Posted on 5/16/2010 @ 2:18 PM in #SharePoint by | Feedback | 494 views

3 years ago, I had published “How big can my SharePoint 2007 installation be?”

Well, SharePoint 2010 has significant under the covers improvements. So, how big can your SharePoint 2010 installation be?

There are three kinds of limits you should know about

  • Hard limits that cannot be exceeded by design.
  • Configurable that are, well configurable – but the default values are set for a pretty good reason, so if you need to tweak, plan and understand before you tweak.
  • Soft limits, you can exceed them, but it is not recommended that you do.

Before you read any of the limits, read these two important disclaimers -

1. The limit depends on what you’re doing. So, don’t take the below as gospel, the reality depends on your situation.
2. There are many additional considerations in planning your SharePoint solution scalability and performance, besides just the below.

So with those in mind, here goes.


Hard Limits -

Zones per web app


RBS NAS performance

Time to first byte of any response from NAS must be less than 20 milliseconds

List row size

8000 bytes driven by how SP stores list items internally

Max file size

2GB (default is 50MB, configurable). RBS does not increase this limit.

Search metadata properties

10,000 per item crawled (pretty damn high, you’ll never need to worry about it).

Max # of concurrent in-memory enterprise content types

5000 per web server, per tenant

Max # of external system connections

500 per web server

PerformancePoint services using Excel services as a datasource

No single query can fetch more than 1 million excel cells

Office Web Apps Renders

One doc per second, per CPU core, per Application server, limited to a maximum of 8 cores.


Configurable Limits -

Row Size Limit

6, configurable via SPWebApplication.MaxListItemRowStorage property

List view lookup

8 join operations per query

Max number of list items that a single operation can process at one time in normal hours


Configurable via SPWebApplication.MaxItemsPerThrottledOperation


Also you get a warning at 3000, which is configurable via



In addition, throttle overrides can be requested, throttle overrides can be disabled, and time windows can be set when throttle is disabled.

Max number of list items for administrators that a single operation can process at one time in normal hours


Configurable via SPWebApplication.MaxItemsPerThrottledOperationOverride

Enumerating subsites


Word and Powerpoint co-authoring simultaneous editors

10 (Hard limit is 99).

# of webparts on a page


Search Crawl DBs per search service app


Items per crawl db

25 million

Search Keywords

200 per site collection. There is a max limit of 5000, which can then be modified by editing the web.config/client.config.

Concurrent # of workflows on a content db

15. Workflows running in the timer service are not counted in this limit. Further workflows are queued. Can be configured via the Set-SPFarmConfig powershell commandlet.

Number of events picked by the workflow timer job and delivered to workflows

100. You can increase this limit by running additional instances of the workflow timer service.

Visio services file size


Visio web drawing recalculation timeout

120 seconds

Configurable via – Powershell commandlet Set-SPVisioPerformance

Visio services minimum and maximum cache age for data connected diagrams

0 to 24 hours. Default is 60 minutes.

Configurable via – Powershell commandlet Set-SPVisioPerformance


Soft Limits -

Content Databases

300 per web app

Application Pools 10 per web server

Managed Paths

20 per web app

Content Database Size

200GB per Content DB

Size of 1 site collection


# of sites in a site collection


Documents in a library

30 Million, with nesting. Depends heavily on type and usage and size of documents.


30 million. Depends heavily on usage of items.

SPGroups one SPUser can be in


Users in a site collection

2 million, depends on UI, nesting, containers and underlying user store

AD Principals in a SPGroup


SPGroups in a site collection


Search Service Instances


Indexed Items in Search

100 million

Crawl Log entries

100 million

Search Alerts

1 million per search application

Search Crawled Properties

1/2 million

URL removals in search

100 removals per operation

User Profiles

2 million per service application

Social Tags

500 million per social database

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 6/16/2010 12:04:34 PM Sean Wallbridge said ..
Great consolidation of information. Just an update though that the help in SharePoint and other resources I have seen indicates the maximum limit for lists and libraries is 50 million, not 30 million. So a pretty significant difference (almost double). Of course, planning, etc. factors in but wanted to provide that update.

On 6/30/2010 4:13:42 PM Chris Renaud said ..
Any idea on the limit of web applications per server? It`s mentioned that there`s a limit of 10 app pools but what if you share app pools?

On 7/24/2010 4:38:54 PM Benjamin Athawes said ..
Great summary - I frequently read questions asking for SharePoint capacity planning "magic numbers" - in a lot of cases the answer is simply "it depends". For anyone interested, I have blogged specifically about the app pool limits on SharePoint 2010 WFE servers over at

On 12/14/2010 8:33:12 PM Benjamin Athawes said ..
Just to follow up on this one, I have blogged re. Web app limits / farm in SP2010 at Check it out and let me know if its useful.

On 2/6/2013 7:18:48 AM Tariq said ..
Any idea how we can increase managed paths limit more than 20?