Microsoft SharePoint has become a cornerstone for countless organizations. While it offers numerous advantages, there are instances where users encounter challenges, one of which is the issue of syncing associated with SharePoint Lists. This article dives into the intricacies of this problem, while illustrating with a real-life example, and proposes potential solutions.

The Real-Life Example: A Timemanagement List

As an integral part of our daily operations, we have a Timemanagement list that, over time, swelled beyond 5,000 items. A syncing anomaly emerged, causing some team members to lose their newly created time entries. These omissions were conspicuously absent from both our daily Power Automate and Power BI reports. A deeper inspection revealed these members had their sync status perennially stuck on “Syncing”.

Microsoft SharePoint Syncing....

The Myth of the 5,000 Items Threshold

It’s a prevalent assumption that syncing issues come into play once a SharePoint list crosses the 5,000 items mark. To counter this, we archived older entries to keep the total under 2,000. However, the issue remained unresolved.

A cursory online search reaffirmed that this is a widespread issue. Microsoft’s overarching solution, outlined in their policy documentation, is to completely disable syncing, effectively terminating the Microsoft SharePoint exe process, as noted in this forum.

SharePoint Sync Problem Kill SharePoint.exe

However, for many, always killing the Microsoft.SharePoint.exe or entirely disabling syncing isn’t a practical solution.

A Targeted Solution

Thanks to insights from Mike Hatheway’s blog, we discovered a nuanced approach. Instead of deactivating the entire syncing mechanism, we turned off the “Offline Client Availability” for the problematic list. We know this setting from Document Libraries but where not aware of it in normal Microsoft Lists.

SharePoint List deactivate sync

It’s pertinent to mention that after making this change, it might necessitate a restart of the Microsoft SharePoint exe process for the new setting to take effect.

Wrapping Up

Problems with SharePoint List Syncing can be daunting but are by no means insurmountable. While broad solutions like Microsoft’s may suit some, often, more specific measures can resolve the issue without compromising other functions. Tapping into online communities and blogs can often yield practical solutions, showcasing the power of collective knowledge.