How To Prevent Documents From Appearing in SharePoint Search Results

02 Jan 2019

Everybody likes privacy, so are the business files. Nobody would grant our files to be accessed or searched in any of the mighty SharePoint search engines.  It safeguards business files from unessential accessing, thus benefits uncompromised security for the users. SharePoint thereby provides multiple layers of protection in terms of security and privacy. Here are few approaches in preventing documents from appearing in search results in SharePoint.

4 ways to prevent documents appears in SharePoint Search results

1. Create Exclusive Permissions For a Document Library or Folder

The files are permission driven in SharePoint, to prevent the documents you have to set an exclusive permissions for a given site, library or folder.  This will prevent the documents from surfacing up in a keyword search to those who don’t have access to it. However, if you want to restraint exclusive permissions for a specific library or folder, few instructions to follow:

Create Unique Permissions For a Library

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint Document Library where you want to set exclusive permissions
  2. Click Library tab > Library SettingsSharePoint Library
  3. Click on Permissions for this document librarySharePoint document settings
  4.  One should notice that, by default, the library obtains permission from the parent (parent being the site). So that it intends that whatever security you set up at the site level propagates to the document library and all the files and folders underneath.SharePoint workflow
  5. We need to breach that inheritance. Click on Stop Inheriting PermissionsSharePoint Demo
  6. Press OK button when you see a pop-upSharePoint support
  7. Next, you can add/remove groups and users as per your wish. Changes you make here will only impact the library and its contents, nothing will be changed on the site. Being said that, if you decide to click on a security group and add/remove users from it, the change will impact all places where the group is used. So it is wise enough to remove existing groups from the library and create new ones or add users outside of the group as necessary.SharePoint Guide

2. Create Unique Permissions for a SharePoint Folder

  1. Click the checkbox next to the folder you want to hide, then “i” iconSharePoint content managementSharePoint solutions
  2. Click on Manage access

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  1. On the next screen, you can manage exclusive permissions for the folder by removing users/groups from it or adding others.SharePoint solutions
  2. You can also press on Advanced at the bottom of above pop-up that will open “classical” security management page. From there, you can remove groups and members, same as document libraries above. All the changes you make will only impact that folder.Document permission

3. Library Level Disabling Search Indexing

Another option is to leave security as it is, but prevent the document from being indexed (picked up) by the SharePoint search engine. To do this:

  1. Navigate to the library
  2. Click Library tab > Library Settings
  3. Click on Advanced settingsAdvanced settings
  4. Scroll down to the middle of the page to the Search section and change the radio button for Allow items from this document library to appear in SharePoint search results?from Yes (default) to NoSharePoint Folder
  5. Click OK at the bottom

4. Site Level Disabling Search Indexing

Similar to above option, you can prevent the whole site from appearing in search. To do this follow the below steps

  1. Gear Icon > Site Settings
  2. Under Search, click on Search and offline availabilitySearch and offline availability
  1. In the Indexing Site Content section, change Allow this site to appear in search results? from Yes (default) to NoSharePoint site search result

Notes: Just like with the document library above, the site might still be accessible (unless you set unique security for it) by others. The change above will only prevent site contents from appearing in the keyword search.

Categories: Microsoft, SharePoint, SharePoint and Office 365

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