Two common search questions

A customer had two questions this morning regarding Search in SharePoint (and the following hasn’t really changed in 2013). As I already had the answers for her, figured I’d share them with others as well.

How do I see how long a full search crawl takes?

1.     In your Search Service Application (Central Admin, Manage Service Applications, click on your Search Service Application to manage it).

2.     Click on Crawl log (on left.

3.     Find the last full (there will probably be a bunch of incremental one’s first as the Crawl was on the weekend.  Look for the Last Crawl Duration.

How do I kick off a full crawl?

For kicking off a full crawl, and I would bet the load on your system is currently pretty “light” (i.e. I think you can safely launch it anytime), in that same area, you want to choose “Content Sources” and then mouse over the SharePoint Site job and choose “Start Full Crawl”

She then followed up with these questions so I’ll include them too…

Should I be concerned about warning and errors from the crawl? Or incremental is 2 minutes and the full crawl is 35 minutes.

Warnings and errors are worth periodic review but many of them will be for expected reasons, most typically being:

  • A site or list is marked as “do not search” (such as a search center, it has that property by default as you don’t search the center itself – or because a file is larger than 16MB which is the default maximum size crawled out of the box

However, there may be other reasons (corrupt lists, etc.) that could be investigated. Usually what you would do is review them once in a while and for cases where it won’t get addressed (a site or list marked as not searchable), you would “remove the item from the Index” which will add the item to your “Crawl Rules”. So you can work to pare down the errors and warnings you see as you go on…

As for how long the crawl takes, it takes a few minutes to get “rolling” so an incremental call of a totally empty SharePoint site could still register as a minimum of 2 minutes. A full is a full crawl/reset effectively, everything in the paths defined will be crawled. An incremental is just looking for items that have changed since the last full and for the most part, it would be a very small percentage of what it took to do the full. Note, if you change permissions, you should be doing a full as those security trimming details aren’t picked up in an incremental.