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Start, pause, resume, or stop a crawl in SharePoint Server 2013

SharePoint 2013

Updated: December 10, 2013

Summary: Learn how to start, pause, resume or stop a full or incremental crawl for a content source.

Applies to:  SharePoint Server 2013 

When you perform a full crawl for a content source, all content specified by the content source is crawled even if the content already exists in the search index. You can start a full crawl for each content source separately. Alternatively, clicking the Start all crawls link on the Manage Content Sources page causes the content specified in all content sources to be crawled using an incremental crawl, unless either of the following conditions is true:

  • The system detects that a full crawl is required.

  • The content source is of type SharePoint Sites and Enable Continuous Crawls is selected in the Crawl Schedules section on the Add/Edit Content Source page for the content source. Continuous crawl is a new crawl schedule option in SharePoint Server 2013 that applies only to content sources of type SharePoint Sites.

In this article:

note Note:

Because SharePoint 2013 runs as websites in Internet Information Services (IIS), administrators and users depend on the accessibility features that browsers provide. SharePoint 2013 supports the accessibility features of supported browsers. For more information, see the following resources:

Before you begin

Before you can perform the procedures in this article, there must be a Search service application in the farm so that you can perform crawls. For more information, see Create and configure a Search service application in SharePoint Server 2013. A Search service application can contain one or more content sources. Each crawl that you perform is associated with a particular content source, which specifies the content to crawl.

Start, pause, resume, or stop a crawl for a content source

From the Manage Content Sources page, you can start, pause, resume, or stop a crawl for any content source that does not have continuous crawls enabled.

To start, pause, resume, or stop a crawl for a content source

  1. Verify that the user account that is performing this procedure is an administrator for the Search service application.

  2. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage Service Applications.

  3. On the Manage Service Applications page, in the list of service applications, click the Search service application.

  4. On the Search Administration page, in the Crawling section, click Content Sources.

  5. On the Manage Content Sources page, in the list of content sources, point to the name of the content source that you want, click the arrow and then click one of the following menu items. (The value in the Status column might not automatically refresh when the value changes. To update values in the Status column, refresh the Manage Content Sources page by clicking Refresh.)

    • Start Full Crawl. The value in the Status column changes to Crawling Full for the selected content source.

    • Start Incremental Crawl. The value in the Status column changes to Crawling Incremental for the selected content source.

    • Resume Crawl. The value in the Status column changes back to Crawling Full or Crawling Incremental for the selected content source.

    • Pause Crawl. The value in the Status column changes to Paused for the selected content source.

      note Note:

      Pausing a crawl has the disadvantage that references to crawl components can remain in the MSSCrawlComponentsState table in the search administration database. This can cause a problem if you want to remove any crawl components (say, because you want to remove a server that hosts those components from the farm). However, when you stop a crawl, references to crawl components in the MSSCrawlComponentsState table are deleted. Therefore, if you want to remove crawl components, it is better to stop crawls than to pause crawls. For more information about removing crawl components, see Best practices for crawling in SharePoint Server 2013.

    • Stop Crawl. You must click OK to confirm that you want to stop the crawl. The value in the Status column changes to Idle for the selected content source.

      note Note:

      If you stop a full or incremental crawl that is in progress (for example, so that you can change the search topology), the next time a crawl occurs for that content source, the Search system automatically performs a full crawl.

Disable continuous crawls

From the Manage Content Sources page, continuous crawls can be enabled or disabled, but they cannot be paused or resumed. If you want to pause a content source that is currently in continuous crawl mode, disable continuous crawl first. For more information, see Manage continuous crawls in SharePoint Server 2013.

Change History

Date Description

December 10, 2013

Added information about the disadvantage of pausing a crawl.

July 16, 2012

Initial publication

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