How do I change the default value of a column in SharePoint?

If you have a specific metadata column, e.g. “Year”, that has a default value, e.g. “2018” you might want to change the default value after new year. This is how you do it:

  1. Open a document content type that has the column.
  2. Under the content type’s “Columns” section, click on the column whose default value you want to change:
    A content type's Columns section
  3. The column’s page opens in a new tab. Click on “Edit site column”:
    Click on the "Edit site column" link
  4. On the bottom of the page, change the “Default value” and click on the “OK” button:
    Change the column's default value
  5. Back on the column’s page, click on the “OK” button again.
  6. Publish the content type. The changes will not be applied on the workspaces before SharePoint’s publishing jobs have done done their tasks. This might take a few hours.
  7. If the column is used in other document content types, do the same procedure for these content types.


  1. When a content type is published or republished, SharePoint’s timer jobs will do their jobs publishing them to all workspaces. There is however no way to control the frequency of these timer jobs and therefore there is no way to predict when the published content types and their updated columns will be available in the workspaces. Normally it will take about an hour but this can vary up to a day.