Renamed, merged or moved terms are not successfully synchronized to SharePoint sites

Applicable browsers: Any browser


When you either rename a term, move a term or merge a term into another term, using these instructions, the changes are not directly reflected in document views, initially you will see the term’s old label. If you however edit a document’s metadata, you will see the term’s new label in the document form.

The new label will first be shown in the document views after a scheduled job has synchronized the changes in the term store to a hidden taxonomy list in each SharePoint site. In normal cases these updates are done within a couple of hours but could take up to a day to complete its task.

This is how the synchronization works:

  1. Any term in the term store, e.g. this one:
    A term in the term set
    Is defined by a number of attributes. These are some of them:
    1. Default label: In this example it is “User story”
    2. Unique identifier: In this example it is “8b4365f8-da32-49e0-8148-419e1d16e10c”
    3. Path: In this example it is “Methods/Models/Plans > User story”
  2. The first time a term is used within a specific site, a new item will be created in the hidden taxonomy list. The URL to this list is: [site-collections-URL]/Lists/TaxonomyHiddenList/AllItems.aspx. Among others, the item will store the term’s “Default label” , “Unique Identifier” and “Path” as its “Title”, “IdForTerm” and “Path”:
    An item in the hidden taxonomy list
  3. Documents always link to the item in the hidden taxonomy list, rather than to the actual term in the term store, displaying the item’s current “Title” (when a term e.g. has been renamed, it will initially have the wrong label).
  4. When the scheduled job has run, the item’s “Title” in the hidden taxonomy list will get the new label and after this, the document will display the item’s updated “Title” (the updated label).

In some cases, the scheduled job however fails in updating the items in the hidden taxonomy list with the result of having outdated labels in the documents. A result of this is also that it might not be possible to filter documents (when a term has been moved and the path to the label is not updated).


If the term changes (renamed or merged terms) are not reflected in a workspace within 24 hours, you will have to open a support case with Microsoft, as there is no way to force a new synchronization of the items in the hidden taxonomy list and a reindexing the site or the document library does not solve the issue. Microsoft will then be able to rerun a full synchronization job for the taxonomy fields in the effected workspace. To make the support request as smooth as possible, send them this information:

  • Task: Synchronize the terms in our term store to the hidden taxonomy list of this site: [URL of the impacted site]
  • Proof: Attach screenshots showing that at least one term is not synchronized
  • Reference: For quicker assistance we recommend you to refer to these earlier resolved Microsoft support ticket numbers:
    • 2401181420003126 (2024-01-24)
    • 28930171 (2021-12-23)
    • 25709848 (2021-05-29)
    • 10852852 (2018-08-03)
    • 10517477 (2018-07-23)
    • 10517329 (2018-06-19)

Expected fix

We have communicated this issue to Microsoft and hope they will release a fix for it soon.