When you want to make a title field sortable in SharePoint you will hit some issues.

I’m not going to introduce the Search web parts in SharePoint in this article. I’m sure there are plenty of articles about that.

Today I’m looking at the managed properties in Office 365 as this is something that is different form the on-premises equivalent.

Sortable fields

Table of Contents

Out of the box the managed property for Title doesn’t have sortable set :


This is probably not too much of a problem if you could simply edit the property and set sortable to yes


Unfortunately the sortable option is something that you can’t modify.

So where does that leave me, if I need to sort by title.

Create a new managed property? No for new properties this is also disabled!

Did Microsoft remove the sortable option in Office 365? No, they just hid it a bit.

Title field sortable

There are many managed properties that start with Refinable… that do have the sort option enabled. These refinable properties are meant to be used by refinement panels. But there is no reason why they can’t be used in search web parts.


For each data type (String, Date, Int, …) there is a different set of properties.

RefinableString00, RefinableString01, … all the way up to 20. “WHAT ONLY 20???”, I hear you shout.thXNP4Y9YD

Within Office 365 there are 20 Refinable Properties created for each datatype. Whenever you run out SharePoint will as by magic create another 100. And when you run out again another 100 are created.

So back to the original question of how to make Title sortable. Pick an unmapped Refinable property and map it to the Title fields. Then use that Refinable property in your search web parts and you can sort by Title.

Avatar for Pieter Veenstra

By Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications Microsoft MVP working as a Principal Architect at HybrIT Services Ltd. You can contact me using contact@sharepains.com

7 thoughts on “Make the title field sortable in search web parts”
  1. Hi,

    thank you for your post, I followed it but it doesn’t look like my new managed property is returning any values… I waiting 48 hours already and still nothing 🙁 any advice?

    thank you!

      1. That sounds ok. Are your items being returned and the titles not displayed? Or are the items not being returned. Are you using custom display templates in your search result/content search web parts?

  2. Hey Peter, I’ve been banging my head with the Highlighted Content web part in SP Modern trying to sort documents by title and am having absolutely no luck. Has anyone figured out how to do this? I’ve tried all these properties with no luck:


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