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How to properly delete and hide managed metadata terms in the Term Store

Posted on March 25, 2020
SharePoint

If you use Term Store to manage metadata (and I hope you do), it is inevitable that at some point, you will end up with large hierarchies of tags within your Term Store. Just like you will be adding new terms to the Term Store on an ongoing basis, you might also need to remove a few as well. In this article, I would like to explain a few different options available to you if you need to hide managed metadata terms, as well as explain the difference among them.

Option 1: Delete Term

In case you want to remove altogether a term that was created by mistake or something, then a good-old delete button will help.

hide managed metadata terms

What happens when you delete a term from the Term Store

When you delete a term from the Term Store it is permanently gone from the Term Store; however, if you had any documents or items tagged against it, they will not lose that Term (metadata) until the next time a user tries to tag a record (at which point the user will need to choose a new Term)

Pros

  • Nice and easy

Cons

  • Irreversible, in case you deleted by accident

Option 2: Deprecate Term

If the previous option is a bit scary, then you might want to Deprecate Term instead.

hide managed metadata terms

What happens when you deprecate a term in the Term Store

Hides the term and its children terms entirely from the users’ view when trying to tag.

Pros

  • Can be undone if need be

Cons

  • If the Term deprecated has subterms (children) under it that you might still want to use, they will be hidden (invisible) as well

Option 3: Available for tagging checkbox

Another option to hide managed metadata terms, which happens to be my favorite, is to use Available for tagging checkbox. By default, any terms you create within the Term Store are automatically available for tagging. However, you can control whether or not the term will be available for tagging or not by unchecking the box. Once you uncheck the box, just hit Save. hide managed metadata terms

What happens when you uncheck Available for tagging checkbox

The Term will be grayed out within a Term Store.

When the user tries to tag a document against the term, the term will also be grayed out and not selectable!

Pros

  • Can be undone if need be
  • A great technique to use when you want to make a term visible but not selectable.  Example: You have a hierarchy of terms, and you do not want the Parent term to be selected, just the children terms underneath

Cons

  • None I can think of

About Me

I’m Greg Zelfond, a U.S. based SharePoint consultant, and I provide affordable out-of-the-box SharePoint consulting, training, and configuration assistance to small and medium-sized businesses all over the world.

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