Mitigating Throttling and Blocking Challenges in SharePoint Online

Throttling – Ever Encountered This Situation?

While running an application, such as file scanning in SharePoint Online, you encounter throttling or, in some cases, even get blocked.

Wondering about the causes and solutions? Let’s learn this further. SharePoint Online stands as a robust platform for enhancing collaboration, document management, and information sharing.

Numerous organizations leverage SharePoint to optimize their business processes and enhance overall productivity.

However, when it comes to SharePoint migration services and development, one critical concern is the risk of getting throttled or blocked by SharePoint Online’s limitations.

In this blog, we will discuss best practices for SharePoint migration services followed by a SharePoint development company to avoid throttling and blocking issues.

What is Throttling in SharePoint Online?

Throttling serves as a mechanism employed by SharePoint Online to ensure optimal performance and reliability of the service. It imposes constraints on the number of API calls or operations permitted within a specific timeframe to prevent resource overutilization.

Consequences of Throttling in SharePoint Online

When a client surpasses the defined usage limits, SharePoint Online initiates throttling, temporarily inhibiting further requests from that client.

For user-initiated actions conducted directly through a web browser, SharePoint Online redirects users to the throttling information page, ultimately causing these requests to fail.

In the case of requests initiated by applications, including Microsoft Graph, CSOM, or REST calls, SharePoint Online responds with an HTTP status code 429 (“Too many requests”) or 503 (“Server Too Busy”), effectively causing these requests to fail.

HTTP 429 signifies that the calling application exceeded a predetermined limit by sending an excessive number of requests within a designated timeframe.

HTTP 503 indicates that the service is presently unable to process the request. This typically arises due to unexpected temporary load spikes that the service is grappling with.

In both scenarios, the response includes a Retry-After header, indicating the waiting period recommended for the calling application before retrying the request or initiating a new one. It’s important to note that throttled requests count towards usage limits. Failing to adhere to the Retry-After directive may lead to further throttling.

Should the offending application persistently breach the usage limits, SharePoint Online might resort to blocking the application or specific request patterns. In this scenario, the application will consistently receive an HTTP status code 503, and Microsoft will notify the tenant of the block through the Office 365 Message Center.

Best Practices for SharePoint Migration Services

Thorough Pre-Migration Assessment: SharePoint migration services should conduct a content inventory to identify the type, volume, and complexity of data. This comprehensive assessment helps in planning the migration and identifying potential gaps.

Incremental Migration: SharePoint migration services should adopt an incremental migration approach. This means migrating data in smaller, manageable chunks. This minimizes the risk of overloading SharePoint resources, thus reducing the chances of throttling.

Optimize Data: Cleanse and optimize data during migration. Remove redundant, outdated, and trivial content. This reduces the overall data volume, making it easier to migrate without hitting resource limits.

Utilize the SharePoint Migration Tool: Microsoft provides a SharePoint Migration Tool that is designed to handle migrations efficiently. SharePoint migration services should make use of this tool as it is optimized for SharePoint Online.

Schedule Off-Peak Hours: Consider off-peak hours to plan migrations. This minimizes resource contention. This reduces the likelihood of throttling due to concurrent requests from other users.

A SharePoint Development Company always ensures the above best practices avoiding throttling issues.


In conclusion, SharePoint Online offers powerful tools for collaboration and development, but it comes with resource limitations to maintain system performance.

Thorough pre-migration assessment, incremental migration, data optimization, and scheduling migrations during off-peak hours are essential for migration services. PSSPL, an accredited Microsoft partner and vendor, adheres to Microsoft’s endorsed best practices to mitigate throttling effectively.

By following these best practices, organizations can maximize the benefits of SharePoint Online without encountering throttling or blocking issues, ensuring efficient collaboration and productivity for their users.

Happy Reading!

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