SharePoint Online: Create a Document Set – Step by Step

What is Document Set in SharePoint Online?

In a real-world example, consider “Project Proposal” as a document set for your organization that consists of a Requirement specification Word document, project portfolio PowerPoint presentation, and Budget specification Excel spreadsheet.

How to create a Document Set in SharePoint Online?

How do I create a SharePoint document set? Well, here is how to set up document sets in SharePoint Online step by step. Creating a document set in SharePoint Online is a four-step process:

  1. Enable the “Document Sets” Feature if not enabled already
  2. Create a Content-Type with metadata and document templates.
  3. Add Document Set to Document Library’s Content-Type
  4. Create a New Document Set

Step 1: Enable the “Document Sets” Feature in Site Collection

To begin using Document Sets, first, you need to activate the “Document Set” feature for your SharePoint Online Site Collection – By default, the document set content type is not enabled. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to your SharePoint Online Site collection >> Click on Settings >> and then click Site Settings.
  2. Click on the “Site Collection Features” link under the Site Collection Administration group.
  3. Click the Activate button next to the “Document Sets” feature. sharepoint online activate document set

Step 2: Create a Content Type with Metadata Columns and Document Templates:

Once the Document Sets feature is activated, you can start creating the content type. Creating a content type with a document template is explained here: How to Add Document Template to Content Type in SharePoint?

Create a new content type from the “Document Set” Parent
Document Set is nothing but a special content type. Create a new custom content type as:

  1. Navigate to Site >> Click on the settings gear icon >> Site Information >> View all Site settings
  2. Click on the “Site content types” link under web designer galleries
  3. On the Site Content Types page, click on the “Create” link
  4. Provide the title for the content type; select parent content type as “Document set Content Type” and Parent content type as “Document Set”.
  5. Select the Group and Click OK to create the content type.

Add Site Columns to the Content type. 
After creating the content type, start adding metadata to it by clicking the “Add a new site columns” link from the content type settings page. In my case, I’ve added site columns such as Project Name, Project Description, Project Start Date, etc., to the content type.

sharepoint online csom create document set

Upload Document Templates If needed:
On the content type settings, click on “Document Set settings” and upload document templates such as Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. files. Optionally, you can set the Shared columns section and Welcome Page columns.

sharepoint online document set content type

Step 3: Add Document Set Content Type to Document Library

The document set is a special content type that must be enabled within a library for it to be used. Once the Document Set content type is ready, You can add it to any SharePoint Online library, such as the most common document library in SharePoint Online: Shared Documents library! How do I add a document set to a document library in SharePoint? You can add the Document Set functionality to the Shared Documents library by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the library where you want to enable document sets functionality.
  2. Click on the “Advanced Settings” link under the General Settings section on the Library Settings page.
  3. On the content type section, select Yes to allow the editing of content types. Click the OK button. You’ll notice a new section, “Content Types” in library settings.
  4. Click the “Add from existing site content types” link. On the Add Content Types page, Select the Document Set content type you created in step 2, click the Add button, and then click OK. add document set to library sharepoint online

Now that the Document Set functionality has been added to the library, you can create a new document set.

Step 4: Create a New Document Set

To create a new Document Set, do the following:

  1. Click “New” from the Document Library >> Select the document set we added to the library.documet set in sharepoint online
  2. This opens a page where you can fill the properties with the document set and click OK to create a document set.
  3. It creates the document with folders and document templates we uploaded in step 2 (Creating content type).

Once the Document Set is created, you can manage the document set features, such as editing the properties, capturing versions, changing security permissions, sharing the documents, or pushing all the documents through a workflow in batch.

You can also create a document set in SharePoint Online with PowerShell: How to create a document set in SharePoint Online using PowerShell?

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

3 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: Create a Document Set – Step by Step

  • I was hoping to find more information on Document Sets Settings, but you have cut off the top half of the screen where you add content types to the Document Set. I am trying to customize the metadata inside the document set to make it different from the top level view of the document set. I know it has something to do with the Document Set Settings, but have been unable to find any examples. Thanks.

  • Helpful indeed


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