File share Microsoft Graph connector

The File share Microsoft Graph connector allows users in your organization to search on-premises Windows file shares.


Read the Setup for your Microsoft Graph connector article to understand the general connectors setup process.

Before you get started

Install the Microsoft Graph connector agent

To index your Windows file shares, you must install and register the connector agent. See Install the Microsoft Microsoft Graph connector agent to learn more.

Content requirements

File types

Content of the following formats can be indexed and searched: DOC, DOCM, DOCX, DOT, DOTX, EML, GIF, HTML, JPEG, JPG, MHT, MHTML, MSG, NWS, OBD, OBT, ODP, ODS, ODT, ONE, PDF, PNG, POT, PPS, PPT, PPTM, PPTX, TXT, XLB, XLC, XLSB, XLS, XLSX, XLT, XLXM, XML, XPS, and ZIP. Only the textual content of these formats is indexed and all multimedia content is ignored. The files that do not belong to these formats are skipped from getting crawled and indexed.

File size limits

The maximum supported file size is 100 MB. Files that exceed 100 MB aren't indexed. The maximum post-processed size limit is 4 MB. Processing stops when a file's size reaches 4 MB. Therefore, some phrases present in the file might not work for search.

Step 1: Add a connector in the Microsoft 365 admin center

Add File share connector

(See general setup instructions for more details)

Step 2: Name the connection

Follow the general setup instructions.

Step 3: Configure the connection settings


You can index up to twenty different file shares in a single connection. Enter one file share per line in the file shares text box area.

Enter the path to the file share and select your previously installed Graph connector agent. Enter the credentials for a Microsoft Windows user account with read access to all the files in the file share.

Step 4: Preserve last access time

When the connector attempts to crawl a file, the "last access time" field in its metadata is updated. If you depend on that field for archiving and backup solutions and you don't want to update it when the connector accesses it, select this option.

Step 5: Limits for file indexing

You have the ability to limit files and folders from indexing based on file type, modified date, and location.

Based on File Types

For these file formats, only the text is indexed: DOC, DOCM, DOCX, DOT, DOTX, EML, HTML, MHT, MHTML, MSG, NWS, OBD, OBT, ODP, ODS, ODT, ONE, PDF, POT, PPS, PPT, PPTM, PPTX, TXT, XLB, XLC, XLSB, XLS, XLSX, XLT, XLXM, XML, XPS. For multimedia and other file types, only metadata is indexed.

Based on last modified date or number of days since last modification

Use these selections to only index files modified within a specified number of days or since a specific date.

Full network path or regular expression

In the network path, use the escape character (\) before special characters like \. Example: For the path \\CONTOSO\FILE\SHAREDFOLDER, correct way to input is \\\\CONTOSO\\FILE\\SHAREDFOLDER

For information about writing regular expressions, see Regular Expression Language Quick Reference.

You also have the ability to create an exception to the limit rule. The priority of the exception rule will supersede limit rules. Exception rules can be defined by entering folder or file paths for the items you want to include in indexing.

Graphic showing a subset of files excluded from indexing with exceptions.

Step 6: Custom property settings

You can enrich your indexed data by creating custom properties based on the connector's default properties.

Custom property set up with a rule for URL.

To add a custom property:

  1. Enter a property name. This name will appear in search results from this connector.
  2. For the value, select Static or String/Regex Mapping. A static value will be included in all search results from this connector. A string/regex value will vary based on the rules you add.
  3. Select Edit Value.
  4. If you selected a static value, enter the string you want to appear.
  5. If you selected a string/regex value:
    • In the Add expressions section, in the Property list, select a default property from the list.
    • For Sample value, enter a string to represent the type of values that could appear. This sample is used when you preview your rule.
    • For Expression, enter a regex expression to define the portion of the property value that should appear in search results. You can add up to three expressions. To learn more about regex expressions, see Regular Expression Language Quick Reference or search the web for a regex expression reference guide.
    • In the Create formula section, enter a formula to combine the values extracted from the expressions.

Step 7: Assign property labels

Follow the general setup instructions.

Step 8: Manage schema

Follow the general setup instructions.

Step 9: Manage search permissions

You can restrict the permission to search for any file based on Share Access Control Lists or New Technology File System (NTFS) Access Control Lists, by selecting the desired option in Manage search permissions page. The user accounts and groups provided in the Access Control Lists must be managed by Active Directory (AD). If you're using any other system for user accounts management, you can select 'everyone' option, which lets users search for all the files without any access restrictions. However, when users try to open the file, access controls set at the source apply.

Windows by default provides 'Read' permission to 'Everyone' in Share ACLs when a folder is shared on network. By extension, if you're choosing Share ACLs in Manage search permissions, users will be able to search for all the files. If you want to restrict access, remove 'Read' access for 'Everyone' in file shares and provide access only to the desired users and groups. The connector then reads these access restrictions and applies them to search.

You can choose Share ACLs only if the share path you provided follows UNC path format. You can create a path in UNC format by going to 'Advanced Sharing' under 'Sharing' option.

Screenshot of the Advanced settings dialog box.

Step 10: Choose refresh settings

Follow the general setup instructions.

Step 11: Review connection

Follow the general setup instructions.