Page results using FetchXml

You can specify a limit on the number of rows retrieved for each request by setting a page size. Using paging, you can retrieve consecutive pages of data representing all the records that match the criteria of a query in a performant manner.

The default and maximum page size is 5,000 rows. If you don't set a page size, Dataverse will return up to 5,000 rows of data at a time. To get more rows, you must send additional requests.


Paging models

Dataverse has two paging models: simple and using paging cookies:


  • Uses only the fetch element count and page attributes
  • Suitable for small data sets only
  • Can't return a data set larger than 50,000 records
  • Performance reduced as the number of rows increases

Paging cookies

Simple paging

You can request to the first page by setting the fetch element page attribute to 1 and the count attribute to the page size before sending the request:

<fetch count='3' page='1'>
  <entity name='account'>
    <attribute name='name' />
    <order attribute='name' />
    <order attribute='accountid' />

To get the next three records, increment the page value and send another request.

<fetch count='3' page='2'>
  <entity name='account'>
    <attribute name='name' />
    <order attribute='name' />
    <order attribute='accountid' />    

With simple paging, sometimes called legacy paging, Dataverse retrieves all the results of the query up to the current page, selects the number of records needed for the page and then ignores the rest. This allows for quickly paging backward and forward though the data or skipping to a specific page. However the total number of records is limited to 50,000 and there can be performance issues for complex queries and arbitrarily sorted distinct query results.

Simple paging works well for small data sets, but as the number of rows in the data set increases, performance suffers. The total number of rows that can be retrieved using simple paging is 50,000. For best performance in all cases, we recommend consistently using paging cookies.

Paging cookies

When there are more rows to retrieve after requesting the first page, Dataverse usually returns a paging cookie to be used on the following requests for the next pages.

The paging cookie contains data about the first and last record in the results and helps Dataverse retrieve the next row of data as quickly as possible and should be used when provided. You shouldn't modify the data in the paging cookie, just set the value to the fetch element paging-cookie attribute and increment the page attribute value for subsequent requests.

Queries that don't support paging cookies

Some queries do not support paging cookies. When paging cookies aren't supported by a query, no paging cookie value is returned with the result. For example, queries sorted using a link-entity attribute may not support paging cookies.

When Dataverse doesn't return a paging cookie, the paging model falls back to simple paging, with all the limitations that come with it.

How you use paging cookies depends on whether you are using the SDK for .NET or Web API.

The following RetrieveAll static method will return all records that match the FetchXml query, sending multiple requests if the number of records exceeds the page size.

After each request, the method checks the EntityCollection.MoreRecords property to determine if more records match the criteria. If there are more records, the method sets the value of the returned EntityCollection.PagingCookie property to the paging-cookie attribute of the fetch element and sends another request.

/// <summary>
/// Returns all records matching the criteria
/// </summary>
/// <param name="service">The authenticated IOrganizationService instance.</param>
/// <param name="fetchXml">The fetchXml Query string</param>
/// <param name="pageSize">The page size to use. Default is 5000</param>
/// <returns>All the records that match the criteria</returns>
static EntityCollection RetrieveAll(IOrganizationService service, string fetchXml, int pageSize = 5000)

    // The records to return
    List<Entity> entities = new();

    XElement fetchNode = XElement.Parse(fetchXml);

    int page = 1; //Start with page 1

    //Set the page
    fetchNode.SetAttributeValue("page", page);

    // Set the page size
    fetchNode.SetAttributeValue("count", pageSize);

    while (true)
        // Get the page
        EntityCollection results = service.RetrieveMultiple(new FetchExpression(fetchNode.ToString()));


        if (!results.MoreRecords)

        // Set the fetch paging-cookie attribute with the paging cookie from the previous query
        fetchNode.SetAttributeValue("paging-cookie", results.PagingCookie);

        fetchNode.SetAttributeValue("page", page++);
    return new EntityCollection(entities);

You can adapt the Quick Start: Execute an SDK for .NET request (C#) sample to test FetchXml queries with the following steps:

  1. Add the RetrieveAll static method to the Program class.
  2. Modify the Main method as shown below:
static void Main(string[] args)
    using (ServiceClient serviceClient = new(connectionString))
        if (serviceClient.IsReady)
            //WhoAmIResponse response = 
            //    (WhoAmIResponse)serviceClient.Execute(new WhoAmIRequest());

            //Console.WriteLine("User ID is {0}.", response.UserId);

            string fetchQuery = @"<fetch count='3' page='1'>
                <entity name='contact'>
                    <attribute name='fullname'/>
                    <attribute name='jobtitle'/>
                    <attribute name='annualincome'/>
                    <order descending='true' attribute='fullname'/>

            EntityCollection records = RetrieveAll(service: serviceClient,
                        fetchXml: fetchQuery,
                        pageSize: 25);

            Console.WriteLine($"Success: {records.Entities.Count}");
                "A web service connection was not established.");

    // Pause the console so it does not close.
    Console.WriteLine("Press the <Enter> key to exit.");


This query will return ALL records that match the criteria. Make sure you include filter elements to limit the results.

Next steps

Learn how to aggregate data.