Manage metadata in a Multi-Geo tenant

Managed metadata in SharePoint is Multi-Geo-aware. This article describes how to manage metadata in a SharePoint Multi-Geo tenant.

The managed metadata that you define for the default geo location of a Multi-Geo tenant automatically replicates to the tenant's satellite locations. Managed metadata that you define for satellite geolocation is only available to the sites that are hosted in that geo-location.

In the example shown in the following image, the term groups TGMain1 and TGMain2 were created in the default geolocation and are replicated to all satellite geo-locations. As a result, those terms are available to all locations in the Multi-Geo tenant.

Term set synchronization is one way from the default to the satellite geo-locations. Term sets created in a satellite location do not sync to the default or other satellite geo-locations. For example, term sets created in TGEurope1 are only available to sites hosted in Europe.

world map showing a Mutli-Geo tenant with the default geo location in North America and satellite geo locations in Europe and Asia, and term groups syncing from the default to the satellite geo locations

The following are important points to know about managed metadata in Multi-Geo tenants:

  • Replication from the default geolocation to any satellite geolocation is one way. Users can't update replicated term sets in satellite geo locations, but administrators can. However, we don't recommend this because it results in having additional term sets and terms available in that satellite geo location.
  • Create term groups, term sets, and terms in the default geo location. This ensures that they are consistently available across all the geo-locations in your tenant.
  • When term groups, term sets, and terms are replicated across geo-locations, they retain their ID. This allows you to reference term groups, term sets, and terms based on ID, regardless of the geo-location your code is running in.
  • For term sets and terms to be replicated across geo-locations, they need to be set as Available for Tagging.
  • The incremental replication process runs hourly. The full replication job runs every three days.
  • When you programmatically create a term set in the default geo location, that term set is automatically replicated. You don't have to make any changes to the APIs.
  • In some cases, you might want a term group, term set, or terms to be available only in a satellite location, for example, a term that relates to a confidential project that applies to a specific geolocation. In that case, you can choose to create the relevant terms in the applicable geo-location.
  • If you want the term group to be available only in the default location, use the Set-SPOTenantTaxonomyReplicationParameters PowerShell cmdlet to explicitly specify which term groups from the default location are replicated. This cmdlet is part of the SharePoint Online Management Shell.


In a multi-geo scenario, there are protected or special term sets within the term store space that will not be replicated, nor will anything under them be replicated. Those groups are:

  • People
  • Search Dictionaries
  • System

See also