Metadata Tag Refiners not displaying in SharePoint 2013 Search Results

While working with a colleague on some search issues in office 365, we noticed something that seems to be a marked departure from SharePoint 2010 and the behaviours around documents tagged with Managed Metadata.

In SharePoint 2010, the default search experience was to display a Tags or Keywords refiner in the refinement panel whenever a certain amount of content was detected that contained Managed Metadata or Enterprise Keywords tags. This Refiner behaviour does not happen by default in SharePoint 2013, both on-premises and in Office 365.

I must admit that I’ve spent so much energy discovering about the new Search Display Templates and the wonderful new features in search, that this change completely passed me by.

If you’re using either a Basic or Enterprise search centre in your farm or tenancy, then this shouldn’t be a problem as you can simply edit the Refiners web part on the search results page to add the new Tags refiner. If however you’re using the local search results from _layouts/15/osssearchresults.aspx, then you cannot change this page in O365 and shouldn’t change it in an on-premises farm as you’d be changing an out of the box page.

I’m having a dialog with Microsoft around why this departure from the previous behaviour, but in the meantime, here’s how to workaround the issue in a Basic or Enterprise search centre.

go to the results page, click on edit page and edit the refiners web part, then choose the Choose Refiners picker.


Now add the TAGS field to the right hand column.


Click on OK and republish the page, then redo a search for something that has been tagged previously. The refiners should now appear.


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