If you do a lot of work with document libraries and lists—especially custom lists—you may be annoyed by the fact that the Title field is 1) required by default and 2) seemingly unable to be “disappeared”. Title is a key field to SharePoint, but sometimes you don’t really care for it.

 

You can’t delete it, but you can essentially hide it from view using one of two useful methods. Your first option is to rename it and continue to use it as another field. Your second option is to unrequire it and hide it so your users never see it. Neither is the most elegant of solutions, but as goes with SharePoint workarounds, they rarely are.

 

Incidentally, yes, I’m making unrequire a word. You can watch the following video to see how to do this, or you can scroll down for the full written instructions.

 

 

And, just to be clear, you need to be a site owner to make the changes that I’m covering below. If you’re not the site owner, and you’ve been annoyed by this unnecessary field, make friends with your site owner(s) and speak up about it. Or even volunteer to help out as an additional site owner.

 

Let’s use a SharePoint list as an example (as opposed to a document library). I’ve created a volunteer sign-up list that requests a person’s name, phone number, email address, and availability using a standard custom list. But when I go to create a new item (i.e., complete a new form), the first field that pops up is Title. Arghh! I don’t need something called Title! If I did, I would have included it! This form has no use for Title.

Title has no place in this form

So, what do I do? Well, I can repurpose Title as something else. Or I can hide it completely from my users. The former is easier. The latter is cleaner.

 

Repurposing Title

You can rename Title and use it as something completely different. In the example above, maybe I can replace Name with Title, and rename Title as Name. (I know, sorry, the naming scheme here is a tad confusing.)

 

So in that case, I would have to go into the list settings and delete Name, which I had created myself as a single line of text:

  1. Browse to the list.
  2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, click the List tab.
  3. Click List Settings.
  4. Under the Columns section, click Name.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Delete button.
  6. Your browser likely gives you a warning. Confirm your decision.

Now the Name field no longer exists and we can rename Title as Name:

  1. Browse to the list.
  2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, click the List tab.
  3. Click List Settings.
  4. Under the Columns section, click Title.
  5. In the Column name field, delete Title and replace it with Name.
    1. Update the Description field if you believe this is necessary. In the example screenshot above, I show a description that I had entered. So I input the same description into the Description field.
  6. Click OK.

Rename the field

This works the same way in document libraries and most other types of SharePoint lists. Just replace “List” with “Library” and “Item” with “Document” wherever you see those terms.

 

Hide Title

The other option is to unrequire Title and hide it all together. The example I used above is kind of a bad one. And I did that on purpose. If you’re asking for someone’s name, you may want to use a people picker so they can find their actual account name through SharePoint (which comes from your employer’s master employee list contained in Active Directory). So simply renaming Title, which is a single line of text, won’t get you the connection to the actual user account.

 

In that case, you want to completely trash Title. Buh-bye! Here’s how you do it, starting from the same screenshot at the beginning of this post

 

First, you have to allow for the management of content types in the list. This probably means nothing to you, and it doesn’t need to mean anything. Just know that you have to do this as a prerequisite before we can hide the field. More on content types later.

  1. Browse to the list.
  2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, click the List tab.
  3. Click List Settings.
  4. Under General Settings, click Advanced settings.
  5. Under Content Types (the first section), toggle Allow management of content types? to Yes.
    Manage content types
  6. Click OK.

If you didn’t notice, a new section in List settings is now available: Content Types.

Content types section

From here, we can hide and unrequire Title:

  1. Under the new Content Types section, click Item (to the left of the two checkmarks in screenshot above).
  2. Under the Columns section, click Title.
    Title link in columns
  3. Under Column Settings, choose Hidden (Will not appear in forms).
    Column setting to hidden
  4. Click OK.

Now if I try to submit a new form to the list, I won’t see Title in the form (see below). But we’re not done!

Tesla example form

Sure, Title doesn’t show up in the form, but it will still display on the default view of the list when you open that up. And the actual “cell” under Title will say “No Title”. See below.

View needs updating

That means you have to update the view to remove Title:

  1. Browse to the list.
  2. In the ribbon at the top of the screen, click the List tab.
  3. Click Modify View.
  4. Uncheck the box next to Title.
  5. Click OK.

Final view

There’s a major downside to this method, and that is that you lose the ability to click the content of the Title field, which would normally bring you to the details page for that item in the list. It also means you lose the ellipses button. You can work around this by clicking the check box to the left of an item, going to the Item tab in the ribbon, and clicking View Item to see the item or Edit Item to edit it. Although this isn’t intuitive to everyone. If the functionality I mention above is important to you, you should just rename Title as outlined in the section above.

 

This works the same way in document libraries and most other types of SharePoint lists. Just replace “List” with “Library” and “Item” with “Document” wherever you see those terms.

 

Be careful though

In document libraries, Title is an important field. You can update directly from a “Save As” dialogue in any office application and it shows up when you go to the file info for any Office file.

 

Most importantly, if you and/or your company are heavy users of search, Title ranks the highest of all of the fields in SharePoint. So removing it because it happens to not exactly meet your needs in a certain document library may not be the best idea. Try continuing to use it, but just mention to your colleagues/users that it’s an important field even if it’s not the most descriptive for how you’re using it.

 

Conclusion

This is just one man’s solution to a nuisance that pops up once in a while when you’re playing the power user role in SharePoint. There are likely other ways to do this, potentially cleaner and more elegant ways. But I’m not aware of them. The point is this solution has worked for me dozens of times. It does what it needs to and it lets me get on with my day. It’s also quick and hard to forget, so it’s easily repeatable when I inevitably have to do it again. And even if I do forget, I can always jump back to this post to reeducate myself. As can you.

Removing the Title field from a list

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