22 thoughts on “How to Update a Managed Metadata Field using a SharePoint Designer 2013 Workflow

  1. Knut Relbe-Moe March 6, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    Hello Maria, I tried to follow your great blog about this, but when I do the Post I just get the result “bad request” do you have any idea what it might be?


    • Maria Grazia Merlo March 8, 2016 / 2:39 pm

      Hi Knut!
      That error usually happens when there is something wrong with your request headers, body or endpoint.
      Typing errors can easily occur…
      If you send me an email at blog@mariagraziamerlo.com with some screenshots of the workflow details I can try to help you.

      Maria Grazia.


      • Philipp Brüning June 29, 2017 / 2:17 pm


        I get the result “bad request”, too. I just copied and paste the parameter from this article setting the values of my site.

        Can anyone help me?



  2. Nicholas Thoman March 26, 2016 / 5:41 am

    How would you remove a value already in the field? This works great for adding.


    • Maria Grazia Merlo March 26, 2016 / 3:54 pm

      Hi Nicholas!
      Simply putting an empty string as value for the field in the data dictionary for the rest request (step 6 of my post) works for me. I’ve tried both with a single and multi value metadata field in a SharePoint Online environment.


      • Nick Thoman March 29, 2016 / 3:31 pm

        HA! I tried everything else but that! (face palm!) Thanks!


  3. Martin Spaney June 10, 2016 / 5:59 am

    thanks for this great post. I followed your instructions step by step but alway get an internal Server Error. Below is the error message. It’s in german but it says something like “Minimum one filed is not installed correctly. Go to list settings to delete the fields…”
    I tried on different lists with the same result. Any Idea what the error could be?

    {“error”:{“code”:”-2130575340, Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException”,”message”:{“lang”:”de-DE”,”value”:”Mindestens ein Feld ist nicht richtig installiert. Wechseln Sie zur Listeneinstellungsseite, um diese Felder zu löschen.”}}}


    • Maria Grazia Merlo June 11, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Hi Martin.
      Try to double check the field names you are using in your rest requests for typos.


      • Martin Spaney June 13, 2016 / 8:02 am

        Hi Maria,
        thanks for you answer. What I found out is, that ist works fine if I create a Meta-Data column in the SharePoint list directly. But when I try the same with a website-column then I get the error message described above.
        Is there any difference in doing this with a website-column?


      • Maria Grazia Merlo June 14, 2016 / 9:19 pm

        Hi Martin.
        I’ve tested the steps described in my post with a site column in an Office 365 environment (SharePoint Online) and it works. Give me some time to verify your point also in a SharePint 2013 On-Premises environment and I will give you a feedback.

        Thank you very much for your contribution.


      • Sohail Zafar November 8, 2016 / 3:24 pm

        Any update on this problem?
        I am also getting this error. “One or more field types are not installed properly. Go to the list settings page to delete these fields.”
        I have double checked the field names aswell. In my case, this worked fine on Document Libraries but i am getting this error when I update Managed metadata columns in a list. I also want to point out that my term set has two levels in list.


  4. Murthy VVR September 7, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    Hi Maria,

    Thank you for the detailed steps.
    In SharePoint online, It is working fine if the column name does not contain any special characters (spaces and questions). If it contains, the REST API is returning 500 response.

    Below is the exact error message I received when tried to insert some data into a column (Managed Metadata) whose name contains spaces and question mark symbol.

    “One or more field types are not installed properly. Go to the list settings page to delete these fields.”


  5. leighwebber November 16, 2016 / 2:56 pm

    If your workflow is copying a managed metadata field value from a source item (e.g. the associated custom task item) to a destination item (e.g. CurrentItem), you can read the value of MyMetadataField_0 from the source item and use it for the Step 6 data value. The MyMetadataField_0 field is readable, just not writable unless you use the REST call. Also, you can omit the Content-Length header altogether.


  6. Roman Sustek May 31, 2017 / 2:16 am

    I just wanted to comment on the problem: I am also getting this error. “One or more field types are not installed properly. Go to the list settings page to delete these fields.”

    I opened a case with MS and they figured out that if the column has other than alphanumeric characters, this problem occurs. If you define your column (no matter if it’s site or list column), it works just fine.

    I hope this will help someone.


    • Roman Sustek May 31, 2017 / 2:18 am

      I meant to say – other than alphanumeric characters in a Column name.


      • Scott Ewald June 11, 2020 / 7:00 pm

        Thank you, Thank you – was beating my head against a wall for 5 hours until I saw this gem.


  7. Slatour January 18, 2018 / 5:12 pm

    Hello, is this also working for a document library? I can’t do it…I always get “BadRequest”


  8. Michael May 23, 2018 / 1:14 pm

    Hello and Thanks for sharing this How-To!
    Indeed the last two hours I was facing “Bad Request”, too.

    Maybe someone makes the same mistake in the future:
    When you assign the Metadata Dictionary to the Data Dictionary, with the __metadata attribute, make sure to select the correct datatype! By default this is string and must be changed to dictionary! (As the screenshot above shows)

    the devil is in the detail

    SP2016 Landscape


  9. Nick Thoman March 19, 2019 / 8:35 pm

    Back again! Thanks for the help before.

    Is this process the same with SharePoint Online and Flow?


    • Maria Grazia Merlo March 31, 2019 / 12:50 pm

      Yes Nick, it is the same for SharePoint Online and Flow where you can use SharePoint API directly.


  10. Amy M April 23, 2019 / 4:12 pm

    Great article! It’s helped in several scenarios.

    I’ve recently run into a snag when trying to use Key Filters. The filter functionality does not recognize the values set using a workflow. The column itself shows the correct value, but if I edit properties for the item it will show the managed metadata value with a red, dashed underline meaning it has not “resolved” to a term. I’m assuming this is also why Key Filters is not working.

    I confirmed the workflow is using the correct term GUID. And it IS setting the column value but something is not making the connection to actually resolve it to a value. Is another step needed to somehow “resolve” the field after the term|termGUID is set?


    • Maria Grazia Merlo May 28, 2019 / 5:39 pm

      Dear Amy, thank you for your question. In fact, the procedure described in the blog post is complete and no other step is required for the given scenario.

      Maria Grazia.


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