SPO Content Type Hub

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A useful Information Architecture feature in SharePoint is the Content Type Hub. This is a special site collection with the Content Type Syndication Hub site collection feature activated.  The feature allows for the definition of site columns and content types in a central “hub” to be syndicated to any subscribing site collection. This allows the same site columns and content types to be used across an entire tenant.

There are a few things to note if you want to use the Content Type Hub in SharePoint Online.


It’s Hidden!

The Content Type Hub site collection is automatically provisioned for each tenant but is hidden and will not appear in the list of Site Collections in the SharePoint Admin Centre.

You can, however, go to the Content Type Hub directly by browsing to this URL: https://<tenantURL>/sites/ContentTypeHub

Note: You will also find the URL of your tenant’s Content Type Hub if you browse to any site collection and select Content Type Publishing in Site Collection Administration. Alternatively, you can append /_layouts/15/contenttypesyndicationhubs.aspx to the end of your current site collection URL to view the Content Type Hub URL and the subscribed content types:



No Access!

I tried browsing to the above URL for my company tenant and I received an Access Denied message.  I am a tenant global administrator and was surprised that I didn’t have access.  What I discovered is only the original O365 Tenant Account has access to the Content Type Hub and that account will need to grant administrative access to the site. For this particular tenant I am NOT the original O365 account so I did not have the required permission. Once I was put into the site collection administrators group for the site by that account, I could successfully browse to it.

ThreePatience Required!

In an on-premises SharePoint environment, you can control the timer jobs that run to syndicate the changes to subscribing site collections.  In SharePoint Online, you cannot control these jobs.  At the time of this writing, this can take up to 48 hours for the changes to be syndicated across all subscribing site collections although I typically see it within 24 hours. Yes… that’s a very long time.

FourPublishing the same

How do you publish content types from the Hub? The same steps are used in SharePoint Online as in an on-premises environment. Go to the content type definition in the hub and select the Manage publishing for this content type link. Then select either Publish(if this is a new content type) or Republish(if you’ve made a change to an existing content type) from this screen:


Once content types have been published from the Content Type Hub, all subscribing site collections will automatically receive updates of the content types. If you want to refresh all published content types on the next update (up to 48 hours) go to Site Collection Administration…Content Type Publishing on each subscribing site collection. You should select the option to Refresh All Published Content Types as below:


Once published, you can start using the site columns and content types in all consuming site collections.

Thanks for reading.



  1. Hi Joanne,

    nice artcile explaining the Content Type Hub.

    In the past i’ve used the CTH quite a lot but I found that the CTH is quite painful when using in combination with deploying solutions. Also Lookup columns are a bit of an issue.

    More recently I’ve used the PnP provisioning engine to deploy my columns and content types. Especially the PowerShell options are very powerful (https://veenstra.me.uk/2016/08/19/office-365-sharepoint-getting-started-with-pnp-powershell/) and quite often this is a better alternative.

  2. Hi Joanne, what is the difference between checking “refresh all published content types” in the subscribing site collection vs “Re-publishing” a content type in the content type hub ? Is it that checking refresh all published content types, “republishes all content type changes” to that site collection only ?

    1. Hi Annya, it’s been awhile since I’ve worked with this but I believe that is correct. It will publish changes to that site collection only.

  3. I am getting “Sorry, you don’t have access”. When I go to either a newly provisioned Team or Communication site and attempt to “Refresh All Content Types on next Update” . Now this is odd as I also a global admin and indeed the tenant admin. I created the team site and I am also in the site owners group. Finally, Microsoft Engineering seemed to have fallen out of love with SPO Online Hubsites ( to quote Vesa), due to performance issues . They prefer provisioning to multiple site collections and we are “encouraged” to do the same ;-(

  4. Hello Joanne, i am having trouble with creating a site collection (Team Site) and applying my custom Site Design. I cannot access any of the Site Columns from the contentTypeHub. If I create a Site Coll (Team Site) with the built in “Team Site” design then it works. Is there anyway of accessing the built in “Team Site” Design an copying it ? Or how can i create a Site Design that works with the content Type Hub ?

    Thank you for your awesome contributions

    1. Hi Brendan,
      I’ve never tried combining anything from a Content Type Hub and a Site Design. This
      is mixing old and new and it may have issues because of that. I know the Content Type Hub is getting some care and attention and an “overhaul/rebirth” based on some announcements at Microsoft Ignite so I would hold off on trying to integrate it now until that work is done.

  5. Hello Joanne again. We are still trying to find out how we can access a content type from the contenttype Hub after creating a SiteCollection – Your article here (from 2016) says it can take up to 48hrs for the Contenttype to be available. The problem is , our customers need to create adhoc SiteCollections and the content type availability must not take longer than an hour. The background is that we are using Avepoint as a MS Teams provisioning tool where we use a custom site design in JSON triggereing the flow in the site design – However we need to access the content Type in flow from the contenttypehub and apply it to the default document library in the newly created (Teams) SiteCollection, Is there any way of “forcing” the access of the content type to overcome this rather long publishing delay ? Best regards and stay safe !

    1. Hi Brendan, I don’t know of a way. If you’re already using a custom site design, you could effectively do the same thing by either including a standard content type definition in the JSON or calling an Azure function to create the IA on the site if you needed something more complicated than what the JSON can provide. I know there are new capabilities coming down the pipe for the Content Type Hub, but until then, I believe you’re “stuck” with the delay in publishing.

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