Due to scale considerations a metadata query might return a HTTP 403 error when the metadata template has been applied to more than 10,000 files or folders. A search index can be created to resolve this error for a specific search query.

If the number of metadata instances exceeds 10,000 then a metadata query request which does not include a suitable index in the ​use_index​ parameter will result in an error. The error will inform the caller to specify a suitable index as the argument to the ​use_index​ parameter.

We expect this limit to be raised but not to be eliminated in the future.

Request an index

At this time you will need to contact the Box Metadata Query team to create an search index.

To create an index, we will need to be informed of the intended query will be run including the exact values for the from​, ​query​, and ​order_by​ parameters of the request.

An index will then be created and you will be provided with the the name of this index which then needs be used in the ​use_index​ parameter of a query request.

If you prefer to specify a name for the index please provide that name upon requesting the index.

The LIKE, ILIKE, NOT LIKE, and NOT ILIKE operators can not be used in the query for an index.

Example index request

The following is an example request for an index. It is essential to include all the information for the ​from, query, and order_by​ parameters.

Query descriptionReturns files of the type Customer Submission which are associated with a specific Account Number and for which the Status is Pending. Orders the response by the Submission Date.
queryaccountNumber = :argAccountNum AND status = :argStatus
order_by[{ "field_key": "submissionDate","direction": "desc" }]

Query with an index

To query with an index, use the name of the index we provided when performing your query as the value for the use_index parameter.

curl -X POST \
     -H 'Authorization: Bearer <ACCESS_TOKEN>" '
     -H 'Content-Type: application/json'
     -d '{
       "from": "enterprise_123456.customerInfo",
       "fields": ["name"],
       "query": "accountNumber = :argAccountNum AND status = :argStatus",
       "query_params": {
         "argAccountNum": 12345,
         "argStatus": "active"
       "ancestor_folder_id": "5555",
       "use_index": "yourIndexName",
       "order_by": [
           "field_key": "submissionDate",
           "direction": "desc"

The parameters used in a query must match exactly what was provided for the creation of the index.