There are a number of posts about this in blogs out there about this trick and I’m not sure who posted first, so I’ll attribute it to the Ferrara Data Consulting | Company Blog. It’s certainly a useful trick, and worth repeating.
By default, all SharePoint lists have a column called Title (@Title for you SharePoint Designer junkies out there). But what if you don’t want to use it? Well, you can pull a veil over it, though you can’t actually delete it. You can also rename it and use it differently, but keep in mind that the underlying column will always be called @Title, which can get confusing if you’re doing anything in SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio.
Here’s how you “disappear” it as thoroughly as possible:
- First, go to the list’s settings page (/[listname]/_layouts/settings.aspx), and under General Settings, click on ‘Advanced settings’.
- Turn on ‘Allow management of content types?’ by clicking the Yes radio button. What this lets you do is allow specific Content Types to be used with this particular list. (Content Types are one of *the* most important content management capabilities of SharePoint, so if you don’t understand what they are all about, you should learn more! Note the descriptive text in the left panel in the image below.)
- You’ll now see the Content Types section on the List Settings page, as below. Depending on what type of list template you’ve started with, you’ll see whatever base Content Type it uses, e.g., Item, Document, Task, etc. (You may not have realized that each of these Item types were actually Content Types!)
- By clicking on the Content Type name, you will see the columns which are a part of the Content Type, with Title being a ‘Single line of text’ and Required, with its source being the Content Type it derives from (Item, Document, Task, etc.).
- Click on the Title column, and you will see the Column Settings section, which is where you can indicate whether you want a column to be Required, Optional, or Hidden. To completely “disappear” the Title column, you’ll want to choose Hidden.
- You can now go back into Advanced Settings and turn off the ‘Allow management of content types?’ option should you choose. There’s certainly no danger leaving it the way it is, and it may be a good idea to leave it on so that you know where you’ve used this trick by noting the presence of the Content Types section.
- If you’ve turned off the ‘Allow management of content types?’ option, you’ll also need to go back into the settings for the Title column and change the column to not be required.
- Finally, you’ll want to remove the Title column from any existing views, or you will see the (no title) entry, as below. Keep in mind, though, that the Title column is the column which has the content menu which allows you to take various actions on the item, so you will probably want to keep it visible at least in an administrative view or two so that you can get at the individual items.