How to Use the Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool [2022]

How to Use the Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool [2022]

Do you need to migrate a large volume of documents to SharePoint Online?

Using a third-party tool might do the trick. However, I suggest you look into the in-built options first (especially for one-time migration).

In this article, let’s talk about how to use the Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT). I’ll also share other options as well.

Let’s get started.

What is the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT)?

In a nutshell, the SharePoint Migration Tool enables you to easily migrate your content to Microsoft 365 in a secure manner.

According to Microsoft:

The SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) is a free and easy-to-use migration solution to help you migrate content from on-premises SharePoint sites to Microsoft 365.

You can use this tool to migrate from on-premises file shares and SharePoint Server 2010, 2013, and 2016.

This includes:

  • File, folder, and list items
  • Permissions
  • Versions
  • Managed metadata and taxonomy
  • Navigation and icons
  • Site features
  • SharePoint web parts
  • Site migration
  • Site description
  • Incremental
  • Pages
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Taxonomy migration

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    How to use the SharePoint Migration Tool

    Before everything else, make sure that you have properly prepared the documents you want to migrate to SharePoint Online.

    For example, you need to make sure that you build the information architecture properly first before you migrate.

    Note: If you need more help in this aspect, check out my beginner’s guide on how to plan a SharePoint migration.

    Once you’re sure that everything is ready, proceed with the following steps:

    1. Download and install the SharePoint Migration Tool

    In your tenant:

    • Click the app launcher icon on the upper-left corner
    • Click “Admin” from the options
    Click on the admin app under the app launcher panel

    In the Microsoft 365 admin center:

    • Expand the admin center options in the left panel
    • Click “SharePoint” from the options
    Expand the options first and select SharePoint from the list

    When you get to the SharePoint admin center, click the “Migration” item from the left panel:

    Click the migration menu from the SharePoint admin center

    Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Download SharePoint Migration Tool” button.

    Click the download SharePoint migration tool button in the next page

    Save the file on your computer and run it.

    Now, two things will happen when you run it:

    • The file will download the rest of the tool
    • After it finishes everything, you need to enter your username and password

    Note: You need to enter a credential with admin access to be able to do the migration.

    2. Start your migration

    After successfully logging in, you will be greeted with the home interface of the tool.

    Click the “Start a new migration” button to start:

    Click the start a new migration button to proceed

    On the next page, you will be shown three options on where to migrate your files from:

    • SharePoint Server (if your files are in SharePoint Server 2010, 2013, or 2016)
    • File share (if your files are on your local computer or network file share)
    • JSON or CSV file for bulk migration (basically a list of all the sources and destinations for migration)

    Since my goal in this article is to demonstrate how to use the tool, I will use “File share” to migrate documents.

    My content is on my local computer or on a network file share

    On the next page:

    • Choose the folder that contains the content you want to migrate
    • Select from the options whether or not you want to migrate only folder contents
    • Click the “Next” button to proceed
    Choose the folder that contains the files to migrate and click next

    Then, choose where you want to migrate the files to:

    Select where you want to migrate the contents to

    On the next page:

    • Enter the site link on the first field
    • Select the location or document library to migrate the files to
    • Click the “Next” button

    Note: When entering the site link, don’t include a page link e.g. home.aspx. Just copy the link without the page extension as shown in the example below.

    Enter the SharePoint site URL and the location to migrate the files to

    You will then be able to review the migration details (source and destination) and even customize the migration event name.

    Once you’re sure of everything, click on the “Next” button to proceed.

    Review the migration details before you proceed

    Lastly, you will be able to configure some settings as well. There’s also a “View all settings” button if you want to check everything out.

    Once you’re ready, click the “Migrate” button to start the process.

    Configure your migration settings first before starting the process

    3. Check the migration results

    The migration process may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the volume and your internet connection.

    SharePoint migration in progress with 3 items scanned

    Once the migration is complete, you have the option of saving the migration report (which might come in handy for incremental migrations).

    Save migration reports from the SharePoint migration tool

    Otherwise, you can simply close the window and the tool itself.

    Now, upon checking the SharePoint site document library that I indicated as the destination for the migration, I see these files:

    Migrated files and documents using the SharePoint migration tool

    Other migration options to SharePoint Online

    As you can see, using the Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) is quite easy and straightforward.

    But in the event that you’re looking for alternatives, I suggest you check out these articles:

    If you don’t have a lot of files you want to transfer, the OneDrive option is easy. Plus, you can sync your files with your computer as well.

    Anyway, do you have some questions on how to use the SharePoint Migration Tool? If so, kindly drop those questions below.

    For inquiries and other concerns, please use the site’s contact form to reach out and I’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.

    About Ryan Clark

    As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments. I am also a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for Office Apps & Services.

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