Steps to Migrate from File Server to SharePoint

In this blog, we will discuss required steps to conduct successful migration from file shares (file server) to SharePoint. As we know SharePoint is not like the Windows File Server where you can just copy and paste the content to migrate it. Not just a local drive, SharePoint is a next-generation cloud-based storage server that makes your content accessible using any device from any location. Transferring the data from traditional file servers to SharePoint is not only complex but critical too.

Understand SharePoint Structure

Before performing the migration, it is the first and necessary step to know the structure of SharePoint and its Sites. The administrator has to prepare the following checklist before proceeding for migration.

  1. Where the files and folders from File Server have to be migrated?
  2. What kinds of documents are accepted by the selected destination?
  3. Is the selected destination which may be a library, list, or shared folder up and working fine?
  4. Will it be easy for end users to access the destination URL in their browser?
  5. Can end users easily access the content after uploading?
  6. What does all taxonomies selected destination URL or SharePoint Server support?

User Management

If you want to move the permissions of files and folders also, then it is required to have all users having permissions on content on SharePoint before performing the migration. If users are not already created, the Administrator has to first create the users and allocate the same permissions to them as they have in Active Directory.

Content Inventory

It is required first to create the list of contents that has to be migrated. The list should include the name and location of files and folders to be migrated. Probably this list can be saved in a CSV file. If selected files and folders for uploading are scattered, then put them in a common folder.


Even after inventory, it is common to have unwanted files or folders among the selected objects for migration. Such unwanted files can create an extra burden during content migration to SharePoint. The administrator is required to filter to pinpoint the exactly required content to be migrated. You can use Windows search to filter the files as per file name, date modified, and for other parameters.Moreover, you can use “Details” view from a window and click the headers of columns such as file name, file size, file type and date modified to sort the content.

Meta Data

It is required to decide the fate of Meta Data of files and folders being uploaded. If consistency is to be maintained, an administrator has to verify whether the uploaded files and folders have the same metadata as they earlier had on the file server. In addition, the administrator is required to transfer the file permissions as well during the migration. In the absence of an automated solution for Metadata migration, Administrator has to note down the different permissions of files and folders of users in a spreadsheet and manually assign the same on SharePoint Server.

The above tasks are necessary to perform in order to successfully migrate content from the File Server to SharePoint.