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Summary: File Server was once a go-to storage for businesses to store their data. However, it’s difficult to keep your teams in synchronization which has contributed to the popularity of platforms like SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. Let us learn how to migrate data from File Server to OneDrive for Business. We’ll also explore about Kernel Migration for SharePoint that supports smooth transition of data from File Server to OneDrive.

These days, organizations prefer to store and share their work documents in SharePoint 2013 personal library, also known as OneDrive for Business. Uploading documents, files and folders to OneDrive for Business allow users to access the documents from anywhere outside the network.

However, the main question before moving your documents to this cloud storage is what all you can migrate to OneDrive. Let’s delve to learn more.

  • Upload documents, files, and folders with the same structure as traditional storage.
  • Support files under 15 GB storage.
  • User level files and folders permissions.
  • Can’t migrate corrupt or inaccessible documents to OneDrive.
  • Do not support Windows hidden features applied on files and folders.

Common challenges during file system to OneDrive migration

Due to the increasing reputation and influence of OneDrive for Business, people are becoming more inclined to migrate data from conventional file servers to the advanced OneDrive. But it’s not easy to migrate from file server to OneDrive, and any data lost during the process can make your task a nightmare. However, a bit of planning can negotiate these problems without any drama. Some common issues that users encounter while performing file share to OneDrive migration are as follows:

  • Problems in migrating File Server structure.
  • OneDrive for Business has limitations in file paths, number of files, and file names.
  • The structure of the File Server and the usernames in Office 365 are not in agreement with each other.
Methods to migrate file share to OneDrive

Looking to migrate your files from local storage to OneDrive for Business? Here are some methods that support data transition smoothly.

Upload to OneDrive

There are not many methods available to migrate file share data to OneDrive. However, when you drag-and-drop or add a file or folder to OneDrive, it is automatically migrated to cloud storage. It is also a way to sync your file server with OneDrive. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Log in to your OneDrive for Business account.
  2. Click on Add new then either go to Files upload or Folder upload.upload file to Onedrive
  3. Go to the location in your local storage and select the files and upload them to the cloud storage.

This is the easiest method to do this, however, it can consume a lot of time as you need to manually select files one-by-one and when you’re migrating files of large size.

SharePoint migration tool

SPMT or SharePoint migration tool is another reliable way to use for migrating file server or local file share data to OneDrive for Business. However, it’s important to note that even though it is a utility provided by Microsoft, it has its limitations. Users often face challenges with user mapping, and it doesn’t support some specific file types, other errors.

Third-party migration tools

A third-party tool like Kernel Migration for SharePoint possesses the ability to make this migration task a simple and rewarding experience. With this tool, it takes just a few clicks to migrate from File Server to OneDrive as the tool provides a clear path through any hurdles that you encounter in migration.

Steps to migrate File Server to OneDrive for Business

Follow the below mentioned steps to perform a simple procedure for migrating data from File system to OneDrive for Business.

Step 1: Add File System in source pane
  1. By default, the source pane shows local drives from your computer. You can also add a remote file system. To do this, go to “Add New Source” and select “File System” as a source.Add source file
  2. Add New File System will display the following wizard.Add new file system
  3. Enter the desired details:
    Computer Name: Enter the computer name or IP Address.
    Drive: Select desired drive to connect as a File System for the software.

  4. Click on validate connection and enter the network credentials to connect Source.enter password in window security

In case of wrong parameters, “Add File System” wizard will terminate with an error.

Step 2: Add OneDrive for Business in Destination Pane
  1. Go to Add New Destination, click on “Add OneDrive.”Add new destination
  2. Enter the required details in the wizard based on Authentication type (Modern or Basic Authentication) you choose.Enter the required details in the wizard

Modern Authentication: In this section, you need to share Client Id, Tenant Id, and Client Secret Value from your Office 365 account.
Basic Authentication: Enter the Project Name, Target Type, Site Address, User and ID, Password and connect the OneDrive account.

Step 3: File System to OneDrive for Business migration
  1. Go to “File System” on menu bar and select “File System to OneDrive Migration”.select file system to one drive migration
  2. This opens a new wizard where you can add your files or folders from a local or remote computer.Add file to one drive migration
  3. The “Add” tab will show the following options:
  4. Add File(s): This will add files from the local computer.
    Add Folder: This will add a folder from the local file system.
    Add Remote File(s): This will add the files from the remote system.
    Add Remote Folder: This will add the folders from the remote file system.

  5. Add the required files/folders from the local or remote file system.Add the required files/folders from the local
  6. After selecting the files, all buttons will be activated.
    Remove: It will remove the selected files/folders from the migration list.
    Remove All: It will remove all files and folders from the migration list.
    Groups/Users Permissions: This button will show the permissions of groups and users on any selected item.

  7. The next step is to select the destination and the type of step is to select the destination
  8. In bulk migration, Under the Project Name, select a project that contains an Admin Tenant Account.

  9. The next step is to select the user accounts where an item will be migrated.Next step is to select the user accounts
  10. You can also select similar user accounts for all items or different accounts for different items.

  11. Click Next to add filters to your migration process for selective migration of data.Click Next to add filters to your migration process
  12. The next step will provide you with an option to migrate the permissions. You can also enable the Remap Users options to map the users.set permission
  13. To add a new mapping, click on the Add New Mapping button, then enter the Source User Name and Destination User Name.enter the Source User Name and Destination User Name
  14. After clicking next, if you’re migrating the files/folders from the Remote File System, you must specify the login credentials of the authorized must specify the login credentials of the authorized user.
  15. In the next step, you can immediately execute the File Server to OneDrive for Business migration or schedule it can immediately execute the File Server
  16. Check the migration Summary to verify you’ve all the desired files and user names are correctly specified.Check the migration Summary
  17. The progress screen shows you the status of migration process in execution.see the progress report
  18. Here is the Completion Summary of the migration job.

    Completion Summary of the migration job

    Migration is done successfully!


With Kernel Migration for SharePoint it’s easy to migrate data from File Server to OneDrive migration. Native methods are also available to execute the data transfer, but those are unreliable and require technical proficiency to carry out successful migration. It’s one of the reasons why most system administrators suggest getting third-party tools for most of the data migration projects.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint
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