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Summary: Migrating from SharePoint Server 2013 to newer versions like SharePoint 2016 and 2019 is crucial as mainstream support for the 2013 version has ended. The migration involves a three-step process: first to SharePoint 2016, then to SharePoint 2019. However, this method is complex, time-consuming, and costly, with potential risks of data loss and outdated features. An alternative, more efficient approach is using Kernel Migration for SharePoint software for a direct and streamlined migration.

SSharePoint Server 2013’s mainstream support concluded on April 10, 2018, transitioning into an extended support phase. During this period, businesses are required to invest in technical assistance, security updates, and maintenance for their SharePoint data, previously available at no additional cost. Given these circumstances, a significant number of organizations are actively exploring migration pathways from SharePoint 2013 to more up-to-date versions.

SharePoint 2016 to SharePoint 2019 Migration

Extended support for SharePoint 2013 is slated to conclude on April 11, 2023. Following this, Microsoft will discontinue offering free assistance. The optimal course of action involves upgrading to more current versions such as 2016 or 2019. While the preferred choice for many businesses is to migrate directly to 2019, this isn’t feasible due to the absence of a direct method (in-place upgrade) for transitioning from SharePoint 2013 to 2019.

In SharePoint, a double hop migration option is not available. However, you can achieve the migration to SharePoint 2019 through an intermediary step using SharePoint Server 2016, known as the database attachment method. The process involves migrating from SharePoint 2013 to 2016, followed by an upgrade to SharePoint 2019. It’s essential to ensure that the SharePoint database is at least on version 2016 RTM or a higher version; databases with a lower RTM version will not be eligible for migration, as SharePoint will restrict their upgrade and decline the process.
So, the SharePoint Migration will complete in three steps-

Steps in SharePoint Server 2013
  1. In SharePoint 2013, the existing web applications utilize Windows authentication, but it’s essential to transition them to claims authentication. This is crucial since SharePoint Server 2016 and 2019 exclusively support claims authentication, necessitating the shift from Windows authentication in SharePoint 2013.
  2. Upgrade the entire site collections from 14 modes to 15. Then run the following cmdlet-
  3. Upgrade-SPSite https://site-name/sites/user-site-name

    The cmdlet will activate the upgrade process for the selected site collection. You can upgrade all the site collections you want to take to SharePoint 2016.

  4. Once you have completed the upgrade for all site collections, the next step is to back up both the site data and service application databases. After successfully installing SharePoint 2016, you can then proceed to restore the data from the backup taken in SharePoint 2013, transferring it to the new SharePoint farm.
Steps in SharePoint Server 2016
  1. Establish a temporary farm with essential service applications and initiate the setup of a new web application using a provisional database. SharePoint 2016 acts as a transitional link between the older SharePoint 2013 and the more recent 2019 version. In this step, you need to create a fresh farm and integrate the necessary service applications by restoring the backup file from SharePoint 2013. Once the data is restored into the web application and full trust solutions like InfoPath forms are installed, proceed to detach the temporary database and commence the upgrade process.
  2. To upgrade to SharePoint Server 2016, run the following cmdlet-
  3. Mount-SPContentDatabase “DatabaseName” -DatabaseServer “SharePointServerName” -WebApplication https://sitename
Steps in SharePoint Server 2019

The upgrade from SharePoint Server 2016 to SharePoint 2019 is like the upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 to SharePoint 2016. But here, you do not require to switch the web applications to claims authentication mode.

  1. You must create a backup of data and service application databases from SharePoint Server 2016 and restore the data to a new farm in SharePoint 2019.
  2. After establishing SharePoint Server 2019, you can create a new farm web application in a temporary database.
  3. Install the InfoPath forms, full trust solutions, and other necessary parts of SharePoint.
  4. Dismount the temporary database and run the Mount-SPContentDatabase cmdlet to upgrade to SharePoint Server 2019.
  5. After upgrading to SharePoint Server 2019, you can discontinue SharePoint Server 2013.

Limitations of the Database Attachment Method

The database attachment method described here has many limitations, though it is a Microsoft-recommended method.

  1. Cleansing of data
    There is an ongoing need to regularly clean and manage data from two primary sources, SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016. This involves creating temporary databases and web applications, which in turn heightens the risk of accidental deletions or faulty migrations. Furthermore, there are limitations in effectively relocating selected data, adding to the complexity of the task. So, if you want to import excel to SharePoint list, then it will be tough to use the manual upgrade process.
  2. Outdated features
    Many outdated features in SharePoint 2013 are no longer required in SharePoint 2019. So, you should check for settings related to them before running the upgrade process.
  3. Migration costs
    The administrator should carefully consider the migration cost associated with upgrading from SharePoint 2013 to 2019. This evaluation should encompass not only the expense of acquiring the SharePoint Server 2019 license but also any fees for expert or consultant assistance that may be required during the migration process.


The aforementioned steps for upgrading SharePoint 2013 to 2019 present substantial challenges for businesses, given their high cost and time-intensive nature. The process is expected to extend over several days, and each step carries a risk of inadvertent data deletion or undesired alterations. Also, it cannot move subsites to another site in SharePoint. So, its only an upgrade in versions of SharePoint. You should use Kernel Migration for SharePoint software and run an automated migration. This is the only way for direct SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 migration.

The software seamlessly accommodates all SharePoint versions, ensuring zero risk of data loss during migration. It streamlines the process by directly migrating from SharePoint 2013 to 2019, simplifying the entire procedure. Users have the flexibility to select and migrate entire site collections, large lists and libraries, and specific documents with ease.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint