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Summary: Migrating from on-premise SharePoint to Microsoft 365 can be challenging and cost-sensitive. To ensure a smooth transition, consider these four crucial pointers. First, plan content migration carefully, using third-party tools if needed. Second, audit existing data and customize functionalities. Third, think about long-term maintenance and monitoring. Lastly, adapt policies to address storage limits and security compliance in the cloud. Careful consideration of these factors can make your migration to Office 365 successful and cost-effective.

This guide elucidates the step-by-step process for transitioning from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016 through a two-stage procedure. Given that there is no direct upgrade path available, the first stage involves upgrading from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 followed by a subsequent upgrade from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016.

SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013

Read Also: Things to know before migrating to SharePoint 2016

SharePoint 2016 has many advanced features. That is why SharePoint 2010 users want to migrate to SharePoint 2016. Some new features in SharePoint 2016 are:

  • Large file support
  • WOPI protocol
  • MinRole feature
  • New Access service
  • New Compliance features
  • Fast Site Collection creation
  • Hybrid configuration
  • Sites page pinning
  • ReFS file system support

Upgrading from one version of SharePoint Server to another version is a sequential procedure with the steps:

Upgrading from one version of SharePoint Server to another version

We are adhering to a two-step process to transition from SharePoint Server 2010 to SharePoint Server 2016. Consequently, we must traverse these five stages for each of the two phases: first, the SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 upgrade, and then the SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 upgrade.

Instant Solution

Download an automated tool, Kernel Migration for SharePoint to perform bulk migration from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016.

There are certain things to know before migrating to SharePoint 2016. So, let us start the manual process for the migration.

Manual process of SharePoint 2010 to 2016 migration

Creating SharePoint Server 2013 farm

Before upgrading the content, a new server farm needs to be created in SharePoint 2016.

Prerequisites for creating a new SharePoint Server 2016 farm

  • Decide the performance and capacity required for SharePoint Server 2016 farm
  • Plan for the architecture required to support the required features & functionality
  • Confirm the hardware and software requirements for SharePoint Server 2016
  • Provide administrative and service accounts with proper rights

Now, create the SharePoint Server 2013 farm –

  1. Collect information (like alternate access mappings, quota templates, managed paths, incoming/outgoing e-mail settings, self-service site management settings, etc.) from your existing SharePoint Server.
  2. Turn off services like PowerPoint Broadcast Sites and Web Analytics in SharePoint Server 2010 environment that could cause error in upgrading.
  3. Save passphrase for Secure Store service application of SharePoint Server 2010 for use in new SharePoint Server 2013.
  4. Now, install SharePoint Server 2013 in the new environment with all required language packages, using Microsoft SharePoint Products Preparation Tool.
  5. Create service applications like Business Data Connectivity service, User Profile Service, Secure Store service, etc. on your new farm.
  6. First, manually transfer the configuration settings from the SharePoint 2010 farm to the new farm. Next, set up new farm-level configurations such as diagnostic logging, data collection for usage and health, and define settings and schedules for timer jobs.
Copying Databases to the created farm

In this step, you have to create a SharePoint 2010 web application, create backups of the SharePoint 2010 content databases and then restore them into the SQL Server of SharePoint 2013.

You can either use central administration or PowerShell cmdlets to retrieve all content databases of the web application.

If using central administration, navigate to Central Administration >> Application Management >> Manage Content Databases.
central administration

If using PowerShell cmdlet, the syntax is:

Get-SPContentDatabase -Web Application “name of the web application” | Select Name
Creating backup for SharePoint 2010 content database
  1. First, confirm that the user account performing this procedure is a member of db_owner fixed database role for the databases.
  2. Open SharePoint 2010 SQL Server Management Studio. Go to Object Explorer, connect to the Database Engine instance, select the server and then expand Databases.
  3. Choose your database and right click on it. Select Tasks and click Backup.
    SharePoint 2010 SQL Server Management Studio
  4. In the opened Back Up Database dialogue box, within Source section, confirm database name in Database box.
  5. In Backup type box, select Full and within Backup component, select Database.
  6. In the Backup set section, type a different name or let the default name as the backup set name in the Name field.
  7. Specify backup destination type (Tape or Disk) or add a different destination type by clicking Add option.
  8. Finally, click OK to back up the content database content.
Restoring database to SharePoint 2013 SQL Server

To initiate the transfer of the backed-up databases to the fresh SharePoint server, commence by launching the 2013 SQL Server Management Studio. Once opened, navigate to the Object Explorer and establish a connection to the database. Expand the Database section, locate your specific database, right-click on it, and opt for Restore Database. Proceed by supplying the necessary information and following through with the procedure until completion.
Restore Database

Upgrading Service Applications

The migration of SharePoint 2010 service applications to a recently established SharePoint farm necessitates the deployment of one or more SQL Servers for each service application. The list of service applications slated for migration from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 encompasses Business Data Connectivity, Managed Metadata, PerformancePoint Services, Secure Store, Search, and User Profile.

To upgrade the service applications databases, follow the procedure:

  1. Start the service instances on your SharePoint Server 2013 (service instances for 4 out of 5 service applications can be started from the Central Administration)
    • Start SharePoint 2013 Central Administration. Navigate to Application Management > Service Applications > Manage Services on Server.
    • Next select the services one by one and click Start. For Search Server instance, you require to open SharePoint Management Shell and run the following commands –
      $SearchInst = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceInstance

      # Stores the identity for the Search service instance on this server as a variable

      Start-SPServiceInstance $SearchInst

      # Starts the service instance

  2. Create service applications and upgrade databases – Firstly, you are required to generate service applications before proceeding with the database upgrade. You can leverage the capabilities of the SharePoint Management Shell cmdlets to initiate the restoration of service application databases.
    To store an application pool to use a variable for the service application, use this cmdlet in Microsoft PowerShell command prompt:

    $applicationPool = Get-SPServiceApplicationPool -Identity ‘SharePoint Web Services default’

    Upgrade Secure Store service application by typing the following command:

    $sss = New-SPSecureStoreServiceApplication -Name ‘Secure Store’ -ApplicationPool $applicationPool -DatabaseName ‘SecureStore_Upgrade_DB’ -AuditingEnabled
  3. Create proxies for service applications – After the service application databases are upgraded, you need to create proxies for the service applications and then add them to the default proxy group. For e.g.

    • To create a proxy for Secure Store service application, use the following command:
      $sssp = New-SPSecureStoreServiceApplicationProxy -Name ProxyName -ServiceApplication $sss -DefaultProxyGroup
  4. Verify for the proxies – Finally, go to the default proxy group and confirm whether new proxies are available in it.

    Use this cmdlet to view the proxies in the default group:

    $pg = Get-SPServiceApplicationProxyGroup -Identity “” $pg.Proxies

    Scan content databases of the web application by running this PowerShell command:

    Test-SPContentDatabase -Name -WebApplication

    It helps in reporting various issues – missing features, solution dependencies, orphaned sites, wide lists, etc.

    After this test, attach content databases to SharePoint Server 2013 web applications. First mount the root site collection’s database. If migrating ‘My sites,’ then migrate its host first. Run this command:

    Mount-SPContentDatabase -name “name of the database” -DatabaseServer “name of the database server” -WebApplication “Web-App-URL” -confirm: $false

    Now, you can easily access site collection in SharePoint 2010 mode.

Upgrading Site Collections

The subsequent phase involves the enhancement of site collections, necessitating the transformation of SharePoint Server 2010’s outdated appearance and features. To accomplish this, the site collection administrator must transfer all site collections to SharePoint Server 2013. This can be achieved by simply selecting the links provided in the upgrade reminder banner within the site collection.

To verify Site Collection upgrade, within the Site Collection, go to Site Settings > Site Collection Administration > Site Collection upgrade > Review Site Collection Upgrade Status. Thus, you can view the upgrade status for the Site Collection.

Verifying the Databases upgrade

You can easily get the upgrade status from the Upgrade Status page in Central Administration (follow Central Admin > Upgrade and Migration > Check upgrade status).
Upgrade Status

Thus, the SharePoint Server 2010 database is migrated to SharePoint Server 2013.

The objective now is to perform an upgrade from SharePoint Server 2013 to SharePoint Server 2016. To accomplish this, it’s necessary to establish a SharePoint 2016 farm. Subsequently, follow the same procedure used during the previous upgrade from SharePoint Server 2010 to SharePoint Server 2013, involving the backup and restoration of the SharePoint Server 2013 database. The steps closely resemble the earlier process, with the key distinction being the transition between SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2016. Notably, unlike the previous upgrade, there’s no requirement to create a new web application in this case, as the database is being migrated into an existing production-ready web application, SharePoint Server 2016. Consequently, the upgrade from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016 can be accomplished manually.

SharePoint 2010 to 2016 Migration Using a Professional Solution

Upgrading from one SharePoint Server version to another manually is feasible. But it is a quite complex process. It is time-consuming and error-prone. Also, technical knowledge of PowerShell commands is needed.

Effortless data migration between SharePoint Server (2010) and SharePoint Server (2016) can be achieved through the utilization of professional software designed for upgrading or downgrading SharePoint versions, including SharePoint Server 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019, as well as SharePoint Online within Microsoft 365. This SharePoint Migration tool boasts a user-friendly interface and facilitates seamless migration between various SharePoint versions. It enables bulk migration of sites, libraries, and more, user mapping, metadata and permissions migration, and even offers the convenience of scheduling migrations. Furthermore, this tool supports migration for both SharePoint on-premises and SharePoint Online environments. For additional information, please visit the website.

Final Words

The process of migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016 manually consists of two sequential stages, presenting inherent complexity and difficulty, particularly for users with technical backgrounds. Consequently, it is advisable to opt for an automated migration tool to ensure a seamless and straightforward transition.

Kernel Migration for SharePoint