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Summary: Microsoft SharePoint is a widely used platform for content management and collaboration. Organizations often need to migrate their data when new versions are released. This article provides a SharePoint migration checklist, emphasizing planning, cleaning up the old environment, testing, preparing the new environment, communicating with end-users, performing the migration, and post-migration steps.

Microsoft SharePoint is extensively employed by diverse organizations for content management and collaborative purposes. It boasts a plethora of functionalities designed to facilitate efficient content administration and seamless sharing, whether within the organization or beyond its boundaries. Over time, with each subsequent release, SharePoint has consistently enhanced its feature set, functionality, and performance. Nevertheless, the transition between SharePoint versions necessitates careful consideration, as it is not a straightforward task. It demands meticulous planning and the creation of a SharePoint Online migration checklist to guarantee a trouble-free and error-free migration process.

SharePoint Migration Planning

Transitioning from one SharePoint environment to another may initially appear challenging, even for proficient SharePoint administrators. However, with meticulous planning, it can be executed smoothly. Prior to commencing the migration procedure, it is essential to thoroughly evaluate all facets of the transition. To streamline this process, we have provided a SharePoint migration checklist to mitigate any uncertainties. Additionally, we suggest utilizing a professional SharePoint migration tool to significantly simplify both the migration process itself and the preparatory tasks. Let’s swiftly examine the SharePoint Online migration checklist for further guidance.

To ensure a smooth data migration process, it is essential to have meticulous planning and a well-structured SharePoint migration checklist in place. The initial step entails envisioning the desired configuration of your new environment. A precise understanding of your preferences for the new setup proves advantageous by allowing you to eliminate any undesired elements. Thoroughly cataloging all assets and customizations aids in making informed decisions, including assessing the sizes of databases and identifying content components within the inventory. This comprehensive inventory encompasses the following elements:

  • Site Collections
  • Web applications
  • Content databases
  • Custom solutions
  • Lists and Libraries
  • Retention policies
  • Sites
  • Users and Groups
Clean Up the Old Environment

Prior to transitioning to a new SharePoint environment, it’s essential to perform a thorough cleanup of the existing environment. This cleanup should involve the removal of superfluous data, web components, and other unnecessary elements. Although tidying up the old environment may require some time and effort, it is a crucial step in ensuring a seamless upgrade, devoid of orphaned sites or data, and enabling a more organized structure. Key considerations to bear in mind during the cleanup process encompass:

  • Remove empty/unused SharePoint groups
  • Delete unused content types, site columns, and workflows
  • Look for a site that hasn’t been modified for a long time
  • Remove the items that contain too many custom permissions
  • Reorganize list and libraries with columns
Test the Entire Process

After completing the cleanup of your previous environment, conduct a thorough inspection of all components to ensure optimal organization. Additionally, contemplate initiating a migration process on a limited portion of content to assess the data transfer rate. This approach will facilitate the estimation of the total migration duration and enhance your awareness of potential migration-related challenges.

Prepare the New Environment

Preparing your destination environment for migration is vitally important. You’ll have to make sure that the end users have a positive experience moving to the new environment.

You should evaluate the advantages of transitioning to the new setting while addressing the limitations of the current environment through the adoption of the new one. The latest iterations of SharePoint offer increased stability, a broader range of features, and greater appeal. However, it is imperative to verify that the migration aligns with your organization’s objectives and that the associated investments are well-justified.

Preparing the destination environment includes the following steps:

  • Preparing the destination server
  • Optimizing the new SharePoint Server’s performance
  • Configuring all the web applications
  • Creating a backup for everything
  • Checking for corrupt databases
  • Rebuilding and deploying new customizations
  • Remove inactive/unwanted users
  • Manage very large/small sites
  • Remove duplicate data
Communicate with End-Users

You’re nearing the point where you can initiate the migration process, but an indispensable prerequisite prior to advancing your SharePoint environment upgrade is engaging in communication with your end users. This particular aspect is widely acknowledged as one of the most demanding aspects of the migration endeavor. Hence, it is imperative to ensure that you provide your end users with comprehensive information regarding the following aspects:

  • Downtime possible during the migration
  • Reasons for the change
  • Possible changes in the environment
  • Estimated time for the migration

If required additional training can be imparted to end users.

Start the Migration

Now, you’re all set to perform the migration. But, even after proper planning & ticking off the SharePoint migration checklist, the process is not easy. Migration is one of the most complicated tasks an administrator must perform. It usually depends on which SharePoint version you want to perform the migration. For example:

If you plan to transition from SharePoint 2010 or later editions, consider executing a “database attach” upgrade to preserve all existing data and configurations. However, it’s important to note that this approach is not suitable for migrating to a significantly different SharePoint version. Additionally, even seasoned SharePoint administrators may encounter complexity during the migration process. In such cases, exploring a SharePoint Migration solution can be a more versatile option for transferring content between different SharePoint versions.

It is highly advisable to utilize third-party solutions such as Kernel Migration for SharePoint when contemplating a migration from prior SharePoint versions like 2010, 2013, and 2016. Employing third-party tools empowers administrators to assert greater authority over their migration process, all while requiring minimal exertion.

Post Migration Process

After successfully completing the migration process, it is essential to verify the proper functionality of your destination environment and ensure the preservation of data integrity. Additionally, confirm that users can readily access the newly established environment by conducting the following post-migration checkpoints:

  • Ensure all data is migrated successfully
  • Create a backup for the new environment
  • Deploy a custom solution to redirect users to the new environment
  • Remove the access to the old environment

We hope you find this migration guide helpful. However, if you’re finding it difficult to perform migration with the manual methods, then use an automated solution like SharePoint Migrator as we have suggested earlier in this article.


Relocating to a fresh setting is invariably thrilling, as it grants you entry to novel functionalities and a fresh user interface. Nevertheless, transitioning from one SharePoint Server edition to another is a complex undertaking. To ensure a seamless migration, adhere to the aforementioned guidelines and employ the SharePoint Migrator tool. Using it, you can perform file server to SharePoint, and if you are looking for file server to OneDrive for Business migration then also SharePoint Migrator is the way to go.

Kernel Migration for SharePoint