A Quick Checklist for SharePoint Migration

Himanshu Goyal | Updated On - 22 May 2020 |

Read time 4 min

SharePoint is widely used by various organizations for content management and collaboration. It offers multiple features that allow you to manage your content effectively and share it internally or externally. However, when a new version of SharePoint is released, organizations often need to migrate their data from the old versions for better functionality.

Migrating from one SharePoint to another can be a daunting task at first. But, if you do proper planning, it could be done easily. So, before you start the migration process, make sure you consider every aspect of the SharePoint migration. To make the migration process easier, we have mentioned a checklist that can eliminate all your migration uncertainties. Let’s have a quick look at the SharePoint migration checklist.

How to Prepare for SharePoint Migration?

To migrate your data from SharePoint, you need proper planning and a pre-migration checklist. The first thing you need to do to is create a clear picture of what your new environment would look like. It’s always beneficial to have a clear definition of your new environment. For example, having a detailed inventory of all assets and customizations helps in making a better decision. Measure the size of databases and identify all the components of the content in the inventory. A detailed inventory of your environment includes the following elements:

  • Site Collections
  • Custom solutions
  • List and Libraries
  • Retention policies
  • Users and Groups used
Clean Up the Old Environment

Before upgrading to new SharePoint environment, ensure that you clean up the old environment that include unnecessary data, web parts, etc. Well, cleaning the old environment might take some time, but it will allow you to upgrade your environment without any orphaned sites/data and re-organize useful things. Points to ensure while cleaning the old environment include:

  • Remove empty 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

Once you’re done cleaning up your old environment, verify all the components to make sure that everything is well organized. You can also consider running the migration on a small fraction of content to check the transfer rate. It will help you estimate the overall time required for the migration.

Prepare the New Environment

Preparing your destination environment for SharePoint migration is vitally important. You’ll have to make sure that the end users have a positive experience regarding the data structures and workflow after moving to the new environment. Preparing the destination environment includes the following steps:

  • 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
Communicate with End-Users

You’re almost ready to start the migration, but one essential step before upgrading your SharePoint environment is to communicate with your end users. It is considered one of the most challenging tasks of SharePoint migration. So, make sure you inform your end-user about the following things:

  • Downtime possible during the migration
  • Reason for the change
  • Possible changes made in the environment
  • Estimated time for the migration
Start the Migration

Now, you’re all set to perform the migration. But, even after proper planning, the migration process is not that easy. SharePoint migration is one of the most complicated tasks that any administrator ever faces. Most of the time it depends on which SharePoint version you want to perform the migration. For example:

If you’re going to migrate from SharePoint 2013 or upper versions, then perform “database attach” upgrade to migrate everything as it is. You can also use Kernel SharePoint Migrator to make the migration process easier.

If you want to migrate from earlier SharePoint 2010,2013,2016 versions, then it is strongly recommended to use third-party tools like Kernel SharePoint Migrator. Using third-party tools allow administrators to gain control over their migration with minimal effort.

Post Migration Process

Once the migration is done successfully, make sure that your destination environment is working correctly, and the data integrity is maintained. Also, make sure that users can easily access the new environment. Make these checkpoints during the post-migration:

  • 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
  • Run a full crawl of migrated content

We hope you find this migration guide helpful. However, if you’re finding it difficult to perform SharePoint migration with manual methods, then use an automated solution like Kernel SharePoint Migrator.


Moving to a new environment is always exciting as you get access to all the new features and a new user interface. However, the migrating from one SharePoint Server version to another is not that simple. To achieve a smooth SharePoint migration, follow the above checkpoints and use Kernel Migrator for SharePoint for the migration. Using this tool, you can perform file server to SharePoint migration, and if you are also looking for file server to onedrive for business migration, then Kernel SharePoint Migrator is the way to go.