A Quick Checklist for SharePoint Migration

Himanshu Goyal
Himanshu Goyal linkedin | Updated On - November 23, 2022 |

Read time 5 minutes

Microsoft 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. With every new version and release, it has improved in terms of features, functions, and performance. However, when a new version of SharePoint is released, organizations often like to migrate their data from the old versions.

SharePoint Migration Planning

Migration from one SharePoint to another can be a daunting task at first, even for technically adept SharePoint administrators. 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 migration. To make the migration process easier, we have mentioned a checklist that can eliminate all your migration uncertainties. Also, we have recommended a professional SharePoint migration tool that can simply the migrations & pre-migration tasks considerably. Let’s have a quick look at the migration checklist.

To migrate your data from SharePoint, you need proper planning and a checklist to avoid mistakes. 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 idea of what you would like to have in the new environment. You need to avoid all unwanted things there. 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 details of 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

Before upgrading to new SharePoint environment, ensure that you clean up the old environment to remove all the 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/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

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. It will also help you understand the potential issues during the migration.

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.

Also, you need to assess the benefits of moving to the new environment and think on how you can overcome the shortcoming of the existing environment by adopting the new environment. The new versions of SharePoint are more stable and feature-rich and so more desirable. But one should make sure that your organizational goals are met by the migration and the investments are 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 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 migration. So, make sure you inform your end-user about the following things:

  • 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, the migration process is not that easy. Migration is one of the most complicated tasks that an administrator will have to perform. 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 2010 or upper versions, then perform “database attach” upgrade to migrate everything as it is. But this method doesn’t support migration to a distant version of SharePoint. Also, migration may be complex even for experienced SharePoint administrators. So, better a try a SharePoint Migration using which you can migrate any SharePoint version to another one.

If you want to migrate from earlier SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016 versions, then it is strongly recommended to use third-party tools like Kernel Migrator for SharePoint. 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

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.


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 migration, follow the above checkpoints and use Kernel 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 Migrator for SharePoint