Step by Step Guide to Migrate from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013

Sandeep Saxena
Sandeep Saxena linkedin | Updated On - December 15, 2022 |

Read time 9 minutes

Migration from an older version to a new one is driven by the charm of new features added in the newer versions. This applies to SharePoint as well. SharePoint 2013 was Microsoft’s next SharePoint version loaded with some great features after capturing the imagination of users with SharePoint 2010. As you know, SharePoint 2010 version became very popular among organizations after its release, due to its basic features and remarkable collaboration capabilities.

With the launch of SharePoint 2013, SharePoint’s market share and positioning have reached a completely different level. However, SharePoint 2010 is still used across organizations and many of these organizations are looking forward to upgrading to the more powerful and immensely successful 2013 version. This context is relevant even after the release of many new SharePoint versions. This is because there are many users who still use older SharePoint versions like SharePoint 2010.

If you also want to integrate SharePoint 2013 features into your network, then this guide is for you. This method utilizes the database-attach method to upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. This involves creating and configuring a SharePoint 2013 farm and then copying the databases of content and service applications to it from the SharePoint 2010 Products farm. After upgrading to the new version, site owners can upgrade individual site collections.

Pre-requisites for SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 migration

Before you start migration keep these things in mind –

  • Update SharePoint 2010 farm on your SharePoint 2010 farm with the latest service packs/patches
  • Update SharePoint 2010 farm with latest service packs/patches installed on your SharePoint 2010 farm
  • Document farm configuration settings in SharePoint Server 2010
  • Change your SharePoint 2010 web applications from classic mode to claims
  • Cleanup environment by deleting unused site collection, removing unused features, and deleting orphaned users and sites. Also, cleanup old document versions and remove features that are not supported by SharePoint 2013

And don’t forget to run a database consistency check before backing up the database of the SharePoint 2010 farm.

Note: There is no direct upgrade possible from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. So, the only way to upgrade is to migrate. You can’t reuse your existing Hardware for SharePoint 2013 and you can’t install both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 on the same machine.

Quick Solution

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint offers easy migration from SharePoint to SharePoint, public folders to SharePoint, and File System to One-drive, Google drive, SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 Migration Steps

We will provide a brie of overview of direct upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. This involves multiple steps as given below:

1st Step. Create a New SharePoint 2013 Farm

The very first step in migration is to install and configure a new SharePoint 2013 farm. Setup all farm configuration in source SharePoint 2010 farm and it should include all essential configurations such as AAM, Email settings, managed pats, etc. Then, install all the third-party software, language packs, custom features, and solutions of SharePoint 2010 farm into your SharePoint 2013 farm. Create a web application similar to your existing SharePoint 2010 farm for SharePoint 2013 farm.

Since we use the existing content database from SharePoint 2010, you can delete the default content database linked with the new web application. If you fail to delete the root site database of the existing web application, running a “Test-SPContentDatabase” cmdlet as a part of the migration process can result in orphaned site issues. This happens because the root site collection exists in both the content databases which results in conflict.

Also, the farm administrator should set the SharePoint 2010 Products to read-only status. This will allow users to access the old database even during the migration.

2nd Step. Backup and Restore SharePoint 2010 Database to SharePoint 2013 SQL Server

The second step is to create a backup of the SharePoint 2010 content databases and after that restore them into SharePoint 2013’s SQL Server.

This can be done in two ways, either by using central administration or by using PowerShell cmdlet.

  1. By using central administration: In order to retrieve all content databases of a particular web application you have to identify and make a list of all source content databases from central administration.

    You can do it by following this path in your SharePoint 2010:

    (Central Administration >> Application Management >> Manage Content Databases)

  2. By using PowerShell cmdlet: Use the PowerShell cmdlet in order to retrieve all content databases of a particular web application.

    Use the below syntax:

    Get-SPContentDatabase -Web Application “” | Select Name

Create Backup

You can create a backup of databases from SharePoint 2010 SQL Server by logging into the SQL server box of the SharePoint 2010 farm. And then, all you’ve to do is open SQL Server Management Studio and expand databases node.

Restore Database

To restore all databases from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 SQL Server, copy all required databases backup files to your target SharePoint 2013’s SQL Server database location. Once you have copied the database files, the next step is to open the SQL Server Management Studio and click Restore Database.
Restore Database

3rd Step. Verify Content Databases with Test-SPContentDatabase

Simply execute PowerShell cmdlet: Test-SPContentDatabase cmdlet and scan content databases of the provided web application.

For this you can use the syntax:

Test-SPContentDatabase -Name -WebApplication

This syntax will report various issues such as missing features, solution dependencies, orphaned sites, wide lists, etc.

4th Step. Run “Mount-SPContentDatabase” to attach content databases to SharePoint 2013

Once you’ve fixed all the issues reported by Test-SPContentDatabase, you can start attaching content databases to SharePoint 2013 web application. Always try to mount the root site collection’s database first and if you’re migrating ‘My sites’ then migrate its host first.

Mount-SPContentDatabase -name “Database name” -DatabaseServer “Database Server Name” -WebApplication “Web-App-URL” -confirm: $false

After mounting the content database to the web application you can easily access site collection in SharePoint 2010 mode.

5th Step. Upgrade Site Collections to move to SharePoint 2013

The last step in this migration process is upgrading the site collections. After migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, all migrated site collections will be on SharePoint 2010 with their old look and feel and other functionalities. Therefore, you’ve to explicitly migrate all site collections to SharePoint 2013. This can be done by Site Collection administrators by clicking on the links available from the upgrade reminder banner.

Get Upgrade Status

Undoubtedly, upgrades are time-consuming when there is a huge number of site collections present on the particular content database. You can easily get the status of the upgrade from the “Upgrade Status” on the central administration page.

Follow this path:

(Central Admin >> Upgrade and Migration >> Check upgrade status)

Check upgrade status

Here is the SharePoint 2010 site migrated to SharePoint 2013:
SharePoint 2010 site migrated to SharePoint 2013
The Final site after site collection upgrade:
site after site collection upgrade
Thus, you can successfully migrate SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013.

Even after a successful migration, you may realize that there are various limitations associated with the native migration method, such as

  1. It doesn’t support granular migration.
  2. It is very time-consuming.
  3. You can verify content before migration, but for that, you should have knowledge of various PowerShell commands.
  4. With it, you can’t migrate unlimited content with utmost concurrency.
  5. Confusion due to involvement of multiple steps
  6. Manual migration will increase the chances of mistakes and data loss.

Due to these drawbacks, organizations that are looking to upgrade to SharePoint 2013 face various challenges.

Fortunately, Kernel Migrator for SharePoint (KMS)– an automated SharePoint migration solution to migrate content from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 is designed to overcome the limitations of the native migration method.

It helps you to avoid these risks by lessening the time and expenses involved in the migration. Also, it ensures complete integrity of the data.

Benefits offered by Kernel SharePoint Migrator are

  • Its installation and user interface are quite user-friendly.
  • Not only content, but it also migrates metadata automatically during migration.
  • Easy remapping of users between Source and SharePoint Servers.
  • It also migrates permissions from the Source to the destination.
  • It allows to schedule the migration jobs to create an unbroken one-way synchronization between two lists, libraries, or sites of the same/different SharePoint Server. The selected destination will be synchronized with the new/updated content and objects of the source.
  • Migrate a large amount of content in bulk or perform granular migration to move only the content that’s needed.
  • Migrates document versions between SharePoint platforms
  • Added migration facilities – File Systems, Public Folders, OneDrive, and Google Drive

Migration with KMS is as simple as given in the steps below

  1. Add Source – Add SharePoint 2010
  2. Add Destination – Add SharePoint 2013
  3. Create Migration jobs to perform simple and timely migration. You can migrate site, list/library, and items from source SharePoint to destination SharePoint.
  4. Schedule the content migration jobs from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013.
  5. You can also perform bulk migration of site, list/library, and items using CSV files.
  6. With Migration history, view the stored records of all real-time migration jobs, scheduled migration jobs, and downloads from SharePoint.

Note: You can experience the tool’s functioning by downloading its trial version from its website for free.

Yes, migration can be that simple!

When you have such an easy and simple way to perform the migration, then why go for native migration methods. With this tool, organizations can have better control over the migration process and can solve a wide variety of common, yet complex migration scenarios.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint