Microsoft’s New SharePoint Migration Tool

Microsoft SharePoint Migration Tool

Microsoft’s New SharePoint Migration Tool

By Jason Lee | October 05, 2017

This year’s Microsoft Ignite conference was packed with exciting new releases, announcements, and version updates for all of our favorite Microsoft products. However, no sooner than when Microsoft revealed its vision for quantum computing and the future of AI did it also introduce the new, free SharePoint Migration Tool.

Designed specifically to help migrate file shares and SharePoint 2013 document libraries to Office 365, the SharePoint Migration Tool comes as a reassurance that the cloud is where future business will take place. Regardless of whether your organization stores content on-premises or in a hybrid environment (we’ll touch on this below!), the SharePoint Migration Tool allows organizations on SharePoint to migrate their information to SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business.

How Does the SharePoint Migration Tool Work?

Getting started with the SharePoint Migration Tool is as easy as registering with your credentials, installing the program, and deciding where you want the files to go. It simply connects with your existing SharePoint environment and helps you move into the cloud platform.

Though the SharePoint Migration Tool lacks the option to migrate inherited permissions and assign governance policies to specific files, the tool does allow admins to migrate unique permissions to SharePoint Online. For example, files that are assigned with default Write permissions will be set to Contribute once moved to SharePoint Online.

In other words, it won’t disrupt the way your users work, share, and collaborate.

The tool also takes advantage of CSV files to facilitate bulk migrations, allowing organizations to enter their file share path or SharePoint Server site URL and migrate them over to SharePoint Online. This feature can greatly assist migration projects that span a number of users and folders, but is limited by the inherent size of the SharePoint farm.

Is the SharePoint Migration Tool Right for Me?

When Microsoft released the SharePoint Migration Tool, it officially announced that the tool can serve SMEs, depending on the size and source environment of their content.

However, though it is capable of migrating a range of files, organizations dealing with a number of different collaboration platforms, terabytes of data, and user-specific governance policies may face challenges with the scope of their migration using the the SharePoint Migration Tool.

For example, if you’re tasked with a complex migration for an advanced collaboration environment, moving to the cloud may require a more robust solution. This also includes “Day 2” management operations (e.g. post-migration user management, security, etc.), which the SharePoint Migration Tool does not directly address.

All in all, the tool is ideal for organizations that are ready to move to Office 365 with minimal support and can map out the exact locations of their users’ content on SharePoint, especially if there is little to no risk of PII involved. If these prerequisites are not suitable with your organization, then using the SharePoint Migration Tool to move key pieces of content to O365 while configuring a hybrid environment may be a more tangible approach.

What is a Hybrid Environment All About?

In a sense, hybrid environments are considered an end-state for organizations that are forced to keep sensitive data on-premises while moving auxiliary workflows into the cloud. However, a hybrid environment is optimal for organizations that are looking to gradually move to the cloud. In fact, what many fail to realize is that the journey to the cloud is not an overnight process; it could actually take years to complete.

When full cloud adoption becomes a long-term goal, organizations can then focus on the challenges associated with moving to a new environment, including user adoption and protecting sensitive data. Ultimately, the hybrid approach is as effective to the end-user, who is looking to become more productive, as it is to the organization’s efficiency.

Have Complex Migration Needs?

The SharePoint Migration Tool is undoubtedly Microsoft’s next step into providing an industry-wide cloud solution, but for organizations that are taxed with complex environments, Metalogix can lend a hand!

With over 15 years of expertise helping organizations migrate content of all shapes and sizes, we’ve seen it all. If you want a complete migration solution, we can do the job.

Content Matrix was specially designed to address all of the gaps left behind from out-of-the-box migration options, including the ability to consolidate disparate content repositories, split and merge lists, libraries, and other formats post-migration, and enrich and transform metadata.

Check out a free trial of Content Matrix to see how the industry’s most powerful migration tool can get your organization fully functioning on the cloud.


At Metalogix, we’re really excited about Microsoft’s new SharePoint Migration Tool and how it will impact the future of cloud collaboration. We anticipate many organizations will begin their move into the cloud using the free tool, and we couldn’t be happier!

If you need an extra boost during your migration project, contact our award-winning, 24/7 support team and we’ll be happy to help you move, manage, and protect your content!

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Jason Lee

Jason Lee is a Product Marketing Manager at Metalogix and is passionate about facilitating engaging experiences. With his background in SEO and digital marketing, he strategizes innovative ways to drive impactful marketing campaigns and deliver powerful results on SERPs.

Written By: Jason Lee