How to Use the SharePoint Migration Tool: 5 Steps to Confidence

Are you obsessed with following best practices? Do you want a worry-free migration from your on-premises SharePoint to SharePoint Online?

You’re five steps away from the confidence you need. You’re also about to enjoy the benefits of migrating your old SharePoint to Office 365 using the migration tool.

Congratulations are in order because you are about to take the first step toward getting the most out of your company’s new subscription. You’re about to enjoy rolling releases of updates that don’t break things, an Office 365 subscription, and 99.9% uptime.

Step 1: Plan the Migration

What happened the last time that you acted first and apologized later? If it had anything to do with the company’s files or IT infrastructure, it’s safe to assume that it didn’t work out that well. The first step of any SharePoint migration is to go to your boss with a plan that shows you’ve done your homework.

The first task is to understand what’s different about your current architecture. You need to know which version you are migrating from so you can set up your new environment.

You can currently migrate content from SharePoint and OneDrive to Office 365 from these versions:

  • SharePoint Server 2016 (rearrange)
  • SharePoint Server 2013
  • SharePoint Foundation 2013
  • SharePoint Server 2010
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Network and local file shares

If you haven’t already, double-check the prerequisites and endpoints here.

Step 2: Download the Migration Tool

You can download the SharePoint Migration tool using the link in this sentence. After it has been installed on your computer, you will need to log in with your Office 365 credentials before moving on to step 3.

Step 3: Prepare Your New Environment

On-premise installations of SharePoint usually have web applications. Web applications are no longer in Office 365 because they are placed in SharePoint Online’s site collection. There’s extensive information about how to avoid SharePoint migration headaches like this one on third party sites, as well as Microsoft support.

IMPORTANT TIP: Do not start the migration before you do a farm analysis with PowerShell script or a third-party tool.

Step 4: Complete the Migration

If you have planned well and you have everything checked off the list so far, the migration itself should be easy. Click here for a detailed sequential list and keep it close during this part of the process.

There are two major components to this step: (1) migrating files in the SharePoint Server document libraries, and (2) migrating files from the local file share.

Step 5: User On-boarding

User onboarding is about more than providing documentation or basic instruction: you need evangelists. Some companies would call them champions or power users. Either way, do more than give practical training – get people excited about the change.

Your First Step Into a Larger World

Do you remember the scene from Star Wars? You have taken a huge first step into a much larger world, also. Enjoy the benefits a well-planned move with the SharePoint migration tool gives companies around the world.

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