Introduction To SharePoint Migration Tool


We have been using SharePoint for many years now. Most of our work in SharePoint was on the OnPremise version before Microsoft rolled out Office 365. As everyone started seeing the benefits of using cloud services, they have started the movement to Office 365. Although this movement is exciting, it is not easy. The major challenge is the amount of data that we have stored in OnPremise over the years. Lifting and shifting data from OnPremise to Office 365 was never easy.

Migrating to Office 365

We can have a simple CSOM (Client Side Object Model) utility to connect to source environment (SharePoint OnPremise) and target environment (SharePoint online) and then start migrating the data. Although this sounds like a very simple one-line statement, the actual migration process involves setting up the information architecture (in terms of needed site columns, content types, lists or libraries) beforehand and migrating the data.

There are excellent paid third party tools available in the market to speed up the migration. A few great tools in this area are:

  • Sharegate
  • AvePoint
  • Metalogix

These tools have been widely used in the industry for migration from any SharePoint source environment to any SharePoint target environment. But these are paid tools!

SharePoint Migration Tool Overview

Microsoft has announced the general availability of SharePoint Migration Tool. This tool is very simple to use and helps to migrate content from SharePoint on-premise and file shares to SharePoint online and OneDrive in Office 365.

SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool Overview

Microsoft has also featured SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool (SMAT) as a migration feasibility analysis tool. This tool helps in the pre-migration analysis and remediating the common migration problems. This tool works on both SharePoint 2010 and 2013 version. The SMAT tool carries out the analysis without impacting the current environment.

The SMAT tool can be downloaded from here.

Install SharePoint Migration Tool

The SharePoint Migration Tool can be downloaded from the below locations,

  1. Click I agree

  2. Click Install

  3. This will download a file - betabuild.application

  4. Double click betabuild.application to proceed to installation

  5. Click Install

  1. This will download and install the tool

  1. Once installed, the welcome screen will appear as below

  1. Click Sign in to get started with the tool.

  2. Specify the Office 365 login details

  1. Once logged in, the tool will prompt you to select the source


    JSON or CSV file format will help to migrate the bulk data to Office 365.
  1. Select SharePoint On-Premises

  2. Select the source site to migrate the data from

  3. Provide the sign in credentials for the source site. If possible, provide the site collection administrator user info for sign in


  1. Select “Migrate all lists and libraries” to migrate all the lists or selectively choose the list from dropdown to migrate.

  2. Click Next

  3. Enter the target SharePoint online site address

  1. Click Next.

  2. A task for migration will be created and displayed in the list.

  1. Click Add a task to create another migration task by selecting another source and target location.

  2. Click Migrate to start the migration process.

  3. The tool will show the migration progress.


In the background, the tool will ensure the needed information architecture by creating site columns, content types, lists etc.

Optionally, you may also name your migration task for future reference.

  1. Once complete, the green (success) / red (error) bar will be shown.


  2. Click Open Report to see any warnings or errors.

  3. In case of any errors, fix and rerun the migration task.

  4. Open the target SharePoint online site to see the migrated content.

The tool also preserves the metadata of the content (for e.g. Created by, Modified by, version history, etc.)


During migration from SharePoint OnPremise to SharePoint online environment, SMAT (SharePoint Migration Assessment Tool) and SharePoint Migration Tool (SMT) are very helpful to carry out pre-migration analysis and actual migration.