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Migrate OneDrive for Business document library files from on-premises SharePoint 2013 to Office 365

SharePoint 2013
 

Applies to: OneDrive

Topic Last Modified: 2014-11-13

Learn how to help people in your organization move their OneDrive for Business files from their SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises environment to Office 365.

In this article:

OneDrive for Business is the SharePoint Server 2013 personal library that people in your organization use to store and share their corporate work documents. By moving these documents to OneDrive for Business in an Office 365 tenant, your users can access these documents from outside of your network.

After you connect your SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises users to OneDrive for Business in Office 365, the first step is planning how your users will move their files to the cloud. This article describes methods that you can use to do this.

For more information about OneDrive for Business, see What is OneDrive for Business.

There are two ways in which you can plan to migrate your users’ files from their on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 OneDrive for Business document libraries to OneDrive for Business in Office 365:

  • Self-service migration: The users select the documents they want to migrate and then move them to Office 365.

  • Tool-based migration: The IT administrator creates or purchases a migration tool to move the content.

For this option, users in your organization migrate their own files from their on-premises OneDrive for Business document library to their OneDrive for Business document libraries in Office 365. Use this option if your users have a small number of files they need to migrate.

Advantages and disadvantages of using self-service migration

Advantages Disadvantages

Use fewer IT-resources: Users move their own files to their personal sites.

User resistance: Your users must make the effort to move their own files.

Lower cost: Cost can be much cheaper than buying a third-3rd party migration tool.

File properties are not migrated: Migrated files are recognized as new files and won’t keep file metadata.

In certain situations, self-service migration won’t be the most suitable option for you. If this is the case, you can use a migration tool from Microsoft partners to perform the migration.

For more information, see the Microsoft Office 365 Marketplace.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a tools-based migration

Advantages Disadvantages

Migrate large amounts of data: Better when your users have many files and large amounts of data.

Complexity: Using a tool-based migration can be complicated. You IT resources will need to test and monitor the migration process.

Migrate file metadata: Some migration tools might migrate metadata for you.

Monitor for performance: Moving large amounts of data might affect your network’s performance. You should monitor your network’s performance during your migration.

When you select a third-party tool to migrate your on-premises users’ OneDrive for Business document libraries to OneDrive for Business in Office 365, consider the following:

  • Tool capabilities: Understand what the tool can do. If you plan to migrate more than just user files, many tools can move much more than your on-premises document libraries (for example, your SharePoint site collections).

  • Cost: Costs and licensing requirements can vary by vendor.

The following diagram shows a few of the major prerequisites needed prior to you being able to migrate your files from your on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 environment to OneDrive for Business in Office 365.

Major requirements to migrate files to OneDrive for Business in Office 365

Major requirements to migrate files to OneDrive fo

This section describes:

  • Connecting your on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 environment with OneDrive for Business in Office 365

  • Creating your users’ personal sites in Office 365

To move any of your users’ on-premises OneDrive for Business document libraries to OneDrive for Business in Office 365, you first need to connect your on-premises SharePoint Server 2013 environment with OneDrive for Business in Office 365. This involves a number of important tasks for your IT administrative staff, such as updating your SharePoint Server 2013 farm with Service Pack 1 and adding your on-premises users to Office 365 (by copying them over or using cloud identities). All of the required steps are covered in detail in How to redirect users to Office 365 with OneDrive for Business.

An additional requirement for moving users’ documents to OneDrive for Business in Office 365 is to create a personal site for each user in Office 365. There are two approaches for creating the personal sites:

  • Self Migration: If your users will be migrating documents themselves (self-migration), they can create their own personal sites in Office 365 by clicking the OneDrive link in the header. The Create Personal Sites permission must be enabled in the Manage User Profiles page in Central Administration for users to create their own personal sites. This process is described in the “Before you begin” section of How to redirect users to Office 365 with OneDrive for Business.

  • Pre-provisioning: If you are using a migration tool, use Windows PowerShell to pre-provision your users’ personal sites by using the ProfileLoader.CreatePersonalSiteEnqueueBulk cmdlet. This cmdlet allows you to pre-provision personal sites for multiple users for Office 365 OneDrive for Business.

NoteNote:
For more information about using Windows PowerShell to pre-provision your users’ personal sites, see How to pre-provision user sites in OneDrive for Business.

In the self-service migration scenario, users can migrate their own files by using one of the following methods:

  • OneDrive for Business Sync client: Users migrate their files to their OneDrive for Business for Office 365 document library by using the OneDrive for Business Sync client.

  • Drag and drop: Users migrate their documents by using drag and drop from Windows Explorer to their OneDrive for Business for Office 365 document library.

When you use the drag-and-drop method, you can select only the files you need. In contrast, when you use the OneDrive for Business sync client, it migrates all of your files from your sync folder location to the OneDrive for Business for Office 365 document library.

The OneDrive for Business Sync client is available with Office 2013 or as a free download. It allows you to synchronize your OneDrive for Business for Office 365 document library to your local computer.

NoteNote:
For more information about the OneDrive for Business Sync client, see the Knowledge Base article How to install the OneDrive for Business (formerly SkyDrive Pro) sync client for SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online.

This method uses a two-step process: First, you back up your on-premises OneDrive for Business document library on your local computer, and then you use the OneDrive for Business for Office 365 Sync client to copy the content of the backup folder to your online environment.

Migrate files to OneDrive for Business in O365

Using the OneDrive for Business Sync client

Create a backup of your sync library folder in SharePoint Server 2013
  1. In your SharePoint Server 2013 My Site, go to your OneDrive for Business document library.

  2. Sync this document library to your local computer.

  3. Create a backup copy of the synced library folder on your computer.

  4. Stop syncing the document library.

Sync your local library folder to your personal site document library in Office 365
  1. In Office 365, select OneDrive in the navigation bar.

  2. This takes you to OneDrive for Business in Office 365.

  3. Sync this library to your local computer.

  4. Copy the contents of the backup library folder you created to your synced library folder.

NoteNote:
For more information about these procedures, see Move SharePoint Server 2013 OneDrive for Business files to Office 365.

The OneDrive for Business Sync client limits the total number of items that you can synchronize with a document library. For information about these limits and where they’re set, see Limits on using the OneDrive for Business Windows Sync client.

The other self-service migration option is to have your users drag-and-drop their individual files to the Office 365 OneDrive for Business document library through Windows Explorer.

Drag-and-drop to OneDrive for Business in Office 365

Drag and Drop to OneDrive for Business in O365

Migrate your files using drag and drop
  1. In your Office 365 personal site, click OneDrive to open your OneDrive for Business document library.

  2. On your computer, find the documents you want to upload in File Explorer, and then drag them to the location in the Office 365 document library window to which you want to move them.

NoteNote:
Instead of using drag-and-drop, you can also choose to select and upload your files from your local computer by clicking Upload in your OneDrive for Business for Office 365 document library.
For more information, see Upload files to a library.

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