Moving document libraries between sites

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

Last week one of our groups presented an interesting challenge: how to move document libraries from two sites to a third one.

The challenge was to move these two document libraries without losing any of the documents or without losing any of the settings we had created.

Generally, there are two ways to handle a challenge like this.

  1. Create a document library in the new location, then download all the documents from old library and upload them to the new library.
  2. Save the original library out as a template including all the content, and then installing it as a new app on the new site.

I used both methods in accomplishing the challenge, the second method proving itself to be my preferred. While the process is fairly quick, because the second method requires assistance of a site collection administrator such as myself, in some cases it may be easier for you to recreate the library, especially if you do not have a number of custom features attached.

However, if you have bunch of columns and special settings, perhaps some custom views and, in the case of one of our document libraries, it also had a template attached, it just makes sense to save your library out as a template when you’re trying to move the content between sites.

For one-time implementations like this one, I just deleted the template after I had implemented it, but if there is a need to copy the settings for a list or library, you can leave them on the site and install it later as an app on any SharePoint site in the site collection. It can save your site owners a lot of time.


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