Moving Files and Folders from OneDrive to SharePoint


How do I move files and folders from OneDrive to SharePoint?


Relocating data between sites (OneDrive or SharePoint) can be accomplished using either the Move to or the Copy to command within the Microsoft Tools or Sync using the OneDrive App. Each technique should be explored to ensure data reorganization meets requirements.


  • You must have access (as an owner or a member) to the SharePoint shared library to where you wish to move files or folders.

How to move or copy files or folders

To move or copy files or folders:

  1. Go to OneDrive
  2. Navigate to My files
  3. Hover over the desired file or folder that you wish to move then select the three-dot icon that appears. This is the More Options menu.
  4. Select the Move to or Copy to option
  5. A dialog box will appear. Select the SharePoint shared library from the navigation bar or 

Comparing Methods

Technique Benefits Drawbacks
Using the Move to option
  • Retains document versions
  • No risk of duplication, with two copies of the data (original and new location)
  • An option is available to notify those with access to a document that it has been moved; a new link is provided
  • Runs in cloud so browser or workstation does not need to be online or connected while moving files
  • Cannot move documents larger than 15 GB
  • Move cannot be executed for folders or groups of documents larger than 100 GB
  • Links previously created to the data will break and must be recreated
  • If the option is selected to notify those with access to documents about their new location, an email is sent for every document in a folder, potentially generating hundreds of emails very quickly
Using the Copy to option
  • Copy will generally move documents more quickly as only the current version of the document is moved
  • Copying the data to its new location and then deleting it from the original location provides a safety net in the unlikely event there is a disruption or other issue during the data relocation
  • Runs in cloud so browser or workstation does not need to be online or connected while copying files
  • Only the current version of the document is retained
  • Cannot move documents larger than 15 GB
  • Move cannot be executed for folders or groups of documents larger than 100 GB
  • Links previously created to the data will break and must be recreated
Use OneDrive shortcuts to sync SharePoint Files and Folders using the OneDrive App.
  • Syncing allow files to be access from your Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder.
  • Can work with synced files directly in File Explorer or Finder and access files even when offline. Any changes that are made will sync automatically when back online.
  • Can move or copy large amounts of files between OneDrive and SharePoint.  
  • Can use storage space on local workstation.
  • When using the OneDrive website, you can only copy up to 2500 files at one time.
  • If you are uploading, downloading, or moving a large number of files at once, you may need to wait an extended period of time before the sync process can complete.
    • The desktop app task bar or menu bar status icon will show syncing or processing changes during this period.

Preparing to Move or Copy

  • Notify those with access to the data that it will be relocated; consider doing the moves or copies at a time when demand for the documents and folders might be lower.
  • Review the documents and folders which will be moved to understand how long the move might take.
    • The total size of the documents or folders being moved as well as the number of document versions (if documents are being moved, not copied) will impact the time required.
    • Consider deleting unneeded documents or document versions to shorten the time needed.
  • Review Microsoft limitations which might impact the success of the moves or copies.
    • Individual files larger than 15 GB cannot be moved or copied with the Move or Copy commands (although SharePoint allows upload of files as large as 250 GB). You will have to move these via the OneDrive client.
    • Groups of files or folders larger than 100 GB cannot be relocated using the Move or Copy commands. Instead, move a smaller number of documents at a time, or create smaller sub-folders and move those.
    • The move command does not allow movement of more than 30,000 documents at a time.
    • For more information on the limitations for moving and copying data, please consult the SharePoint Limits article from Microsoft. 
  • Consider how to handle security set-up and notification to those who have access to the documents and folders being relocated.




Create the folder hierarchy needed in the new location and grant access to folder(s)/library.

Move or Copy the documents/folders from the current location to the new hierarchy; security settings will be applied.

  • Managed permissions in one place for all files, simpler permissions.
  • Does not send email with links to documents.
  • Helps clean up permissions
  • Have to set up new permissions prior to moving.
  • Some users may lose permissions

Create the folder hierarchy needed in the new location.

Move the data to the new location, selecting Keep sharing with same people.

  • Users who have access to the content will retain access to the content in the new location.
  • Users will receive links to the documents in the new location
  • Granular permissions my be applied to new folder making more difficult to manage permissions.
  • All users receive and email with a link to the new folder location
  • Target library may not allow permissions to be migrated over

Need help?

For more help, please consult with your IT support group or reach out to the Microsoft Office 365 Support Request service page.

Special thanks to Northwestern University's Service Management Portal for providing the basis of this article.

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Article ID: 140766
Tue 6/4/24 8:51 AM
Thu 6/20/24 2:01 PM