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Recently, I needed to move many files that had custom metadata from one SharePoint site to a different SharePoint site.

  • I do not have access to the SharePoint server interface, so using PowerShell was not an option.
  • My permissions for each library are Full Control.
  • Some of the individual files were larger than 50MB, which exceeds the file size that SharePoint allows.
  • Some metadata used Managed Term Stores*.

Here are the steps I used to move about two hundred files and their metadata to a different SharePoint site:

  1. Export the library by creating a library template.
  2. Note the instructions about checking the box to include content!
  3. The library that I was moving was too large to include the content (files). If this happens to you, follow steps 3 through 6 to migrate the content.
  4. In a separate browser window, create a new library based on the template from step 1.
  5. Go to Site actions and select Site Settings. From there, under Galleries, click List templates.
    List Templates in SharePoint
  6. Click the Library tab, and then select Open with Windows Explorer in the Ribbon.
    SharePoint ribbon
  7. Copy the Library template that you saved in Step 1 into the List template window.
  8. Go to All site Content
    SharePoint 2010 All Site Content
  9. Click Create. Then filter by Library and look for the Library Template you just added.
    Library Template
  10. Name your new library and click Create. SharePoint will display a processing window.
  11. Now you have an empty library without any files. There are column headers in place for your metadata.
    New empty library
  12. Open the old library in Windows Explorer view.
    SharePoint ribbon
  13. In a separate window, open the new library in Windows Explorer view.
  14. Copy the files from the old library folder and paste them into the new library folder
  15. Check your work! I created an Excel spreadsheet from each library and compared the two spreadsheets to be sure that all the files and their metadata had been migrated.
  16. From the Library tab, choose Export to Excel in the ribbon
    SharePoint Ribbon
  17. Click OK and open the file in Excel
    Excel Alert
  18. Accept the security warning
    Excel Security Notice
  19. Select Table and import the data into a new workbook
    Excel Data Import
  20. Save the file
  21. In my case, I needed to manually enter metadata for PDF and text files. The metadata for other file types migrated when I copied and pasted the files in Step 6.
  22. Archive or delete the old files from the old library to reduce problems with version control and to keep everything tidy.
  23. Note that this solution will not migrate managed metadata that uses term stores.

Updated June 27, 2023 to fix formatting issue.