Common Issues during SP migration

General best practices for avoiding any headaches during migration.


During our migration to SharePoint Online, we encountered different problems and behaviour that were not expected beforehand. In most cases, this led to delays that could have been avoided with previous knowledge. Below, we collected some frequent advises to prevent issues based on our experiences with the migration tool we employed. The remarks also include general best practices for avoiding any headaches during migration.

  • Path and file names:
    • Make sure file names or titles do not include leading spaces or any of the following characters: " * : < > ? / \ |
    • Be aware of the 400 characters limit for the combined folder path and file name.
  • Ensure you have sufficient permissions on both the source and target SharePoint system or respective sites or libraries you want to migrate.
  • Note that the size of OneNote notebooks on SPO cannot exceed 2 GB.
  • Remove access to files for users before migration, and make sure that no files are checked out during migration.
  • If migrating the version history, make sure that version history is enabled on the target site on SPO.
  • Device running the migration tool:
    • Ensure a stable internet connection to the old SharePoint system and SPO (ideally, operate the device on the same network as the old SP system).
    • Assure that the device has enough memory and space for running migration tasks and temporarily storing migration packages. Exact specifications differ between tools.

The problems you encounter may vary depending on your choice of the migration program. Different migration tools may entirely prevent some issues through automated adjustments or customizable behaviour in certain situations. So, it may be worthwhile spending some time selecting an appropriate migration tool.

In the next and for now last part of our series, we will assess ways how to migrate file shares to the cloud.