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Moving or Copying Files: Painfully Slow, Loss of Data

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Occasional Contributor

Hello All! 

 

Our company transitioned over to SharePoint Online about a year ago.

 

One of the largest complaints I have to date, is the time it takes to move or copy files. In cases of one or two files, the time is minimal. But in cases where larger file moves are taking place - the pace of transfer is painfully slow. 

 

For example, today it took approx. 30 mins to transfer only 45.8 MB. 

 

Earlier this month, an employee spent the entire day waiting for files to transfer, only for her computer to stop responding, and have to re-start the entire process the next day. On our previous server based environment, the same transfer would take less than 30 minutes. 

 

Additionally, in some of these larger file moves, users have reported large losses of data. The files were moved, and confirmed, only to come in the next day and they have disappeared. 

 

This issue is decreasing adoption and causing our IT team multiple headaches.

 

Any suggestions or helpful feedback?

34 Replies
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Why don't they use the option to move files using the ODFB Sync client? I think the problem you are facing is due to the fact the Copy and Move function are not intended for doing massive Copy/Move operations
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Is this something which has only just start occurring? If so it could be local network/connection issues, or you can never rule out that it's something that's being worked on cloud-side.

 

Alternatively, if this is part of a migration effort then you could be being throttled, especially if you're firing a lot of content up at the same time.

 

I'd be thinking along the lines of @Juan Carlos González Martín in suggesting that your users exploit the OneDrive for Business Sync Client, so that the files can be uploading in the background while your users go about their daily routine.

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Hi Hillary,

I am assuming you are uploading files to SharePoint. In that case 46 MB in 30 mins is very slow.

Do you upload files via the browser or via explorer view?
Are the files very small (e.g. emails of a few kB each)?
Are you uploading files to a remote location (e.g. other continent) where network latency may negatively impact throughput?
What is a large file? is that 100 MB or several GB's?

ODFB is an option but it means you will have a local copy of the files which needs to be removed (in the proper way) at some point in time. In case you just want to upload files this is cumbersome.

There are plenty of tools to help out. See e.g. https://directory.collab365.community/office365-sharepoint/office-365-migration-software/

My company has developed a browser-based solution (listed as SLIM Companion Migration Manager) to address upload issues by using parallel processes.
Paul (SLIM Applications)

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Hi @Matt Weston, No this has been ongoing since we transitionted to SharePoint online - not a new problem. 

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Hi @Paul de Jong,

 

We actually arent uploading files to SharePoint - the users are moving files within SharePoint.

 

Currently our users prefer the "open in explorer" functionality - so they are copying files from one location to another in this setting. This is where all the slowness is occuring. I have tried to copy and move from the browser - same problem, slow pace.

 

File size varies, some of these data moves have hundreds of files with various sizes - it varies alot.

 

All files are being moved to the same company location (Vancouver, Canada) - not external. 

 

Large file - good question - every data move is different, but on average the total size ranges from 45 MB  to 256 MB and the largest I have seen is 1.86 GB (this size is extremely rare).

 

How does the one drive sync work exactly?

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Solution

If you're using "Open in Explorer" I think that may be part of the issue, and I'm assuming that you're using Internet Explorer. From personal experience I never really got on with the piece of functionality. It worked well back in 2007 when I first used it, but now there are much better options available.

 

Option 1 - Move To

When you visit a document library in the modern experience, you can click on the ellipsis against the document and select move to (see attachment "Modern-MoveTo.docx". In Figure 1, you can see the option to move to, and then in Figure 2 you can see that you have a number of options to either move it to OneDrive for Business or to another SharePoint site. When I tested this with a document of approx 1mb it took about 5 seconds to get itself warmed up and then do the move.

 

Option 2 - OneDrive Sync

The alternative option which has been mentioned before is to use sync (see attachment Modern-Sync.docx). In Figure 1, you can see the ability to Sync your library to your local file system using the OneDrive Sync Client.  By hitting the sync button, you'll see it connect to your sync client (Figure 2), and then it will be available from your Windows Explorer windows (Figure 3). Once it's been synced, you can copy and paste documents between synced libraries in the same way as you would with normal files. Again this took only a few seconds to copy, paste and sync between the libraries.

 

I hope this approaches are useful and that they work. If not, please let us know and we'll see what else we can come up with.

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Hi @Matt Weston

 

thanks for the help, when i attempted to complete the "sync" option, the following error pops up and doesnt allow it to happen.

 

Any ideas?

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Hi @Hillary Barter I think I've made an incorrect assumption that you're working in SharePoint Online rather than using the modern lists and libraries in SharePoint 2016. The ODFB Sync client unfortunately doesn't yet support syncing of on-prem libraries. Were you successful when trying the "move to" option?

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Hi @Matt Weston,

 

We are using SharePoint Online - we are not using on premise services. 

 

You were not incorrect, we are using the online SP, and we should be able to sync, no?

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I dont know why it is saying the "on-prem" error, it makes no sense!
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This is quite strange and I'm starting to run short on ideas. The only thing I can think of is that your Sync Client isn't up to date?

 

https://onedrive.live.com/about/download/

 

You could always try grabbing the latest version and see if that clears it.

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Hi Matt,

 

So I figured out the problem. When I was attempting to sync it was running from my "administrator" account, rather than my personal - so the sharepoint site to onedrive accounts did not match up - if that makes sense.

 

When i accessed the data from my personal sharepoint account, and hit sync - it worked perfectly.

 

I am curious to know - what is best practice for working with the sync'd library instead of the SP Online browser experience. Is this recommended so users can have the familar windows explorer view? Or is it better used as simply a sync client for large copys or moves as previously discussed? I'd be keen to know the main issues around using the one drive sync client exclusively (and just syncing all the main document libraries you use on a regular basis).

 

thanks for all of your help

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It's difficult to suggest a best practice as it comes down to the ways in which your users like to work. In my own business unit I have some who like to only work in the browser, and someone who only like to work with synced folders. You can explain to your users how they can do it, and then they find their own way. If I'm working with complete O365 novices, then I like the synced folder approach as it's very very similar to what they've always done.

 

That's one of the things which I like about O365 so much, each user can find their own way of working which is most comfortable and most efficient for them.

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thanks for all of your help!

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Hi

 

I'm still looking for the optimal way of transferring the content of a document library between sharepoint sites.

I'm using Sharepoint Online (Office 365). The originating document library is a modern experience library and belongs to a modern experience team site which is a subsite of a modern experience communication site collection. The receiving document is also a modern experience library belonging to a modern experience teams site, a subsite of a modern experience team site collection.  The content consists of multiple files and folders (numbers in thousands but always less than 5000 per folder). Individual files can be very large (a few gigabites) and the total size of the library is in tens of gigabites.

 

Using the OneDrive sync client requires a download (and then upload) of a local copy of all content of the document library. This is not a good option as it requires puts demands on local resources such as bandwidth and computer.  Also the sync does not move the version history, only the newest version. The sync takes a long time and sometimes nothing happens for a long time with the message "sync delays caused by service load". So basically not an option.

 

The "Move To" feature found in the library takes a very long time and worse, when selecting all folders at the top level of the library and selecting "Move To" it actually does not move everything. After 24hrs. of processing (this was not a very big library) some content was left behind in the old library. So basically not an option.

 

Using a 3rd party tool (assuming there is such a tool that can move content of very large document libraries between site collections) is not an option due to cost.

 

Any other options you can point out?

 

Regards,

Birgir

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Recently I attempted to move around some files from the document library of my Team Site to a sub-site with some unique permissions (which is our goal, to create a better secured document structure). While the "copy to" option works fine (yea, takes longer than I expected), but the "move to" option moved the files to the recycle bin of the Team Site, and I had to spend a whole day retrieving all those files. I am confused now, it is supposed to happen? How does this work? 

 

Thanks,

 

Suparna 

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@Juan Carlos González Martín regardless of the intent from a programmatic point of view, there will always be cases where large numbers of files need to be moved as one action due to customer need.  

 

I also have similar issues with files missing from time to time and would be interested to know if it is a common experience?  How many times do files seem to disappear leaving only a folder tree?

 

R

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@RussellTMR Yes, had the same issue. One of my customer was moving  between 2000, 3000 files from OneDrive to SharePoint and just some folders and a couple of files made it. Everything else was deleted. We needed to recover the files.

 

The copy/move functionnality is very weak and not serious for real business workload. Very disapointed.

Workaround (using OneDrive client) is not the answer. If the functionnality is not always working they must remove it or fix it. Period.

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@Juan Carlos González Martín have you any updates about this discussion? It's really painfully when user copies documents and lost them. You say it's "Copy and Move function are not intended for doing massive Copy/Move operations" - i know the limits from https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/servicedescriptions/sharepoint-online-service-description... , but we have the problem even with fewer and smaller documents. 

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We are having all the same problems. Moving large numbers of files between libraries in Sharepoint Online - even a few GBs - is painfully slow. Always surprised when functionality like this is so broken in a main product of one of the world's largest tech companies.

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@Birgir Rafn Þráinsson 

 

Hi

 

I am having the same issue as you have mentioned here. I requested our IT provider use the migration tool to upload our companies data and the company data that we merged with to a new team site, however, the migration didn't go to plan and we now have to separate libraries within the team site. 

 

I am trying to find an simpler way to combine the to document libraries, preferably by copying or moving one documents library into another. When I have done this as a test I find that if I copy more than a few files with a max of 5GB in total then I will come back to my computer and the page will have timed out and there is no way, other than individually checking each folder, to see what has gone and what hasn't.

 

If this is the only way to move data around it is not really suitable as you have mentioned as it means I will need to make multiple trips to the office over the weekend when everyone is out of the office to make sure that the files are being moved.

 

If anyone has any suggestions as to how this can be done more efficiently it would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks 

 

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Hello ,

 

I mapped SharePoint site to my PC , 

I am trying to move a 10GB file from a SharePoint Site to another SharePoint site which has been mapped to my PC, I get an error message "error 0x800700DF:The file size exceeds the limit allowed and cannot be saved " 

I have edited the registry to 4294967295 and restarted the Pc and the web client still the same error.  when I navigate to the SharePoint online it gets stocked on 50% for hours . 

 

Is there anything I can do move the file ?

Or is there a maximum file size of file I can move between sites ?

 

Thank you 

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@Ezekiel_Ope 

 

Can you check the following:
1. Did you change the FileSizeLimitInBytes parameter to 4294967295? This is only 4 GB whereas you need at least 10 GB.
2. Are you moving the file within the same SharePoint system? or between SharePoint systems?
Note: that SharePoint 2013 has a 2 GB limit.
3. Are you able to download the 10 GB to your local computer?
4. How do you connect to SharePoint? via OneDrive client or File explorer or ...

Paul | SLIM Applications (https://www.slimapplications.com)

 

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@paul
1. I used the 4294967295 in the regedit
2. I am moving from a sharepoint online site to another site .
3. The sharepoint was connected using the file explorer , it was mapped like a network drive .
4
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Same issues here, and look everyone - the usual from Microsoft and their apologists: NOTHING. Brahman garbage, all of your online crap.

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@Hillary Barter we are having the same issues in the company I am currently working for. However, this painful process can happen with just one folder and/or file! 

This happens with all the current browsers we have which are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome & Microsoft Edge.

I even recorded a video internally to show how ludicrous this is. It is something that seems to be an ongoing issue for many.

There is yet to be an actual solution. Using File Explorer to move files (as stated in "view best response") actually caused one drive to get stuck in a loop, the solution was to sign out and sign back in which then caused duplicate files to be made everywhere and it was an absolute headache to get everything back to normal.

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@Hillary Barter Same issue with us. We have recently moved to SPoint and moving any files/folders more than around 100MB is painfully slow. Whether using ODFB sync client or the Web interface and choosing Move To or Copy To it makes no difference, it takes massively more time to complete the task than doing it on our file server. Using the web interface I have currently set a task to move folder containing 682MB of files, it has so far taken 45 minutes, and the progress indicator has been indicating 50% for the past 30 minutes. I suspect it may have stalled. But what logs can I check? There seems to be very little feedback to users in sharepoint. 

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Seeing the same issue between SP and ODB. I'm trying to copy a folder with 1GB of mixed files (documents, video) and after 30min it is STILL showing 50%. Ridiculous. At this point even if I wanted to move these files to a more reliable cloud (like DropBox) I don't see how I could do it. Oh and I'm trying "copy" since when I earlier tried a move (with a much smaller folder) I was told "Done" but only TWO of the 8 files actually moved. Really Microsoft??
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@Seed90 

 

Hi

 

Moving files and folders within or between document libraries within SharePoint Online can only be described in a single way: An utter and complete nightmare and the the variety of error messages is highly confusing and inconclusive.

 

If you needed any proof that Microsoft's mission statement "to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” is a complete joke, look no further than moving files on Sharepoint Online, the possibly most basic IT activity there is.

 

If anybody finds a solution to moving large numbers of files within SharePoint Online (Office 365), then please let us know. 

 

 

 

 

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@Hillary BarterI recently uploaded 3.48 GB of data and here is what I found.  It took several hours to upload (drag and drop), but the biggest problem is the properties listed on the file jump drive verses SharePoint don't match.  I went through every folder and completed a comparison and the files matched!  What doesn't make sense, if the files are there, why are they not being counted in the properties size or contains xxx files, xxx folders? I completed the whole transfer a second time, completed the same review and one again the files properties don't match or the number of files and folders.  It seems Microsoft has an issue with cloud storage. Has any one else experienced this issue?

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Hi @Angel105, yes I'm seeing exactly the same - not one of the file attributes is left unchanged, except the file type, in the transfer. Looking at file properties within File explorer. In my screenshots below the properties on the left are from the original file on our file server and the right from the same file on SP. The file has not been modified in any way since moving from the file server so all changes in the properties are from moving to SP.

2020-05-14 08_49_27-Wifi  n BI Pwords.docm Properties.png

2020-05-14 08_50_41-Y__IT_Forms.png

2020-05-14 08_51_24-Y__IT_Forms.png

 

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OK but what I have found is, if you choose to "Always keep on this device" then at least the document Origin and Content details do come across as unchanged:

2020-05-14 08_59_26-Wifi  n BI Pwords.docm Properties.png

So I guess MSs answer would be something like Oh yes, this is intended behaviour, isn't it beautiful?! They would see it as no problem at all because all you have to do is to choose "Keep on this device" for all your files. Like everyone is going to rush to do that. 

So I just had the thought that M$ want us to use the web interface to get file details (and therefore possibly access the details via PowerShell) but looking at the file details via the web interface is woeful:

2020-05-14 09_40_29-Documents - Wifi n BI Pwords.docm.png

2020-05-14 09_39_44-Documents - Wifi n BI Pwords.docm.png

Those two panels there are the sum total of the details you get on a file. Maybe we have access to the document metrics via PowerShell. I haven't tried that.

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@KarlInOz1I don't seem to have the same detail available.  My properties are General, Sharing, Security, Previous Version and Customize.

 

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Actually, it looks like you are looking at a single file. I'm looking at the folder level, since it contains tons of files. What I don't understand is why the size of the file would change at the folder level, including the number of files? The same number of files ARE there, but they are not being counted as a file. Very disappointed when some people heavily rely on this information.