SharePoint Online - Cannot move folder to a different site


I'm trying to use the 'Move To' function to move a folder to a library on a different site. Typically, I select the folder, click "Move To", and select a site from the information panel. Today I see the following message, "Move 1 item" - the folder name - 'additional destinations are available for moving smaller items". However the only option I have is the current library. There is no sites list or even other libraries as options for destination. 


(we are a current release tenant, however I am a first release user). Any advice? 

43 Replies

@Kimberly Roetman Hi Kimberly, MS support contacted me today, they are working on the issue and promise to fix it on the next week.

It's a bug and as they say about 100 tenants are affected. I have this problem in both my tenants so I'm double lucky to be in top 100 :D

I logged a support ticket with Microsoft as well and they confirmed that a hot fix will be applied on January 11th, with a complete fix available in April 2021. I guess we just hang tight until the 11th and see what the hotfix brings. In the meantime, I have been using the ShareGate Desktop tool to perform large file migrations. I have a SG Desktop license from a previous on premise to online SharePoint migration. Thanks everyone for the feedback, it was nice to know I wasn't alone in noticing a change in behavior.

Hey, yeah, just got the same after a week of my ticket being open. Sigh. Well better than having to abandon sites or create a new process for our users!

Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Years!

@microdot187 what does that reply mean? What does custom scripts have to do with it. I have the same problem with just trying to move a single folder with 7 items under 1 Mb total size. Moving another folder in the same location with 76 items >1 Mb works just fine.


Will MS update you on 11th Jan to confirm hotfix is in place? If so, are you able to test and respond here with your findings?


We are seeing the same issue here, and I am wondering if/when the hotfix or actual fix will be working for us. Will we need to lodge this with MS ourselves?



@LethalDose Yeah, we must be one of the 100, or the problem is much wider. Just got off the phone with what seemed 1st level support and he had a workaround that wasn't very palatable. I hope there is a resolution soon.


I'm wondering if this is somehow related to the issue some experienced a few weeks ago with moving large file sizes. There was an advisory in the Admin Center, but that advisory is gone, now.

@Vishal Sethexactly... i did as i was told and diligently followed their suggestions regardless... This could not be anymore of a vanilla site, these are not techy users and by design we kept it KISS...  


Awaiting the patch... 

@Polymathink in the same boat over here... jumped on with the users for a workaround solution in the meantime, but as you stated, not at all a sustainable strategy for the.  Further compounded with all of them being Mac users... so file explorer isn't an option, let alone routing that traffic down and up again from a client workstation/laptop. 

@Vishal Seth 


If you can't copy/move between sites at all - this may be relevant


Allow or prevent custom script - SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs


If SharePoint was set up for your organization before 2015, your custom script settings might still be set to "Not Configured" even though in the SharePoint admin center they appear to be set to prevent users from running custom script. In this case, users won't be able to copy items between SharePoint sites and between OneDrive and SharePoint. On the Settings page of the SharePoint admin center, to accept the custom script settings as they appear, select OK, and enable cross-site copying. 


@Kimberly Roetman 


I am another user who has been experiencing this problem. I can confirm the files I'm trying to move are to and from places that did not experience this behaviour last year, and that they are well within the published limits. I waited until today to see if the hotfix mentioned in earlier replies (for the 11th) changed anything but today the behaviour is the same for me.


I'm replying here also because today I found a workaround for myself, which may be useful to others.


Given that there are often multiple ways to do the exact same thing, I thought I'd try some. Surprisingly I had success with using the OneDrive web client! In the web client, I navigated to relevant SharePoint site using the "Shared Libraries" section on the main left navigation pane (which I actually hate even exists - but that's another thing altogether). This opens up what I see as "SharePoint lite" i.e. a files only view. Once you select a library the interface is then basically identical to SharePoint modern library view. The critical difference is the "Move" function actually worked for me.


Hopefully this helps someone.

@dsdeveloper - Thanks for the idea to try the OneDrive interface, I'll give that a try. 

I attempted to migrate 3 libraries to a new site yesterday. Unfortunately only 2 of them could be migrated using the 'Move to' feature, the other I migrated using ShareGate. Perhaps the hotfix isn't fully deployed. Or maybe it just didn't fix things :) 

@LethalDose Thanks! I opened a ticket a few days ago as well as I have 3 tenants that all have this issues. Definitely seems to be a lot more than 100 tenants with the issue, but glad they are aware of it and working on fixing it. Even with the open ticket I wasn't made aware that a fix is in progress.

Just chiming in here, was also waiting for the 11th to see whether the problem would be resolved... unfortunately it isn't. Thanks for the workaround @dsdeveloper!

Hi there,


MS contacted me yesterday:

Please be informed that the fix for this issue (SPO move folders between libraries) will be rollout this month to resolve the issue as the Product Group is working on it.

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience as we know that this would have eased your endeavor

Thank you for choosing Microsoft.


So still waiting.

@LethalDose, same here.  Mentioning that it could be later on this week.  

I am also experiencing this issue in my tenant. We have migration tools available but we really need end users to have this option for managing their own content.


Thanks everyone for keeping this thread up to date. I thought I was losing my mind trying to track down this issue.

An anecdotal sad update to this workaround.
This "worked", that is, allowed me to MOVE folders with OneDrive online which I couldn't via SPO so great.
BUT it didn't actually move all the items YET said it had completed, so left me with file/folder orphans on both sides of the move. (I was moving 15 folders, less than 100 files and under 100Mb of data, so not a tough task). Which tbh I've been experiencing move inconsistencies all week in SPO and thought I was doing something wrong, but it seems the Move/Copy function is severely problematic as of Jan 16th.
I'm off to the ShareGate trial I guess to save my relationship with this client. Finger's crossed.

@Kimberly Roetman I have gotten around this, by synchronising the site(s) and using Windows File Explorer to move the files/folders. The main limitation to this is how much physical drive you have for the move, you need double the size of the content to be moved. I will explain by way of our own current situation.


Our College's very old Dell Hyperserver storage system had been haemorrhaging and throwing larger quantities of warning of potential failure though most of 2020. So we took the leap and have/are moving everything to SharePoint. The Photo Archive alone is about 2Tb spanning back to 2009 with more than 450,000 files+folders.


I started laying out the individual year using the SharePoint Photo Library App(s). However, they end up as individual Libraries with no association to the default Document Library, which after uploading a couple of years (2020-2019) the leadership team decide don't want, but want ALL the folders structured in the Document Library. Hence, possibly the same/similar situation you are in. Each year's content is about 160Gb to 250Gb of average 30+ thousand files/images, mostly high resolution images.


I struggle to move very small quantities of files (less than 1500 files) within SharePoint Online. Therefore, I have found it easier to sync the SharePoint Libraries to my computer and use Windows file explorer.


There are limitation and minor consequences.

  1.  Try not to move more 30,000 files at a time (I have had dropouts doing more and becomes another pain to work out where I'm up to).
  2. As mentioned earlier you need twice the size you are moving, because everything become "Always keep on this device" for both locations. Your computer literally download and then uploads the entire content, wait for the entire 'batch' process to complete.
  3. Hence, this will take a significant amount to time, especially to re-upload. I have a remote laptop plugged directly into that same switch our Fibre optic comes into the premises. (and I'm moving into week 3 of this project, with the laptop running 24/7. Only 3 more year of content to go, yeah....).
  4. With the computer downloading then uploading the content, it also in between deletes the content from the old Library structure on SharePoint and SharePoint registers the deletion in both the Recycling Bin and the Retention policy (if you have it switched on), which may impact on your Site overall storage capacity. After moving 163Gb of the year 2020 content, the Site thought it had about 500Gb of content somewhere on the site.
  5. A final suggestion especially if you are low on drive space, is to periodically "Free up Space" from the target Library. Wait for this process to completely finish before doing the next batch. Otherwise, (and you also may get this occasionally anyway), will get a SharePoint/OneDrive cache error that will require a "chkdsk /f /r" to correct (I have only had 3 in all the 2 weeks so far).

As you can see it very doable, just very resource and time-consuming.

Apologies for the long-winded explanation. 



Sorry how did you get to this? I cant see what you are referring to?