Using "Move To" to move large number of files/folders (more than 500 MB) from OneDrive to sharepoint

Valued Contributor

around one month ago i were able to move around 25,500 files/folders from a user's onedrive site to a sharepoint online document library. where i used the "Move To" option, and the size of the files and folders were around 12 GB, and got moved in around 8 hours. but today i were reading this article @  Move files and folders between OneDrive and SharePoint and it mentioned the following note:-



  • You can move up to 500 MB of files and folders at a time using the online portal. To move larger files or files totaling more than 500 MB, use File Explorer. For more information (using OneDrive to OneDrive for Business as the example), refer to Move files from OneDrive to OneDrive for Business.



but based on my case last month, i were able to move around 12 GB of data, so not sure what does the 500 MB refer to? and after the move, i restore the items from the user's one drive recycle bin and try another move to a test document library, and i have noted that the destination library got the same number of files/folder and size.. so 2 move to processes were able to transfer 25,500 files and folder with total size of 12 GB... which is against what is mentioned on the above link (mainly that we can only move 500 MB!)... and if there are a real limitation, then why sharepoint online allowed me to do the move...


6 Replies
That documentation seems to need updating, they even say that move to doesn't retain version history which is no longer the case. Now that's pretty impressive that it was able to move that many files however :P. I wouldn't do that many, but still good to know it can handle it!

@Chris WebbBut can i know why you would not use it?also seems the move operation will be a server-side operation, as i tried a test, where i just initiate the move operation (by selecting the related main folders and move to to sharepoint) , then i logout from sharepoint >> but seems the move operation continue to run till the end !!! also if there is a limitation on the Move To operation, then sharepoint should have prevented us from moving 12 GB, the issue once you start the move operation you can not stop it!!

Yeah because it's essentially firing off power shell commands on the back end to process the move. I wouldn't use it because anything through the browsers to me is usually a crap shoot with session time out etc. I mean, if it tests out fine then by all means, but I just don't trust anything via web in large quantities from past experience. Not to say this isn't a good idea, just my personal preference until like you, have tested with large data sets then I would feel more comfortable.

@john john and @Chris Webb it still seems to be the case that this "sometimes" applies. In two different tenants I've been replicate an issue where:


- One of my site collections I can't copy/move a folder with files totaling over 500MB between sites

- Same tenant, different site, I can move the identical folder between sites just fine


I've downloaded the folder with all the files to move it between sites/tenants to run my tests. I just can't figure out a consistency of when it happens. The closest I've been able to come is site collections created from the classic site template, but even that isn't 100% consistent.


Notice the URLs...same tenant, one is /sites/demo one is /teams/demo




@Ben Stegink  


We had this problem - started about 3 months ago.  


I found a thread on here - SharePoint Online - Cannot move folder to a different site - Page 2 - Microsoft Tech Community


Others have the same problem - including me.  Apparently MS reckons it's only about 100 tenants.  I suspect a lot more.


One post - copied below - indicates that a hotfix was being applied on 11/1.  I just tested a move, and it seems to have removed the limit.  Can't find any other references.




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.

@Jabrumke Perfect, thanks for the update and digging up that thread! I hadn't seen that one yet. I'll have to go give it a try in all my tenants today :)


Thanks again!