Why is upload to Sharepoint so flakey? And is there a workaround?

Occasional Contributor

I've been asked to upload a load of files to a sharepoint site in our comapny.


I've tried a couple of times now, and the process starts OK, but seems to hit a timeout error or something and the webpage crashes.


There doesn't seem to be any of the usual functionality for a service like this - there appears to be no way of quickly determining what has and what hasn't copied across - the (simple) file structure seems to have be replicated, but many folders are empty and don't contain the files that were i the original data.


ALso, there doesn't seem to be any means of "resuming" the process. I just have to start all over again.


These seem like 2 of the most basic functionalities you would expect this feature to have.


Is there any sort of solution or workaround?


Thanks for any help.

5 Replies

@Samuel Walker limit the uploads to batches of no more than 100 files and it shouldn't time out.


Los Gallardos
Intranet, SharePoint, Website and Power Platform Manager (and classic 1967 Morris Traveller driver)

Thanks Rob. I've just checked - the files I've been asked to upload comprise 42,790 files in a (2 level) nested folder structure!

I might be giving this project back to our IT guys!

I can't believe Sharepoint has such flakey file upload functionality though. a 100 file upload limit! Staggering.

@Samuel Walker 

If you pass the problem to the IT folks then the problem does not go away. They will have the same problems/limitations.

A. Use browser interface (but limit to 100 items or less)
B. Use OneDrive for Business client
C. Use PowerShell scripts

D. Use 3rd party tools (e.g. Explorer)
E. Use Enterprise migration tools or SPMT

A,B,C and SPMT are free. D and E provide logging and resilience and other features like retaining original modify date and metadata support.

Using a mapped network drive is not a robust option if you are dealing with a large number of files.

Paul | SLIM Applications

Thanks a lot for all of these, Paul. That's really helpful. Can you explain more about how to use OneDrive for Business client to get these files onto SharePoint - that sounds like the most promising option for my situation.

If you just need to get the files uploaded into SharePoint (assuming SharePoint Online) that is indeed the easiest way.


Execute the following steps:
- open the SharePoint Online library where you want to upload the files
- in the modern view: click sync
- open OneDrive for Business client on your local computer (if necessary install, see https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/sync-files-with-onedrive-in-windows-615391c4-2bd3-4aae-a4...)
- browse to the location where you want to upload the files
- copy/move the files to the OneDrive location in File Explorer
- wait (be patient) for the files to be uploaded to SharePoint Online
- when all files have been uploaded stop synching (see https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/choose-which-onedrive-folders-to-sync-to-your-computer-98...)
- you can now delete the "local" content without affecting the documents in SharePoint