Now – move files anywhere in Office 365, SharePoint and OneDrive
Published Jan 19 2018 05:44 PM 165K Views

Last year, we released enhancements that allow you to copy files in Office 365.  Today, we're adding the ability to move files in Office 365 with full fidelity protections for metadata and version management. This enables important scenarios for managing information architecture in Office 365.


Move files from any folder in Office 365

To move a file in OneDrive or SharePoint, select the file and the command bar exposes the Move to command. 

SharePoint Command Bar - Move toSharePoint Command Bar - Move to

You can then select the destination for the file. The list of destinations is powered by Microsoft Graph, to show you the destinations that are most relevant to you, or you can browse to find the exact location in your OneDrive or SharePoint sites.

Browse for file move target locationsBrowse for file move target locations

Click Move Here, then the file will be moved for you, preserving all metadata and version history.

Common scenarios

The capability to move files while preserving metadata and version history enables many common content management scenarios including:


Migration: Many organizations have moved files from legacy, on premises or third-party repositories to Office 365.  However, even the most thoughtful migration projects can leave some files in the “wrong” location. Now, if you discover a file on a in the marketing site that belongs with sales files, for example, you can move that document without manual processes that can truncate metadata.


Sharing: When you have completed a draft of a file in your personal files, and are ready to share it with your team, you can move the file to your team site, preserving version history, which could be lost with other methods of moving the file into a shared location.


Publishing:  You might a have a document in your team site, such as a policy, that is ready to be published to a broad audience.  You can move the file to a communication site that reaches a broader audience across the organization.


Modernizing your information architecture:  Need to setup a new team site and want to bring along related docs from previous projects? You can select folders from an older team site and move them to a newer one.  Or maybe you have content in a site that really belongs in a different template – for example, a classic team site that would be better off as a modern group? You can now setup a group and then use Move to put the content where users can get the most benefit.


Multigeo: You may have legacy content you will want to Move to new sites in your new geographies (note there’s a separate feature that will Move an entire site

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

File copy was rolled out over a year ago – does the new feature change anything with copying files?

For long time followers of the cross-site Copy feature, you may be interested to know that cross-site move is built on the same API that also powers scenarios like migration, publishing and point-in-time restore.  As we roll out Move, we will remove the limit on the size of files and size of packages that you can Move or Copy. 


As with Copy, you should be able to move files anywhere within your SharePoint tenants where you have permission to write files including sites located in other geographies.  The notable exception is that you will not be able to move or copy files out of Information Rights Management (IRM) enabled libraries.


How is the new feature different from Copy?

A few things to note that are different about Copy and Move:

  • When files move, they will retain all their original versions from the source while Copy only delivers the final version of a file.
  • When a file is moving, it will still appear in the source directory until its fully moved to the destination and then it will be deleted. The file will remain in the source sites recycle bin after the Move is complete and be subject to the normal recycle schedule unless a user recovers it from the recycle bin

What happens if the target location doesn’t support metadata?

Moving files between libraries or sites preserves metadata by matching column names.  If the destination does not have a matching column, metadata in the source column will be lost.  In this case, you will be informed and prompted to confirm proceeding with the move and deleting the unmatched metadata.  This is unlikely to happen when moving a file from your personal files (which do not currently support metadata) to SharePoint sites, but can happen when moving files between SharePoint libraries or sites with mismatched columns. 


Administrators can reduce the incidence of this error by making sure that the columns on team sites are consistent across their team sites.  In cases where that’s not possible, admins can give users guidance about how moves will impact metadata.


How does this work with Retention and Records Management?

If you are using data governance labels to control information policies for retention or records management, the policy labels applied to the source location must exist in the destination location. If the destination does not support policies applied to the file in the source, you will be blocked from moving the file, as doing so would circumvent retention or records management.


Compliance labels are retained after the move.


Can I move a OneNote notebook?

Yes, moving OneNote notebooks is supported.


Next steps

We expect to begin rolling this feature out to Targeted Release on or about January 29, 2018.  We anticipate a slightly longer cycle than usual for the expansion of this release throughout Targeted Release and general availability to allow for sufficient time to gather and address your feedback.

More information

Share “How to move files in SharePoint Online” with anyone who would like the 4 simple steps. 

More information is always available on the Micrsooft Content Services Resource Center.  Also, please share your feedback here on the Tech Community or on  Thank you.


“Administrators can reduce the incidence of this error by making sure that the columns on team sites are consistent across their team sites.”


I’m curious what mechanisms Microsoft recommends to allow this. The Content Type Hub would be the most obvious answer, but it is woefully underpowered and unreliable for “modern” sites. Is anything planned here?



Iron Contributor

This is the best news since the launch of the modern UI itself. Thrilled to hear this. The fact that it matches on column name and not on ID will be very helpful for organisations that built a legacy intranet on one site collection without implementation of columns via the Contant Type Hub, and that are now facing a decentralisation of sites where the CTH is vital.


Another scenario is for moving to archives. For example to libraries that are excluded from the main search. We no longer have to rely on a few people with third party tools to do all of the archiving.


Great job!

Great news Chris! With this news the organization are now better organized in case of moving and preserve data !

Iron Contributor

I've been looking forward to this feature for a while, especially for the scenario for moving working files from OneDrive. 

Iron Contributor

I too have been looking very forward to this for a long time. Our philosophy is that OneDrive is really your personal work/Personal Files and work in progress. That equals light sharing and co-authoring benefits when it comes to collaboration, with the final files being moved to a Team/Project site. Can't wait - come on WWS release!

Steel Contributor

Is this rolling out?  In my tenant I can move a file to another (or new)folder in the same library but that is it.  I don't see it on  This is an important enhancement and it will help our users and organization. I am looking forward to it.  Thanks - Greg


Thanks all! 


@Gregory Frick its roadmap ID 25694 (update pending), and as we noted, targeted release is only *starting* next week - then we will start on general release, and we anticipate moving more slowly than usual through release expansion.



Brass Contributor

WOW Great enhancement :)

Does this option allow us to move multiple files at a time?

Hope this option displays the destination based on user permission ? Common Scenarios are as mentioned below

  • User has RO permission to source but has Edit access at destination.
  • User has RO permission at the destination though he/she has Edit permission at source.

Hope these scenarios are handled upfront.

Brass Contributor

Do we have any idea when this be released to UK tenants?


Brass Contributor

 Can I move a OneNote notebook?

OneNote notebooks contain a grouping of many files.  Moving a OneNote notebook will break the notebook into subsections and is not recommended at this point.

Cool news. Figuring out the OneNote thing would be helpful. I have all of my OneNote notebooks saved in my personal ( OneDrive, even my notebooks that I use for my business. I am afraid to move the notebooks, because as you mentioned the notebooks could get broken apart. The ability to move notebooks wherever and then automatically have the notebooks aggregated from any and/or all locations would be very useful. Good luck!


@Rajashekhar Sheelvant, yes, you can select folders, multiple files etc to move or copy!


@Reid Culp, Chris is right but we are investigating the OneNote issue to see if we can improve the behavior


Thanks folks!

-Rob [MSFT]

Iron Contributor

I’ve wondered, if you have a file in OneDrive for Business and have generated a share link, if you use the move to option and move a file to a Team SharePoint, does the previous sharing links and user permissions get lost?

Brass Contributor

Really looking forward to this feature!
This is really going to help end-users to move documents easily. Nice work productteam!

Silver Contributor

@Chris McNulty

"As we roll out Move, we will remove the limit on the size of files and size of packages that you can Move or Copy. "

Can you please elaborate a bit?

Does it mean that we'll be able to copy/move files/folders without any limitation in individual/total items number and size?

Copper Contributor

Sounds great, and not a moment to lose, as competitors have been cleaning up and its been a real grind to stick with MS when it comes to Files. I am delighted at the SP / Onedrive enhancements, offline sync, files on demand feature, this has put SP back into contention.


What I am hoping and your post eludes to the fact that this will be possible, is copying folders & contents (recursively), from one document repository in one Site Collection to another repository in a  different site collection. I really need that functionality, the current methods of downloading it all and re-uploading it; even if on a VM in the Azure cloud seems very impractical and at 2TB, a bit of a nightmare.


Please would a MS Admin on this page or MVP let me know if copying from one site collection to another in the same Office365 tennant will be possible, and further to that if there is any way that I can get this rolled out to our account faster than the usual - wait and see approach?





@Chris McNulty

How does the new move functionality impact classification labeling?  For example, I've applied a classification label to an Office 365 Group as part of a DLP policy where a file is saved and then moved to a location where the label is not applied?  Does the classification label still apply?

Iron Contributor

Does this also apply to folders? ie, can we move a folder in a document library across sites and still retain version histories of files inside?

Copper Contributor
Chris, what are the interim file size and number limitations on the move functionality?
Copper Contributor
Does this mean being able to set up Flows to move files in Sharepoint is either now possible, or on the horizon? That would be amazing news!
Copper Contributor

I'm excited about this feature too, but can you reconsider how you determine announcement titles?  It seems a bit disingenuous to start with "Now – move files anywhere..." and then follow-up with "We anticipate a slightly longer cycle than usual for the expansion of this release throughout Targeted Release and general availability..."

Not applicable

I am assuming if the destination library has a 20 version limit, and the incoming document contains 25 versions - the 5 oldest versions are gone into an abyss?

Brass Contributor

Does this work in Classic libraries or New Experience libraries converted from Classic?


Still using Classic because of the lack of full metadata support with modern sites!

Copper Contributor

We use Document ID on Groups and in SharePoint online. If we move a file within SharePoint online - we don't have to change any external links to the document since we use: https://tenant/sites/sitecollection/_layouts/DocIdRedir.aspx?ID=*****.  It is great having a static link associated with a file!

We would really like to have a unique Document ID that will always be associated with that file despite where it originated or where it is moved.

For Records Management - having the ID work across the entire tenant would be very beneficial!  Therefore, on intranet/embedded links/etc. - cuts down on copies/duplicates if it could point to the document regardless of where it "moves" in the tenant.

Brass Contributor

 That reminds be @null null, we were supposed to get static/persistent links over a year ago.  That never happened.


@Martin Hambalek this is only in modern.  All the updates to file move, metadata bulk edits, attention views are modern only.

Copper Contributor

the feature does NOT work when the users have limited access to only a folder in a library. In this case user cannot even move to subfolder he has access.


Can you confirm this bug?


Thanks for your reply.

Brass Contributor

I would also like to see the sharing links continue to work.  We have lots of documents that were created in user's profiles that many users have to access.  We have support documents with sharing links embedded, and in my testing I have found if we move these files (such as when that user leaves, or we want to move it to a group) that when you move the files the sharing links quit working.  It would be nice if they could continue to work and just redirect or something.

Copper Contributor

Hi @Chris McNulty does Microsoft Graph need to be enabled for this to work?  We currently have the graph turned off on our production tenant because we're not ready to turn on Delve, so wondering if this affects the availability of this feature.  Let me know, thanks!

Copper Contributor

Great feature but I'm seeing a couple of issues in our tenant:

- moving a doc to a library that has mandatory columns - the doc is automatically checked in without any mandatory metadata; and

- the library's versioning settings allow for both major and minor versions (and requires checkout), however the doc is automatically checked in as a major rather than offering a choice.

Bugs or by design?

Copper Contributor

Seems that its not working with IE11 at all as it doesn't load the "sidepanel" properly. DOM elements gets created but without any content. Chrome seems to work fine on the same tenant.

Not applicable

Is there a maximum file size when using the move function? Is it set to 500mb like the copy function as mentioned on the following page:



Steel Contributor

A colleague at the UW reached out in one of our internal channels. He is looking to replace the Skype for Business client with the MS Teams  and his testing said MS Teams client is not feature complete enough yet, but he referenced a MS article that it was complete now.  I explained that he should trust his testing and that 'now' may really mean 'sometime soon'.  I then used this article as an example of the ambiguity of 'now' in our current cloud world of rolling updates.   I have been in a few presentations with @Chris McNulty and I have been blow away by his delivery and knowledge across a range of SharePoint topics from Farm Administrations to Taxonomy, so I have a great deal of trust and respect for Chris and this comment doesn't change that.  Here is what I said to my colleague -

"When you read to the bottom of this post it says " We expect to begin rolling this feature out to Targeted Release on or about January 29, 2018.  We anticipate a slightly longer cycle than usual for the expansion of this release throughout Targeted Release and general availability to allow for sufficient time to gather and address your feedback."  This was posted on 1/19/2018 so 'now' was never 'now'.   When I read this I realize I don't know what 'Targeted Release' means either, but it must be different than 'First Release'.  First release is a thing, or actually at least two things.  There are 'First Release' tenants (we have a test\dev tenant in 'First Release') and there are users that are in a 'First release' group, but they don't see first releases that are only released to first release tenants.  In any case my guess is that for our tenant 'slightly longer cycle' + ' Targeted Release on or about January 29, 2018' means I don't expect to see this highly desirable feature any sooner than the end of April. "

Copper Contributor

So this functionality is available in my SharePoint - GREAT!!!


I have started to try the feature out by copying some fairly decent sized folders 1-2GB.


However, the copyTo function is SLOW, VERY.... SLOW, Our 0365 is costs us many thousands per month so its not because we have a cheap setup.


I am copying 3 selected folders, and the UI in the new look doc repository SharePoint online gives a good view of the copy, 3 folders and 3 progress bars is very good, but it gets STUCK, it will get to say 5% on all 3 folders, then hold for 5 minutes, then get going again, then stop on 14% on all 3 folders and be stuck there for for 10 minutes, and so forth. So what is going on? 


-NEED TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THAT, why does the copy just stop/pause? what could it be? is it the resource allocation across the two different sites? Does that need to be increased? - Someone please help,  @Chris McNulty any ideas?


Its now been stuck on 55%, seemingly unable to move off for the last 20 minutes... <--update before posting, its moved to 57% across all three folders.


Additionally I tried a folder MoveTo, "woo hooo now that is a simple pointer switch right" - wrong its not a pointer switch, its a lift and shift. - I guess the decision was to keep document repository and files management "pure" / keep it "clean" move the data to the actual location of where the target document repository is , that makes everything cleaner for future infrastructure maintenance.. yes, yes it does, but it makes for a cheesed off customer as well. - if it did not take so long to copy / move it would be an improvement on the "nothing" that we have had for a decade.


All in all this is a very good start, but it has some way to go just for the basic functionality to be enjoyably used, I mean i will use it as is, but I can expect to wait days for copies, which is a real pain and means a lot of smaller copies need to be fired off (a tough ask because SP online does not to my knowledge show you folder sizes so its pure guess work).


Additionally I have no idea what would happen in a MoveTo if users access the docs in transit? The copy and move is far too slow, how do we speed that up?











Copper Contributor

So frustrating - why so slow?...

Steel Contributor

This functionality is available in my tenant for users in the Targeted Release Group (Settings | Organizational Profile | Release preferences).   I am looking forward to moving some stuff around and for it to be available to everyone in our tenant.


This feature and Hub sites will help with the new 'you get a site collection, you get a site collection, everyone gets a site collection' model'  since you should be able to 'connect' sites together (yes I am behind on hub sites functionality) and the move file feature will help people move files from Teams and O365 group sites to achive or official documentation sites.  


Question:  Was the 'Targeted Release' group ever called first release?  


@Gregory Frick yes Targeted Release is the new name for First Release, announced last month.


@Dustin Adam yes, you can move folders as well!


@Maxwell Shifman the functionality is limited by the capacity of the destination. Note that files with many versions will consume quota.


@Steven Tolboe If you move a file that you shared from OneDrive for Business, you should re-share it from the destination. Re-sharing the file will make sure that both the link and the permissions are correctly configured and also follow the policies of the destination site


@Chad Stout The files should retain labels after Move.


@Steven Zakulec, great suggestion for enabling Copy/Move for Flows, thank you!


@Deleted, we’re investigating this scenario but you’re intuition is on track. At this time, if the destination doesn’t accept every version of a source file, any truncated versions can still be retrieved from the recycle bin at the source. This should not impact most users but thanks for pointing this out.


@null null, Document IDs are constant only if you move a within a site collection. When a file moves to another site, the file gets a new Document ID.


@Norman Chin, neither Move nor Copy require the Graph


@Vanessa Oats, the current behavior for libraries with required columns is under investigation, thanks for pointing this out


@Robert Bertora, we use various techniques to move files in parallel but it sounds like you did not have a great experience. We’re investigating.




@Rob Franco Thank you for your reply Rob!

Steel Contributor

Nice Job @Rob Franco for responding to 10 specific questions!  Great example of how to follow up on this platform!

Iron Contributor

@Rob Franco, +1 thanks for the response.


Follow up:


Is there any documentation yet on how to trigger these moves through the API?


@Martin Hambalek  If this was UserVoice, we’d be “Thinking About It” but need to get more feedback about all the implications via a vis maintaining security.  Sometimes you want the file to inherit container security, sometimes you want it to maintain its original security.  In short, when you move a file we think the clearest control is to ask to rebuild the security and share from its new location to ensure the new contexts are correct, and to avoid intended consequences.


@Louis Cacaret this behavior is by design; if you only have limited rights on a container you cant delete the file at the source (which is implied when you move it to a new place, you are removing it from the old container. 


Also to everyone:

Compliance labels are now preserved when you move a file, including for records.  This is a big help when you're grooming older records to move to a document center or a record center.


OneNote notebooks are now moveable as well.


Thanks for the comments - keep them coming!

Iron Contributor

This finally showed up in our tenant, seems to work well, but I'll echo what has been reported as well: the moves are really slow: it took nearly ten minutes to move a 1GB folder from one document library to another in another subsite, we are planning on leveraging this capability to move project folders around during their lifecycle, and some of them can get upwards of 75GB... hoping the throughput limits are temporary. Asked this already, but if we can get some information on how to call this programmatically that would be great. I and I'm sure others will want to write workflows that handle this, if it could be baked into Azure Logic Apps that would certainly be welcome.


@Dustin Adam, thanks for kicking the tires! We are investigating performance improvements. Right now there is not a way to call the API but stay tuned for that in a future release.

Copper Contributor

I had this. I loved this. I don't have this anymore. I am in the process of archiving content for hundreds of sites across our instance. This worked swimmingly (way better than downloading and uploading). Now, the ability to "move to" is gone, and the "copy to" only links to the subsite. What the heck? I've had to log into our site from IE because at least I can hack explorer view. 

Copper Contributor

Great to have this feature is available now.

I want to use durable links with move functionality but when I move document from root site to sub site or from one sub site to another sub site, it changes document id.



Not applicable

Are there are file or folder limits to be aware of when using the move option? 



Brass Contributor

@Rob Franco @Chris McNulty and others — I remember reading somewhere that this same functionality will be coming to modern SPO site pages too (modern/news/wiki) — where one can move sites pages from one site to another site in same tenant.


I wanted to know if any one here has any info on this. Thanks in advance!

Copper Contributor

In SharePoint Online sites, members with appropriate permissions to the entire web (not site collection), started getting errors recently every time when moving or copying. I've reviewed the permissions and they are correct.  Thoughts?  I only was able to alleviate this by temporarily making them a site collection administrator to determine if this is a permissions issues.  I've looked at all the inheritance, I'm pretty certain it's good.



Steel Contributor

Copy was great, but moving files anywhere in Office 365, SharePoint and OneDrive is huge! Thanks @Chris McNulty and SharePoint team! 

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‎Feb 15 2018 02:26 PM
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