I need to migrate a number of documents from multiple document libraries into a single document library in a new site collection. Both site collections are SP2010 and the migration must maintain version history.

I tried moving documents using explorer view which is supposed to maintain version history. This works in my test site collections however it gives the error shown below when trying it on live data, and I can't find a solution.

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How would the migration of documents between site collections be best achieved?

3 Answers 3


Check that the source and target libraries have the exact same metadata and settings.

For instance, you will need to make sure that the same version settings apply to both libraries (otherwise you will lose some version if the target library allows for fewer), and also make sure that you have the same columns in both libraries.

If you are using the Explorer view to move the documents (if not please explain what you mean by 'migrate' documents) you should also check that the documents included in the folders you are moving are all checked-in.

You will have to check the library settings for these.

  • Can you please add details to your answer about the basic steps for doing this? Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 11:24
  • I added some more explanations, but it is pretty straight forward
    – yandr
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 12:47

You have to make sure permission for the user performing the operations have the correct permissions.

You have also make sure you are in the working scenarios. which are:

Working Scenario

Moving files between libraries within the same site. For example:

"http://sharepointsite.com/sites/site1/site2/library1" (source)
"http://sharepointsite.com/sites/site1/site2/library2" (destination)

Moving files between libraries across different sites as long as they are directly below the root site. For example:

"http://sharepointsite.com/site1/library1 (source)
"http://sharepointsite.com/site2/library2 (destination)

Non-working Scenario

Moving files between libraries in sub-sites that are more than 1 level below the root site. For example:

"http://sharepointsite.com/sites/site1/site1/library1" (source)
"http://sharepointsite.com/sites/site1/site2/library2" (destination)

Check this URL for more details: http://paulliebrand.com/2011/06/24/sharepoint-and-the-cannot-move-filename-cannot-read-from-the-source-file-or-disk-error-via-windows-explorer-view/

Their is another way to move the files between Libarary

Using the Content & Structure Method.




The following applies to SharePoint 2013:

The points yandr mentioned are all true. However, I still got the error described in the question. My way was the use of the explorer view for both libraries in the different site collections. The important thing is, that this only works if you map the Site Collections to Network Drives. You can easily achieve this by right-clicking on the computer symbol in the explorer and then "Map network drive...".

If you then move files between the Site Collections, the files are in fact copied. Therefore all metadata (created, changed) of the documents get changed. The version number of the documents changes to 0.1.

I also tried the approach mentioned here (https://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/a/117258/8453). This also changes the created-data, however the changed data remains. Unfortunately the Version number changes to 1.0.

I'm afraid there is no possibility of a no code solution to solve this problem.

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