I have a list sitting on a production server. I would like to copy the list, both structure and content from the production server to a dev machine.

I am not too worried about preserving permissions.

Can this be done?

  • 1
    what if both sharepoint servers are of different version: 1. Sharepoint 2010 2. Sharepoint 2010 SP1 as when i try to restore a list / site etc to the latter one, it sames different versions and cannot import using powershell. So how can i export lists, calendars etc from one sharepoint to the another. Please guide, thanks
    – user5343
    Oct 21, 2011 at 4:53

5 Answers 5


This answer is for WSS3.0 but all the same applies to SharePoint 2010

As you are talking about from production to dev I am assuming that you're talking about a rolldown type procedure so you may want to check out Gary Lapointes STSADM gl-exportlist and gm-importlist extensions because as well as working very very well they will allow you to automate easily.

  • This is the problem I have with the template import / export routine. - msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/lists(v=office.12).aspx - so unfortunately it's out of the question.
    – JL01
    Apr 18, 2011 at 23:10
  • JL01 - eh? Thats a link to the lists web service. Have you looked at teh gl-exportlist/importlist suggestion (it doesn't rely on exporting/importing templates)
    – Ryan
    Apr 19, 2011 at 8:29
  • no I haven't but it it doesn't use templates, then it could possibly be the solution I am after. thanks!
    – JL01
    Apr 19, 2011 at 11:45

Theres several ways to do this. One is to export the list using "save as template" and check "include content". Theres limitations on that approach depending on list size. AFAIR the limit here is 2 gb.

Another way is to simply restore the database into your dev machine and get to the list from there.

EDIT: Just saw you were using SP2010. In Central Administration in SP2010 you have new features for granular backup. CA > Backup and Restore > Granular Backup > Select Export a Site or List. Select the Site collection > Site > List and export to .cmp file. Here you also do have the possibility you mention to include security. You can also select what versions to export. There are no GUI for recovering data: "To recover the data use the PowerShell import command Import-SPWeb. For more details, type Import-SPWeb -? at the PowerShell command prompt."

PowerShell example:

Import-SPWeb http://site -Path export.cmp -UpdateVersions -Overwrite
  • Thanks Anders, but I wouldn't call restoring an entire database to retrieve 1 list a simple solution :) I was hoping for something easier.
    – JL01
    Apr 18, 2011 at 22:58
  • DO you have any code snippet for doing this using sharepoint list service? IT will be really helpful.
    – sss
    Jan 25, 2013 at 6:58
  • i added a code sample taken from official documentation Jan 25, 2013 at 11:28

Save the list as a template, with content. Export the template from the template gallery and import it into your dev list template gallery. Create a new list from the template.

  • 1
    I can't do that because the dev site is based on a differant custom template to production :( as detailed here : support.microsoft.com/kb/825215
    – JL01
    Apr 18, 2011 at 21:10

One way to do this is to use the SharePoint List service. This usually can be done without having to deploy any code to the server.

Not a great idea if you don't speak CAML



My solution will be to use the OOTB feature "Content Deployement" in central admin. But I don't know if this feature is available for WSS Edition. But use this only for long term procedure. If it's just one-shoot, use another feature like Export/Import ...

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