I'm very familiar with the problems of moving content between libraries. However, this is moving within the same library. I have inherited a site from a site owner who loved folders. I am working to add metadata and pull all the files out of the folders into just the library. This problem is NOT occurring with all files, but only with specific files (usually only one) in a folder.

I have two Windows Explorer windows open, one into the folder, the other into the library the folder resides in. In the Explorer window for the folder, I select the files to be moved. I drag them to the other explorer window, open to the library itself. 90% of the time, this works great. Occasionally, all but one of the files will move. That single file will throw the "cannot read source file or disk" error.

To further complicate things, if I attempt to access the folder using the Content and Structure feature, I get a SharePoint error.

I need to get these files out of the sub-folders. There are too many of them to download and re-upload. Suggestions?

Edited: I'm a site owner/administrator with no ability to use powershell or other back-end tools. SharePoint Designer is not allowed in our environment.

  • Yes! Use a PowerShell script to move them. I think the only other issue you may have is files with the same name from different folders.
    – jpollar
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 18:20
  • Thank you for the suggestion, but I'm a site owner/administrator, and I don't have the ability to use powershell.
    – DeNaeL
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 23:29

2 Answers 2


I've seen this issue a couple of times before and in those case it had to do with file size being accessed through Windows Explorer. In order to make SharePoint library content appear as a file/folder hierarchy in Windows Explorer and allow you to manipulate these files, Windows machine uses the Windows Client Service to interact with SharePoint. This Windows client has a default maximum file size limit of 50 MB.

You should check the file size property of your offending files in SharePoint to see if this may be the cause.

If it is, then you'll need to make a modification to your Windows Registry as described by this MS KB article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/900900

  • Thank you, but none of the files are more than 50MB.
    – DeNaeL
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 23:30

This may not be the answer you are looking for, but you can create views of documents (with metadata) without the maps.

  • I'm not following what you mean by creating views without the maps. Could you explain more please?
    – DeNaeL
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 22:11

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