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I upgrade a content database from 2010 to 2013. After upgrade I see a pink bar on top which says

Experience all that SharePoint 2013 has to offer. Start now or Remind me later.

In site settings I see two options, "Visual Upgrade" and "Site collection upgrade".

My question is what is the difference between these two and to which point that pink bar is referring to?

By the way the buttons inside "Visual Upgrade" are disabled.

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  • Visual upgrade preserved only the old master pages, CSS files, and HTML files
  • Deferred site collection upgrade preserves much more, including SharePoint Feature functionality

One key difference is that the granularity of upgrading the user interface is per site collection (SPSite) instead of the site (SPWeb).

Also, Visual Upgrade is a feature that used at SharePoint 2010 to allow a Site Administrator to Preview his site in SharePoint 2010 after migrated from SharePoint 2007. but on SharePoint 2013 it's replaced with Deferred site collections upgrade. For more details check Upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 - Part 2

Regarding "Visual Upgrade is disabled" I think this because It's available only on sites migrated/upgraded from SharePoint 2010 and not available for sites created in SharePoint 2013. also maybe as I mentioned above it's replaced with Deferred site collections upgrade

but you still can run Visual Upgrade via PowerShell as the following:

  • After Restoring DB to SharePoint 2013 at SQL Server

  • Mount site Mount-SPContentDatabase “MyDatabase” -DatabaseServer “MyServer” -WebApplication http://sitename

  • In PowerShell run Get-spsite (The site you just upgraded should be listed as type 14.)

  • Run Test-SPSite http://server/sitecollection (Warnings are ok in this test but errors are not good)

  • Finally run Upgrade-SPSite http://server/sitecollection –VersionUpgrade

For More details check : Run a SharePoint 2013 visual upgrade in Powershell

Check also SharePoint 2013 Upgrade Process

Check also Upgrade-SPSite CMDLET

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