Is there a way to download all the contents of a single document library other than downloading each file individually?

Context: Looking to migrate Document Libraries from a single subsite to various subsites. I guess I wouldn't necessarily need to download the files if there is another way to move them across subsites.

5 Answers 5


If you are using Internet Explorer:

From the Modern UI: Click "Open With Explorer". This will switch to the Classic UI and then open a Windows Explorer that will display all of the files and folders in that library.

From the Classic UI: Click the LIBRARY ribbon then in the "Connect & Export" section click "Open with Explorer" (you may only see the icon for this).

(You can now drag file between SharePoint and local drives.)

Go to the second library and repeat.

Select and drag and drop files between the two Windows Explorers just like you would between two Windows drives or network shares.


  • If displayed, do not copy the "Forms" folder!
  • Document metadata may be lost depending on the libraries, columns, Content Types and Features enabled.

There is no frank download/upload option, The simplest solution is using

  • Open With Explorer option in the document library to copy/move the doc contents to another doc library.
  • Save Document as Template (include the content )

"Open with Explorer" in a SharePoint Online document library Classic Mode

  • In the SharePoint Online document library,
  • Click the Library tab on the ribbon,
  • Click the Open with Explorer icon in the Connect & Export group.

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"View in File Explorer" in a SharePoint Online document library Modern Mode

  • Click the View menu,
  • Click View in File Explorer.

    enter image description here


For moving files from one subsite to another, without using any scripts, you can just try the SharePoint Migration Tool. It's free and works fine.


In order to use this tool to move files from one place to another you should first map the source document library(ies) via OneDrive for business. Then, after you download everything, proceed to using the SharePoint migration tool.

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Benefits of this approach: - OneDrive is a lot faster than WebDav protocol and you will always have the latest files on your disk - If I remember correctly, the SharePoint migration tool can migrate the diff. Very useful if you have several GBs to move

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  • Unfortunately, SharePoint Migration Tool doesn't support migration from SharePoint online to another SharePoint online. the source is On-prem SharePoint or file share! Please correct me if I am wrong and if you tried this by yourself :) Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 19:26
  • You are right, @MohamedEl-QassasMVP. I misremembered the way I used this tool to move the items. Updating my answer now. Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 19:49

Using SPOnline? We can sync the files locally with One Drive and copy it later to other synced libraries where you need to place them. Saves a lot of time copying across the browser and much easier visually.


The simple solution to get hold of the files in SharePoint is to move to the topmost folder and download it (as a zip-file). The "Open in Explorer" way did not work for me (cannot browse the folder structure).

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