This is driving me batty.

I'm moving a large quantity of files (documents - .doc, .pdf, .xls) from one subsite to another in Sharepoint 2013. Since we want to preserve the metadata, I'm doing so via Site Contents and Structure (checking files and selecting Actions > Move). It runs smoothly for a while, then I start getting this error. Sometimes simply reloading or trying again will work, sometimes I have to log out or clear my cache, sometimes switching browsers, sometimes just moving on to a different folder.. until eventually I get the error every time. But if I wait several hours, it will start working again. Every time I think I've figured out what's causing the error (file size too large, destination folder too full, something in my cache...), something happens to toss that theory out the window. I've googled extensively and not found anything useful. Please help.

Despite being inconsistently triggered, the error itself is the same each time.

The current operation could not be completed. Try again, or contact your system administrator.

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

You may re-try the operation, and you may need to clean up the half-created data first before re-trying. If the problem persists, please contact your system administrator.

Correlation ID: b1d45b9e-0eab-a03a-1c95-1245c7894e01

Date and Time: 4/9/2018 10:55:16 AM

<error><message>Object reference not set to an instance of an object.</message><full>System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at  
Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.GetFileAndFolderProperties(String bstrUrl, String bstrStartUrl, ListDocsFlags ListDocsFlags, Boolean bThrowException, Int32&amp; phrStatus, Object&amp; pvarFiles, Object&amp; pvarDirs, UInt32&amp; pdwNumberOfFiles, UInt32&amp; pdwNumberOfDirs) at 
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPWeb.GetFileOrFolderProperties(String strUrl, ListDocsFlags listDocsFlags, Boolean throwException, SPBasePermissions&amp; permMask) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFolder.PropertiesCore(Boolean throwException) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFolder.ThrowIfNullProperties() at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFolder.get_WelcomePage() at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.WebControls.SMPickerValidator.SMValidateMove(ObjectSerializer sourceObj) at 
Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.WebControls.SMPickerValidator.ValidateObjects(ObjectSerializer sourceObject, ObjectSerializer targetObject, Boolean validateType, Boolean validateBranch, Boolean validateMove) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.WebControls.SMPickerValidator.ValidateOperation(SPSite contextSite, String[] sourceSmtObjectIds, String targetObjectId, Boolean validateType, Boolean validateBranch, Boolean validateMove) at 
Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.WebControls.MoveItems.IsValidMove() at Microsoft.SharePoint.Publishing.Internal.WebControls.MoveItems.DoWork() at Microsoft.Office.Server.Diagnostics.FirstChanceHandler.ExceptionFilter(Boolean fRethrowException, TryBlock tryBlock, FilterBlock filter, CatchBlock catchBlock, FinallyBlock finallyBlock)</full><customData></customData></error>
  • This guy seems to be having the same problem: go4sharepoint.com/Forum/…
    – K.D.
    Apr 9, 2018 at 16:29
  • And these folks: samirvaidya.blogspot.com/2014/07/… But I'm skeptical that this is a permissions issue, since I am able to move things and can even move things that have previously given the error.
    – K.D.
    Apr 9, 2018 at 16:40
  • Two things: 1. If moving things from Site A to Site B starts erroring out, I can switch to moving from Site C to Site B and suddenly it works great again. 2. When I come in at 8, everything works perfectly. By about 2pm, I get errors every time. I suspect it's something that "resets" overnight...
    – K.D.
    Apr 10, 2018 at 13:31
  • Got the error, emptied the recycle bin on the "move from" site, and it suddenly started working again. Seriously? I will update again if this works a second time but if that's the solution...
    – K.D.
    Apr 10, 2018 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Even though this operation is called "Move," it actually performs a copy and moves the original file into the site's Recycle Bin. This error seems to occur when the Recycle Bin on the source site gets full. Empty the Recycle Bin (you can even "restore" the items without affecting the destination copies) and suddenly Move will work again like magic.

The Recycle Bin can be found under Settings > Site Contents. (Microsoft Guide.)

  • Well, this has been working swimmingly up until about ten minutes ago. I'm now getting the error even when the Recycling Bin is empty. What other cycle could be affecting it? Is it possible for a Sharepoint site to run out of RAM? :P
    – K.D.
    Apr 10, 2018 at 19:31

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