We are having 1TB of file share. We want to move to SP online. As we know file share is having folder, sub folders, documents and different permission levels. I am confused with how to move to Online with some metalogix or sharegate tool.

Following are some questions, that everyone may come across who done with migrations.


  1. Since SP online is having 5K item limit, how to organize content? Client also dont have much idea on re-ogranizing.
  2. What would be the business process to extract information architecture?
  3. Is it good practice to maintain folders in SP online instead of flat structure? maintaining folders atleast save us from 5K item limit.
  • Re: item 1 - The 5k item limit is on the views, not the list. List can have significantly more items, you just cannot return more than 5000 at once.
    – Jammin4CO
    Aug 24, 2018 at 19:54
  • I wish that that was the case. It is true that the list can contain a lot more than 5000 items , but once you have reached that limit some features stops working,. Try resetting the permissions after 5000 items (both docs and folders counts as items) Aug 25, 2018 at 5:50
  • Large scale migrations are performed using 3rd party applications. They works best and give u a rich event logs.. I am using metalogix essential. It is paid version but it is worth every penny
    – DvG
    Aug 25, 2018 at 7:04
  • yes i know 5k item limit on view not on list or library
    – Mihir
    Aug 25, 2018 at 11:44

2 Answers 2


This is a bit broad. Before thinking about migrating, I'd suggest ramping up on SharePoint in general, especially the new Teams and Groups capabilities.

But no, uploading everything to one library with folders is strongly not recommended.

Personally, I'd find a smallish group in the organization, train a few power users in that group, and ask them to pilot Office 365. Let them try out team sites, Teams, etc. If the pilot goes well, let them start doing production work in O365. Then, ask them about moving some of their old content.

The idea of asking users who know nothing about O365 how they want to structure their data in O365 is not a useful conversation.


Usually the first step is to identify an owner to the various folders /branches in the file shares. The purpose is to id valid content and content that should be deleted or moved to offline storage/archive. Once that is done the owner should be able to specify who should have edit and or read permissions to the content. Now you and the owner should be able to setup a proper IA using Sharepoint site collections/Groups or Teams. Only once that is defined you can start scripting the content migration. Expect that the owners will change their mind when they verify the new setup, so it will most likely be an iterativ process

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