I have an external partner account that wants to download a large GIS data set from our SharePoint. The data set is about 13500 files and is around 43 gb in size, and is housed within a folder. When they try to download it, it's downloaded as a zip file, but it's never able to fully complete, even though the browser says the download is complete. Sometimes the zip file is only a couple of GBs and won't open.

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Other times, the download manages to get to around 20 gb, and the zip file can be opened, but half the files haven't been downloaded and I get a bunch of text files in the zip with error messages in them.

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Each text file has an error message inside: "This file cannot be downloaded.

ExceptionType: ZipMeTAException.

CorrelationId: 7dcb10e9-be4f-4edb-b24b-d469dcaaf844,

UTC DateTime: 1/29/2020 10:09:47 PM"

I've tried downloading the folder myself and never got past 20 gb before the download "completed". Is there any reason why it's not possible to download the whole folder, and is there a better method to download such a huge number of files that would work for an external partner?


You can return to Classic view in the library, and try to use "Open with Explorer" feature to open the folder, then copy and paste the files into your local. enter image description here

Have a try and let's know the result.

  • I tried that, but when opening a folder that should have about 13500 files inside, the folder instead was empty of any files, even with reloading the folder. – gtew234 Jan 31 '20 at 23:36

If the folder contains 13500 files then "Open with Explorer" will not work because you exceed the List View Threshold LVT (default 5000). Increasing the LVT is not possible for SharePoint Online. Alternatives:

  1. Use PowerShell (search for scripts that provide this capability). Check upfront if the scripts can handle large lists.
  2. Use tools that can download large number of items and that support LVT. e.g. here
  3. Use OneDrive for Business to sync the files


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