Moving files from one library to another (within the same site) in SharePoint 2016 on prem seems to affect version history? All names in the column Modified by are changed to the person who moved the document. Also, all changes in metadata will be moved/visible in the latest version of the particular document in the version history.

I can reproduce this in a clean SharePoint 2016 environment. This happens when using file explorer or when moving files with drag'n drop directly in the browser.

Is this a known bug?

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2 Answers 2


This is the expected behavior since version histories do not carry with the document when you move it on most occasions.

In addition to the first Answer: If you have publishing features activated on this site, you can use Content and Structure under Site Settings to move the document, which will retain all version history safely.

You can also refer to the link here for a sample PowerShell script to move files with version history: Move Files Between Document Libraries with Metadata and Version History.

  • Content and structure worked, thanks. Still, recommending this "tool" to ordinary users seems a bit off... why is Microsoft even implementing drag'n drop-functionality if it's not working properly? Moving files in any way should never affect versioning.
    – steedwmax
    Dec 29, 2020 at 9:56

When you move a file, version history starts at 0 again. SharePoint introduces it's own versions when creating the file (so there are versions prior to you initially working on it). When you move files this way, the Created/Modified values are updated to the individual who performed the Move action.

If you do not want to modify metadata in any way, a migration tool like Sharegate is the route to go. It can be accomplished with PowerShell, as well, but that is complex and may require custom PoSh to preserve specific columns.

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