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SharePoint Online Migration Checklist: What Experts Recommend For Best Results

Written By Ashwani Tiwari
Mack John
Approved By Mack John  
Published On January 18th, 2024
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading

You might agree that Sharepoint has numerous advantages yet it is quite tough for users to move the environment to it. Yes, we can’t agree more & this is why the SharePoint Online migration checklist is significant. SharePoint Online migration brings plenty of challenges that ultimately result in hiked-up complexities & overall cost of the operation. However, let’s quickly go through the in-depth checklist to not miss out on any crucial aspect.

Online SharePoint Migration Checklist

Overview & Approach – Automated or Manual

No doubt users get tense whenever they have to execute such a migration project of SharePoint Online. Here, the very first step for them is to make a decision regarding the mode of operation. Whether it will be an automated mode or the traditional manual one.

Automated: As the name suggests, it requires no manual intervention. It runs only on certain ‘sceneries’. These are predefined values that may not be suited to each and every organization. For example, Office 365 API, custom-coded tools, etc.

Manual: It is a simple and safe way to perform the migration. It involves copying and pasting each piece of content one at a time which can be tiresome. This increases the work for a single person. It is also a risky undertaking as humans are prone to errors.

Thus, as per experts, combining both of them is the best option that will even complement their SharePoint Online migration checklist as well.

Analyze Data & Evaluate Files

The very first step for users is to simply find the location of all the crucial data files for you. Therefore, you can divide the tasks by making team leaders for managing a group of users act faster.

Now evaluate & carefully understand all the data files kept in it. Make sure to cross checks the OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox as well as employees commonly use that as well to gather the data in one place. You will be shocked to explore the shadow storage this stage for sure.

Identify & Create a List of the Users

Here, users need to create a list that they are going to migrate & evaluate the permissions given to them. It’s quite important from the privacy assigning point of view also. In addition, you will also get to know about the users that no longer require access to SharePoint Online. The list will also help you to map users at the time of migration.

Create a List of Sites, Sites Collections, & SubSites

SharePoint is a collection of resources having sites meant for a certain group of users. Where some organizations might have only one site, others may have several sites for managing multiple sites of different departments efficiently.

Evidently, join sites into collections & always break large resource collections into smaller parts to spread the distribution of resources.

Permission Level

Do not miss out on the set of permissions & access that is given to users they play a very crucial role here. Document all the permissions set as you create them while assigning them to new users.

Clean Up Your Old/Current Environment

Cleaning the unwanted data files from your current environment is crucial to speed up the SharePoint Online migration along increasing efficiency. Deleting or removing duplicate files permanently is such a smart move here. If you delete your data files from the library as well as other entries, you will get the benefit for sure in the long run.

In addition, it saves storage as well. Furthermore, we can say that when we have a backup of the data files, we can confidently delete the data files.

Build Robust Information Architecture

Document the actual sites to be created in this step. Moreover, it’s really important for users to prepare a detailed information architecture to not get messed up data post-migration. This will definitely help users to get their new inventory ready to take into use. This is one of the most significant steps of the SharePoint Online migration checklist so far.

Recognize the Challenges

Always be prepared for the challenges to keep moving ahead. Evidently, it’s important for users to analyze the challenges of the entire operation. There can be technical errors, prerequisites faults, or any other issues for which users must prepare in advance. If users are well prepared they can experience the following advantages after the successful migration.

  • Improved Assistance
  • Enhanced Security
  • Large Storage Space
  • No need for UpKeep
  • New Advanced Features
  • Customizability
  • No bugs & errors 

Train Audience & Communicate for SharePoint Online Migration Checklist

After all the analysis & evaluation, it’s time to educate your audience about the change that is going to take place. This can help in better management after the completion of the migration project. If users aren’t aware of the changes, they can’t find out which data is transferred to which location after the migration. In order to prevent such chaos, training plays a significant role.

Moving ahead, communication with the users about the risks involved is also important. Explain to them how complicated this process is from the outside, & what all damage might take place in case of a migration failure. This way users can be more attentive to the major operation.

Setting Up an Online Environment

It’s important to set up your Online environment. This step can be merged with the information architecture. Make sure to cross-check all the arrangements required for the migration to ensure nothing is going to fall apart during the entire SharePoint Online migration task.

Select the Most Reliable Tool

In this SharePoint Online migration checklist, one of the most important aspects is to select a reliable tool for the migration. It’s not compulsory that all the tools work fine as plenty of them fail. Therefore, experts suggest the SharePoint Online Migrator which works quite well. Moreover, it can handle data migration pretty well without any issues.

Run A Pilot Project – Demo Migration

Once you are done with the security checks & all other arrangements, it’s time to run a pilot project to simulate the actual migration task. This is crucially important as users need to understand that if any hidden issue occurs, they’ll have enough time to find the root cause & can rectify it.

This demo migration is very important as maximum errors can be resolved at this stage only.

Execute the SharePoint Online Migration

Now, once everything is in control, simply stop the running workflows connection that needs to be migrated. Then with the help of the tool, simply execute the entire operation in an easy & hassle-free manner.

Perform the migration based on your needs. It can be in bulk or in batches. Select the filters from the tool to get selective data according to your preference. 

Also Read: Enable External Sharing of SharePoint

The Post Migration Checks

Last but not the least, do not get over-excited just after the end of the migration. This SharePoint Online migration checklist is incomplete without doing the post-migration checks. Now, here, users need to perform a few things as mentioned below:

  • Testing the New System
  • Take Backup of the New Environment
  • Remove Permissions from old SharePoint
  • Run Full Crawl
  • Check User Permissions in Destination
  • Always Create a List of Post Migration Issues
  • Keep the Environment in Read Only Till Users Learn It


The growth of any company can be based on its necessity to meet growing trends. Evidently, it is important that organizations move to cloud solutions for better infrastructure and a secure environment. Therefore, this SharePoint Online migration checklist for users with intentions to subscribe to Office 365 plan is accurate.

It can be useful in the real-time collaboration of web pages, documents, lists, calendars, and data. It’s beneficial to build powerful, workflow-enabled solutions to share files with a team. Evidently, one just needs an O365 account and to export their workplace information directly to the new platform.


Q-1. How do I prepare for SharePoint migration?

Ans: Follow the SharePoint Online Migration Checklist to get prepared for the migration & check out the step-by-step SharePoint Online migration guide here.  

Q-2. What Cannot be migrated to SharePoint online?

Ans: Users can not migrate data items that hold the potential to make changes in the SharePoint fundamental code.

Q-3. What can be migrated to SharePoint Online?

Ans: Users can migrate the SharePoint document library & generic lists only using the advanced software from the software.

Q-4. What is involved in a SharePoint migration?

Ans: The extraction of data from the source SharePoint Online site & the dropping of files to the destination SharePoint file along with the respective folder hierarchy & permissions is involved in a SharePoint migration.

Q-5 What is the SharePoint migration checklist for On-premise?

Ans: Well the checklists for the online & on-premise SharePoint migration are pretty much the same with minor differences. Still. let’s have a look at the On-premise checklist once.

  • Files Evaluation & Analysis
  • Current Environment Cleaning
  • Building Information Architecture
  • Communication
  • Run a Pilot Project
  • Select the Tool
  • Start Migration
  • Post Migration Checks